oking cessation (colloquially quitting smoking) is the process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance. This article focuses exclusively on cessation of tobacco smoking; however, the methods described may apply to cessation of smoking other substances that can be difficult to stop using due to the development of strong physical substance dependence or psychological dependence (addiction).
Smoking cessation can be achieved with or without assistance from healthcare professionals or the use of medications. Methods that have been found to be effective include interventions directed at or via health care providers and health care systems; medications including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and varenicline; individual and group counselling; and Web-based or stand-alone and computer programs. Although stopping smoking can cause short-term side effects such as reversible weight gain, smoking cessation services and activities are cost-effective because of the positive health benefits.
- In a growing number of countries, there are more ex-smokers than smokers.
- Early "failure" is a normal part of trying to stop, and more than one attempt at stopping smoking prior to longer-term success is common.
- NRT, other prescribed pharmaceuticals, and professional counselling or support also help many smokers.
- However, up to three-quarters of ex-smokers report having quit without assistance ("cold turkey" or cut down then quit), and cessation without professional support or medication may be the most common method used by ex-smokers.
Tobacco contains the chemical nicotine. Smoking cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction. The addiction begins when nicotine acts on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. Cessation of smoking leads to symptoms of nicotine withdrawal such as anxiety and irritability. Professional smoking cessation support methods generally endeavour to address both nicotine addiction and nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Studies have shown that it takes between 6 to 12 weeks post quitting before the amount of nicotinic receptors in the brain return to the level of a non smoker.
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Famous quotes containing the words cessation and/or smoking:
“... we, like so many others who think more of working than of dying, care only to push on steadily, wishing less for cessation of toil than for strength to keep at it; and for wisdom to make it worthy of the ideal of labor and of life which we believe to be the most precious gift of Heaven to any soul.”
—Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (18441911)
“If an addict who has been completely cured starts smoking again he no longer experiences the discomfort of his first addiction. There exists, therefore, outside alkaloids and habit, a sense for opium, an intangible habit which lives on, despite the recasting of the organism.... The dead drug leaves a ghost behind. At certain hours it haunts the house.”
—Jean Cocteau (18891963)