Tag Archives: nicotine patch

The Nicotine Patch – Is it a Gimmick?

You want to stop smoking and you say you want help.

So you do your research on the nicotine patches that are available.

You decide on a product and you start the process of wearing the patch for ten to thirty or more days.

And at the end you should have eventually beaten the smoking habit.

But have you really? Has the patch along with the tips like drinking a certain amount of water daily, eating more fruits and vegetables helped? Has changing your daily diet and keeping track of your intake of certain foods helped to beat the craving for tobacco?

Nicotine Patch – A Psychological Enhancement Aid

Using Nicotine PatchesThe patch (choose any brand) acts as a psychological enhancement to make you think that it is helping you to quit smoking. It is a psychological win for the pharmaceutical industry because they provided the nicotine patch.

It is a psychological win for employers who working along with the pharmaceutical companies will give discounts and incentives for purchasing certain brands of patches. It is their way of saying they did their part for their nicotine cessation programs as part of their health and wellness curriculum.

The developers and promoters of the nicotine patches are hoping to really help you break the habit. They are hoping it will save both you and them down the road by decreasing or eradicating the healthcare costs for possible lung cancer illnesses.

The patches designed for smoking cessation may be a psychological win for you because you may feel that you have done your part to try and quit. The thinking behind daily patch use is that you will stop smoking, and hopefully in time before contracting lung cancer or other smoking related illnesses and diseases.

But, the truth of the matter is the patch use is really psychological. The nicotine patch you are using still contains the nicotine that got you addicted to smoking in the first place. Although the nicotine may not be the killer from cigarette smoking, rather the tar and carbon monoxide by product, but it is still a very unhealthy substance.

Nicotine Patch Side Effects

Yes the patch may help for a while but what if you have allergic reactions or skin irritations from the mix of the adhesive and nicotine contained within the patch that you have chosen to wear?

This happens quite often because skin is sensitive and the first indicator of nicotine patch side effects with external use is skin discomfort and irritations. Certain brands also state that for the first couple of days when using the patch you may side effects:

Known nicotine patch side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

This happens while your body gets acclimated to using a patch. But even if you get past all the patch side effects and do not suffer irritations or the other side effects how long can you afford the cost of purchasing the patch, even if you receive nicotine patch discounts and incentives?

Okay don’t weaken from your desire to stop smoking and sustain from this unhealthy habit. There are much better alternatives, but if this an accessible alternative just remember it may be all psychological.

Credit:
Nicocure Quit Smoking Patch: Does The Nicocure Patch Really
Nicotine Side Effects

Chantix Questions Illuminate Hold of Cigarettes on Mind

The mentally ill consume 45% of the cigarettes smoked in America these days, the WSJ reports. A striking figure in its own right, the number takes on new significance amid reports of psychological troubles associated with Pfizer’s anti-smoking drug Chantix.

Nicotine increases the level of dopamine in the brain’s reward center — a powerfully addictive effect. And as reports have emerged of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in patients taking Chantix, Pfizer has pointed out that, even in the absence of drug treatment, quitting smoking can have a powerful effect on the mind.

But, the FDA suggested, taking Chantix — which binds to the same neural receptors as nicotine — may add to the psychological tumult, at least for some patients. And because the mentally ill were excluded from the drug’s pre-approval clinical trials, it’s hard to know where mental illness fits into the picture.

Chantix BoxStill, the benefits of quitting smoking are so great that some degree of risk should be tolerable in a drug that helps people quit. “If you have a history of depression, you need to be careful when you stop smoking that it doesn’t come back,” John Hughes, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and a Pfizer adviser, told the WSJ.

But for people who’ve failed to quit with a nicotine patch and are thinking about using Chantix, he wouldn’t avoid the drug over fears of mental problems: “The risk is so small under a physician’s care, and the benefit is so huge.”Bonus Smoke: One man’s strange Chantix trip landed in New York Magazine last week. “Maybe I should just go downstairs and leap in front of a tour bus,” the author thought at one point. “Or launch my head through the computer screen. All this seemed logical, but also weirdly funny, even at the time: I could see how crazy these impulses were, I could recognize them as suicidal clichés.”

Source: Jacob Goldstein

Talk (Cold) Turkey: Visit the WSJ’s forum on quitting smoking.

| Trackback URL: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/02/19/chantix-questions-illuminate-cigarettes-hold-on-the-mind/trackb

Tobacco May Kill 1 Billion in This Century, WHO Says

Tobacco use will kill 1 billion people in this century.

