Alternative Therapies

Quitting smoking is tough. You’ll want to try different ways to quit, especially when you get frustrated. But there’s no secret way to quit smoking effortlessly. Your best bet is an approach that addresses the physical, social and behavioral aspects of smoking, such as a combination of medication and counseling. New methods you hear about might work for some people some of the time, but the combo of medication and counseling works for more people more of the time. So feel free to try new ways to quit smoking cigarettes, just don’t put all your eggs in one basket. And remember, the EX team and EX Community are always here for you. Dr. Hurt of the Mayo Clinic has provided more info about some alternative quit methods below. For more information on e-cigarettes, click here.

Cold Turkey

The “cold turkey” method of quitting smoking — quitting without any help — is common. While we encourage any attempt to quit smoking, we don’t recommend just throwing out the last pack and trying to call it quits on your own. Because studies show that 97% of cold turkey quit attempts fail within six months. We’ve found what works best is some combination of a quit smoking medication and counseling. Quitting smoking is hard. It’s okay to get help.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are designed to give you an experience that’s like smoking but without any smoke. Since they don’t burn tobacco, they’re marketed as less harmful than regular cigarettes. While it’s true that they have less cancer-causing toxins than regular cigarettes, there’s concern that some of them can have contaminants because of a lack of quality control standards. Also, while some reports suggest they might be useful to help with quitting smoking, they haven’t been approved by the FDA for this purpose. Your best bet for successfully quitting smoking is a combination of FDA-approved quit smoking medications and behavioral counseling. Get information on quit smoking medication here.

Quit Smoking Using Hypnosis

Hypnotism uses suggestion to change behavior. It’s hard to test whether it works or not, but studies suggest hypnosis doesn’t help people quit smoking. This may be because nicotine actually changes your brain chemistry, meaning nicotine addiction is just too powerful to be overcome by suggestion. We encourage any attempt to quit smoking, but we hope you’ll use proven methods that are backed by the best available research. Learn more about nicotine and your brain here.

Laser Therapy and Acupuncture to Quit Smoking

Some people say that laser therapy and acupuncture can help you to quit smoking. Laser therapy and acupuncture stimulate your body to make chemicals called endorphins, which decrease nicotine cravings. But there’s no scientific evidence to back this up. Will laser therapy or acupuncture hurt you? No. But they won’t necessarily help you stop smoking either. Quitting smoking is hard, so it makes sense to try different things. But so far, the quit smoking method that has the most scientific support is a combination of a quit smoking medication and counseling.

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