The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 5 million people worldwide die every year from smoking or the complications from smoking.

The best way to quit smoking is never to start smoking or prevent yourself from ever starting.

But if you are already a smoker, here are some tips and alternative ways to quit:

  • Nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum, lozenges, nasal spray or the medications bupropion (wellbutrin) or varenicline (Chantix).
  • Oral fixation replacement. Chew on things like gum, toothpicks, mints and lozenges. Look for sugar free ones to avoid excess calories.
  • Hypnosis or hypnotherapy. You must be open to this method. Make sure you seek a licensed therapist.
  • Acupuncture can ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Herbal remedies. Valerian root, St John’s wort, oat straw, lobelia and peppermint tea to name a few. All are mostly calming and relieve the anxiety of nicotine withdrawal.

I do not recommend alternative cigarettes as each has it’s own hazards very similar to regular cigarettes:

  • Clove cigarettes contain a whopping 60% tobacco and only 40% clove.
  • Herbal cigarettes have some of the same toxins of regular cigarettes like tar and carbon dioxide.
  • Light cigarettes are not safer as most smokers take deeper breaths with these or will smoke more to begin with, worsening there addiction.
  • Electronic cigarettes have the same carcinogens and toxic chemicals including diethylene glycol (antifreeze).

The Best Way To Stop Smoking Permanently:

  • Make a game plan. I tell my patients to set a specific quit date. Make it one that has some significance, birthday, holiday or anniversary.
  • Make a list of reasons to quit or motivating factors. It does not matter what they are, just write them down. You must be ready to quit!
  • Nicotine replacement therapy is critical for the nicotine withdrawal.
  • Get help. Support groups and help from spouse, family, friends or even professional help groups can give you the courage to get over the hump!

Always remember, it is never too late nor too early to stop smoking!

Ask your Doctor for help and make sure you are truly committed to quitting as this will increase your chances of becoming a successful Nonsmoker!