This is a 10-fold increase over the past 100 years, unless governments in poor nations raise taxes on consumption and mandate health warnings, the World Health Organization said.

No country fully implements these most important tobacco – control measures, according to a 330-page report released today by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Geneva-based UN agency.

Bloomberg, who helped fund the study, joined WHO Director-General Margaret Chan at a news conference in New York to discuss the findings. “This is a unique point in public health history as the forces of political will, policies and funding are aligned to create the momentum needed to dramatically reduce tobacco use and save millions of lives by the middle of this century,” Chan said in a foreword to the report.

The WHO said the tobacco “epidemic causes the deaths of 5.4 million people a year due to lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. That figure might rise to 8 million per year by 2030, including 80 percent in countries whose rapidly growing economies offer their citizens the hope of a better life,” the report said.

American States

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, said states are falling short on U.S. recommendations to boost insurance coverage of proven anti-smoking treatments that fight nicotine addiction.

The Atlanta-based U.S. government agency said eight states’ Medicaid programs, which serve the poor, fail to reimburse for any tobacco-dependence programs, and only Oregon covered them all. About 35 percent of Medicaid patients are smokers, it said.

Tobacco is the “single most preventable cause of death” in the world, the WHO said. Yet governments in low-and middle- income countries that collect $66.5 billion in taxes from the sale of tobacco products spend only $14 million on anti-smoking measures, and 95 percent of the world’s population is unprotected by the type of anti-smoking laws Bloomberg has pushed in New York.

Commitment Sought

“Now for the first time ever we have reliable data, a system of analysis and clear standards to promote accountability,” Bloomberg said of the report, which examines tobacco use in 179 countries.  “What we are still missing is a strong commitment from government leaders, but we believe this report will empower more leaders to act.”

Bloomberg, 65, the billionaire founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, announced in 2006 he intended to donate $125 million to worldwide smoking-cessation efforts.

Bloomberg’s Health Department has made fighting tobacco use its top priority, enforcing age limits on smoking, distributing free nicotine patches and chewing gum though the city’s 311 telephone information number and producing television ads featuring a former smoker who lost his voice to throat cancer at age 39.

The Health Department reported in January that teenage cigarette use has been cut by half — to one in six teenagers — since Bloomberg became New York City’s mayor in 2002. That year, he persuaded the state legislature to ban smoking in indoor workplaces including bars and restaurants. He also fought for and won a cigarette tax increase of $1.50 that lifted the average price to about $7 per pack.

Role of Taxes

Smoking Pink LipstickThe WHO said raising taxes was the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, noting that a 70 percent increase would prevent a quarter of all tobacco-related deaths.

The report cites a 2001 study titled “Critical Issues in Global Health,” by epidemiologists Richard Peto and A. D. Lopez, edited by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, as support for the assertion that population and smoking trends during the next several decades might lead to as many as 1 billion lives lost to smoking.

China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco, was highlighted by the UN agency. Almost 60 percent of men smoke cigarettes in China, compared with 21 percent in the U.S. At the same time, the report cited a survey that said most urban residents of China support a ban on tobacco advertising, higher tobacco taxes and smoke-free public places.

David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which reported $8.5 billion in U.S. sales of brands such as Camel, Kool and Pall Mall cigarettes, said his company has expressed “the very clear opinion that smoking causes serious diseases.”

The company, owned by Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Reynolds American Inc., continues its sales efforts, Howard said, because “there are about 45 million adults who are aware of the risks and have made the conscious decision to use tobacco products, and it’s a legal product.”

Source: By Henry Goldman and Bill Varner, Bloomberg [02-07-08]

Smoking Bans Help People Quit, Research Shows

Nationwide, smoking bans are on the rise in workplaces, restaurants and bars.

Research shows that bans decrease the overall number of cigarettes people smoke and in some cases, actually result in people quitting.

One reason bans help people quit is simple biology. Inhaling tobacco actually increases the number of receptors in the brain that crave nicotine.

“If you had a smoker compared to a nonsmoker and were able to do imaging study of the brain, the smoker would have billions more of the receptors in areas of the brain that have to do with pleasure and reward,” says Richard Hurt, an internist who heads the Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center.

