How Nicotine Addiction Works
So you’ve learned a few things about Re-learning Habit. And you’ve made it through the first part of re-learning life without cigarettes — how to deal with all of the habits you connect with lighting up. But smoking is more than just a series of “bad habits." It's a physical addiction.
So let’s talk about re-learning what you know about addiction. Few people realize how the nicotine in cigarettes actually changes their brain. Dr. Richard Hurt from Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center is a leading expert in the field of smoking cessation. In the videos below, Dr. Hurt explains the physical nature of addiction to cigarettes and just how powerful it can be. He’ll also tell you how medication can DOUBLE your chances of quitting smoking and help you pick the right one for you. Lots of people say they don’t want to use medication to quit smoking, because they think it’s something they should do on their own with just their willpower. Or they’ve tried a medication before and don’t think it worked. If you’re one of those people, all we can say is trust us on this. Just hear what Dr. Hurt has to say and then make up your mind.
If you're not sure which medication would work best for you, talk it over with your health care provider or pharmacist. They answer questions about medications every day plus they want to see you stop smoking. They want you to be healthy. Finally, be sure to use the medication the way it's prescribed. It can be easy to get over confident if you've been smoke free for a few weeks and feel like you don't need to use it any more. This is a sure fire way to slip up. Stick with it and use the medication long enough. There's a lot of research that has gone into medications instructions to maximize your chances to stop smoking, so take advantage of it. When I'm asked the question, "How long do I need to take this medication to stop smoking," the answer is, "As long as it takes." You didn't get here in a few weeks so do not be in a hurry to go off the medication.
Video: Additional Important Things to Know
There’s nothing wrong with trying different quit smoking medications until you find the right one for you. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider to help you and answer any questions. One last piece of advice: As Dr. Hurt says in this video (above), follow the instructions in the package and use the medication for as long as they tell you to use it. And we’ll say it again — medications can DOUBLE your chances of quitting for good. Make sure they’re part of your EX quit plan.
Can't see the video? Don't stress! Dr. Hurt videos are available to view on the desktop site.