So, removing the triggers that turn on those receptors is a good thing.

“If you’re in a place where smoking is allowed, your outside world is hooked to the receptors in your brain through your senses: your sight, smell, the smoke from someone else’s tobacco smoke or cigarette. That reminds the receptors about the pleasure of smoking to that individual, and that’s what produces the cravings and urges to smoke,” Hurt explains.

Hurt adds that bans help decrease the urge to smoke in another way: They de-normalize it. For example, where smoking is considered the “norm” – as it was in so many countries in Europe for so long – more people smoke. In places where smoking is no longer the “norm” – in California, for example – there are fewer smokers.

Smoking Ban SignResearch shows that nicotine replacement medications – like nicotine gum, patches or inhalers – double a smoker’s chances of quitting. So do counseling and therapy. Add a smoking ban, and Hurt says the chance of successful quitting is even better.

Click to learn more about > smoking bans.

Source: NPR

Tobacco Harm Reduction Catches On

Yesterday I mentioned the controversy over legislation that would give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products, authority the FDA itself (or at least its current head) does not want.

One reason for the agency’s leeriness is the possibility that FDA regulation could actually increase the harm associated with tobacco use.

One way that could happen, as I’ve noted before, is through censorship of truthful comparative risk claims – in particular, efforts to promote smokeless tobacco as a harm-reducing alternative to cigarettes.

Last week there were a couple of positive developments in this area. Britain’s Royal College of Physicians endorsed the concept of tobacco harm reduction, saying snus (Swedish-style oral snuff) and other nicotine-delivering products should be available to smokers who want to cut their risks but are not prepared to give up their drug habit.

In a commentary published by The Lancet (which has long supported “less harmful nicotine delivery systems”), two doctors who worked on the RCP report, John Britton and Richard Edwards, note that the health risks associated with snus are roughly 90 percent lower than the health risks associated with cigarettes.

They question the E.U.’s ban on smokeless tobacco (which does not apply in Sweden) and the policy of treating nicotine replacement products as quitting aids instead of long-term replacements for cigarettes:

snus.jpgWe believe that the absence of effective harm reduction options for smokers is perverse, unjust, and acts against the rights and best interests of smokers and the public health.

Addicted smokers have a right to choose from a range of safer nicotine products, as well as accurate and unbiased information to guide that choice.

Britton told The Independent:

Smokers smoke because they are addicted to nicotine, but it isn’t nicotine in cigarette smoke that kills….We need to liberalise the medicinal market and introduce a decent cigarette substitute. We may end up with millions of people addicted to nicotine inhalers, but so what? Millions are addicted to caffeine.

Although there is more to the cigarette habit than nicotine (one reason the success rates for “nicotine replacement therapies” are so low), smokers certainly should be free to switch to other, less dangerous sources of nicotine if that’s what they want.

The distinction that Britton draws between addiction and the harm associated with it is a vitally important one that discussions of drug policy tend to overlook. There is no rational reason we need to pretend that nicotine gum, patches, and inhalers are medicines that treat the disease of nicotine addiction, as opposed to safer ways of getting the same drug.

Another encouraging sign regarding snus: Last week The New York Times ran a story about snus products in the U.S. that clearly reported the truth: Although not 100 percent risk-free, snus is indisputably less dangerous than cigarettes.

The Times quoted Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends at the American Cancer Society, who questioned the evidence that “smokers are able to switch to smokeless tobacco and remain switched.” But even Glynn conceded that “if every smoker in the United States were to switch to smokeless tobacco, ‘in the next decade we would see fewer cancers and less heart disease.'”

That acknowledgment is significant, since American anti-smoking groups (like American public health agencies) generally have been hostile toward harm reduction via smokeless tobacco, muddying or denying the product’s clear health advantages. By contrast, Britain’s Action on Smoking and Health has supported tobacco harm reduction for years.

Why was last week’s story more scientifically accurate that the usual Times take on smokeless tobacco? Probably because it ran in the business section instead of the health section.

Source: Jacob Sullum, Reason Magazine

[Thanks to Brad Rodu and Bill Piper for the tip about the RCP report.]

Smoker Requests Jail Time To Quit Habit

A Des Moines woman has volunteered to spend time in jail in order to quit smoking.

Jodi Perkins said she’s desperate to stop her 23-year habit.

Perkins said she has tried just about everything to stop, such as going to the doctor, using nicotine patches and chewing gum.

She said nothing has worked. “This is shameful. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know what to do. I need to be removed from the nicotine. Will power doesn’t do it for me,” Perkins said.

Perkins said she called the Polk County Jail to see if officials would allow her to spend time there so she could get the nicotine out of her system.

“I want to quit smoking real bad. I can tell when I’m outside, I’m mowing and I’m doing activities it’s getting harder to breathe. I’m still in my 30s and I can’t catch my breath,” she said.

Perkins said she offered to pay whatever fee might be required. She said she knows a lot of people would not understand her actions. “It is a sickness — an addiction,” Perkins said.

She said she’s willing to go to the extreme by giving up her vacation and freedom to get the nicotine out of her body. Jail officials told Perkins that she cannot go to jail unless there is a warrant out for her or a court order issued. She said a jail official told her she had never had someone request jail time before.

“I’m a former smoker. I know what that’s like,” said Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Neil Shultz.

Photo of Jail CellHe said a lot of people are desperate to quit smoking, but that the Polk Count Jail is not set up to do that. “It’s a huge liability on our part,” he said.

Perkins said two to three days in jail away from cigarettes could help.

“I don’t want to keep contaminating my self, my family (or) my dog with the nicotine,” she said.

Source: KCCI News, Des Moines, Iowa

Cigarettes are Like a Dirty Syringe

If cigarettes were made without nicotine in its natural form or added to make them more addictive, few people would smoke them, says Prof. Peter Hajek, a clinical psychologist in London who specializes in treating and researching tobacco dependence.

Hajek, here on his third visit to participate in a Kfar Hamaccabiah conference on smoking prevention and cessation organized by the Israel Cancer Association and other groups, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Thursday that nicotine itself is “relatively harmless.

It is the tar, numerous carcinogens and other rubbish in smoke that cause such great damage to health. Except for pregnant women, whose fetuses can be harmed by nicotine, cigarettes are like injecting a relatively safe drug into yourself with a dirty syringe.”

Picture of InjectionThe Moravian (Czechoslovakian)-born expert, who heads the psychology section at Barts and the London teaching hospital at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, said that oral and tactile gratification supposedly felt by smokers with cigarettes in their mouths and fingers play “less of a role than we thought.

In fact, the main effect of smoking is to counteract withdrawal symptoms. When smokers addicted to nicotine are between cigarettes, they suffer discomfort and may be irritable and restless. The ‘enjoyment’ they feel is getting the nicotine again to combat these withdrawal symptoms.” Oral and tactile gratification could more safely be provided by holding carrot sticks or blowing bubbles, Hajek joked.

Nicotine-free cigarettes are available on the British market, but very few people buy them because it is the nicotine to which smokers are addicted, and without this drug, smokers get no satisfaction. Many drug companies are working on nicotine-delivery systems that could replace cigarettes, as there is a lot of money in this.

“Most people know smoking is dangerous and want to quit, but many find it very difficult.,” said Hajek, a consultant on smoking cessation to the World Health Organization who himself once smoked as a student “for social reasons, as a decorative smoker who thought they make me look good.”

Commercial firms that claim to cure smokers’ addiction may mislead customers, as there are “many different ways to calculate the success rate. If they send out letters a year afterward to 100 people, and only 10 respond, with nine saying they are still not smoking, it doesn’t mean they have a 90% success rate.

The 90 people who did not respond are likely to be ashamed to say they have relapsed. People want to be nice and say they quit. However, in our studies at Bart and The London, we do validation. We don’t just take their word for it but take a blood sample or have them breathe into a device.

We do it the hard way. Of 500,000 British people a year who are treated for nicotine addiction, half stop smoking for six months, and 15% for a year. This figure might not seem like a lot, but giving up smoking is one of the most significant existing means to improve health.”

About a quarter of the British population – similar to Israel’s – smoke. Britain’s National Health Service offers free smoking cessation courses – but these are not included in Israel’s basket of health services: “It is a treatment like any other, so it should be free here,” he said.

As only a small minority of smokers manage to quit on their own, there are a variety of methods, including psychological support and medications to help. The newest drug, called Champix, is according to some studies more effective than Zyban, which has been available for several years. There are also nicotine chewing gums and patches to help those who have quit to be weaned from their addiction.

But tobacco addiction is not treated like a bacterial infection in which you just take a penicillin pill, he said. “You have to change behavior. Just taking Champix, Zyban or a nicotine patch is not enough. You need psychological support.” The best guarantee of success, he said, “is if the smoker is determined to stop.”

Source: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, THE JERUSALEM POST

Chantix Helps Smokers Quit

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The first time Brian Kelly quit smoking, in the 1990s, he had nicotine cravings like crazy even though he was using a nicotine patch and nicotine gum.

This year when Kelly decided again to try to kick the habit he returned to the patch and gum, until he read on the Internet about Chantix, a prescription anti-smoking pill approved a year ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“It’s like a wonder drug as far as I’m concerned,” said Kelly, 63, of Martinsburg.

Kelly said he quit smoking in three weeks – a date he set through a quit-smoking class at Waynesboro Hospital in Pennsylvania – and didn’t face the withdrawal symptoms that occurred the first time he quit.

Chantix, made by Pfizer, blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain so people don’t get a buzz from smoking, nor do they suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop smoking, said Dr. Paul Quesenberry, a family doctor with Cumberland Valley Family Physicians in Chambersburg, Pa.

“It’s been a really amazing addition to our regimen for getting people to stop smoking,” Quesenberry said.

Still, it’s not an immediate fix.

How long it takes to stop smoking with Chantix varies from patient to patient, but usually it takes weeks to months because people have to learn to break the habit as well, Quesenberry said.

According to Pfizer’s Web site, smokers should start taking Chantix one week before their quit-smoking date so the drug can build up in the body. They can keep smoking during that first week.

Dr. Dwight Wooster, a pulmonologist with Newman, Wooster, Kass, Bradford, McCormack & Hurwitz at Robinwood Medical Center, said he recommends his patients try to reduce how much they smoke before they start Chantix. Of the 22 patients for whom he has prescribed Chantix, about 17 already have quit smoking.

Most people take Chantix for up to 12 weeks, according to Pfizer.

The most common side effects include gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and constipation, and difficulty sleeping, doctors said.

Quesenberry said most people he’s prescribed Chantix to haven’t had problems with side effects.

Most people who experience side effects will tolerate them because the benefit of quitting smoking is so huge, he said.

Dr. Sanjay Saxena, a family doctor with Hagerstown Family Medicine, said he’s had patients ask about Chantix, whether they’ve tried other smoking cessation tools or not, because they’ve heard how successful the drug has been for others.

Health benefits

Kelly began smoking at age 7 when he was living in Brooklyn, N.Y., because it was a tough neighborhood and smoking was cool.

When he quit the first time, Kelly had been smoking as many as 4 1/2 packs a day.

He began smoking again around 2001 after several deaths in his family and got up to a pack and a half a day.

Since he quit with Chantix, Kelly feels terrific, he said.

His breathing has improved, and he no longer has a smoker’s cough.

The carbon monoxide that gets into the bloodstream from smoking can lead to heart disease and strokes, Quesenberry said.

Smoking also can lead to chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and cancers, including lung, mouth, esophagus, and cervical and bladder cancers, he said.

Lesa Spedden, 32, of Chambersburg, Pa., took Chantix to quit smoking so she would have more energy and to be an example for her children.

“I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say, ‘Now, you can’t do this.’ Meanwhile, I’m there huffing and puffing in front of them,” Spedden said.

Spedden said she truly enjoyed smoking and wanted something to help her not enjoy the habit. Chantix helped curb that desire. After taking the drug a few days, smoking cigarettes developed an unpleasant, bitter taste, she said.

Smoking didn’t appeal to her anymore.

The most immediate benefit is getting rid of the expense of smoking, Quesenberry said.

Chantix can be pricey and sometimes health insurance doesn’t cover it, but the flip side is the expense of cigarettes, Quesenberry said.

A one-month supply – a 1-milligram Chantix pill per day – would cost $60 to $65 without insurance coverage, said David Russo, pharmacist and owner of Russo’s Rx in Hagerstown.

Other options

Other options for smokers wanting to quit include the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler and the anti-smoking drug Zyban.

Saxena said Chantix has been more successful than other treatments, but there’s still a place for those other treatments. He’s had at least one patient who experienced bad nausea with Chantix.

For that person, he might recommend the nicotine inhaler, which gives smokers nicotine as well as something to do with their hands rather than handle a cigarette or turn to more food as a substitution.

Quesenberry said he typically hasn’t recommended the nicotine patch because it causes skin irritation, and smokers usually don’t like it because it doesn’t deliver that quick nicotine buzz as a cigarette does. Instead, the patch provides a slow release of nicotine.

While the taste of nicotine gum isn’t pleasant, it does a better job of providing a nicotine buzz, like a cigarette, he said.

Quesenberry said he would prescribe Zyban for smokers with significant co-existing anxiety or depression because the pill is actually an anti-anxiety medicine, marketed for the latter purpose as Wellbutrin. The drug, generically known as bupropion, was approved by the FDA in May 1997 as an anti-smoking medication and marketed under the name Zyban.

If someone specifically asked for Zyban because they knew someone who quit with it, Quesenberry would prescribe the person that drug, he said.

Wanting to quit is a big factor in succeeding quitting, local doctors said.

Quesenberry said he won’t prescribe Zyban or Chantix for smokers who don’t want to quit but say they want an anti-smoking drug because a family member wants them to quit, because they have to want to quit themselves.

A bit of psychology is involved, he said.

“Once it’s in the heart and they want to do it, it doesn’t take much. It’s getting people to where they’re ready to stop that’s the big deal sometimes,” Quesenberry said.

“If you’re not motivated, no medication is going to work,” Wooster said.

For more information about Chantix, check out this Web site:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s patient information sheet for Chantix: www.fda.gov/cder/drug/InfoSheets/patient/vareniclinePIS.htm.

Source: JULIE E. GREENE, The Herald-Mail Company

Try Acupuncture to Quit Smoking

Bloomington, Minn. – Millions of dollars are spent each year on smoking cessation treatments, including the nicotine patch and hypnosis.

But on smoking cessation treatment being used more often may be the ticket to a smoke-free future.

Studies suggest that acupuncture may aid in the fight against smoking addiction by relaxing the body and reducing cravings.

By using an acupuncture needle to stimulate certain points on the body, pain-modulation endorphins are released,” says Sher Demeter, LAc, associate dean for the Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Bloomington, Minn.

Picture of Ear Acupuncture“This is often compared to experiencing a runner’s high which can also cause a mood-lifting effect. Not only can acupuncture be used to treat problems associated with chronic pain, headaches, digestion, insomnia, irritability and nervousness, but it also has been used as a smoking cessation tool.”

Demeter adds that acupuncture may help a smoker relax and feel less anxious, reduce the cravings for nicotine, decrease the frequency of withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, and help eliminate toxins in the body.

“A person should commit between six and eight weeks of treatment while visiting two or three times a week. It can take a month for the body to clear its system of toxins so it is important to reevaluate after a few weeks,” say Demeter.

Because smoking is an addiction, quitting is not as simple as getting a few acupuncture treatments and then never craving another cigarette. “The success rate is similar to other smoking cessation treatments and programs, in order for the treatment to be effective, you have to make positive lifestyle changes and maintain those changes by using your own free will,” says Demeter.

“You can not quit smoking with just acupuncture but it can help reduce the nicotine cravings by reducing the physiological and emotional stress associated with quitting smoking.

For additional resources on smoking cessation, visit http://www.nwhealth.edu/nns, a Web site focusing on natural approaches to health and wellness hosted by Northwestern Health Sciences University.

Source: Spooner Advocate

For the Record

In case I’ve misled anybody in any of my posts… I do not disdain the patch.

I quit using the patch. I used it as directed, for all 3 levels. I’ve been quit 1 Year, 2 Months, 1 Week, 13 hours, 3 minutes and 59 seconds.

Thanks to the patch, somewhere in the world there are 4,746 cigarettes that were not smoked by me. I don’t see anything wrong with quitting CT if you can do it.

I don’t see anything wrong with any method now available legally in this country. If you find a way that works for you – use it.

As for me, I owe my monetary savings of $1,307.78 and “life” savings of 1 Month, 5 Days, 6 hours and 6 minutes to the strength the patch gave me.

I have never intended in any way to say quitting by means of the patch is bad. I will say that nicotine is a powerful, mind-numbing drug. I’ll shout that part from the rooftops. And I’ll also go so far as to say that nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug at that.

But quitting by means of the patch is, in my opinion, the best thing that has happened to me health-wise since my children were born.

~GareK