How Nicotine Addiction Works
Using tobacco is more than just a series of "bad habits." It's a physical addiction. So let's talk about addiction in a real way.
You may not realize how nicotine has actually changed your brain. In the videos below, Dr. Richard Hurt, Founding Director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, explains the physical nature of addiction to nicotine and just how powerful it can be. He also describes how medication can DOUBLE your chances of quitting and helps you pick the right one for you.
Some people don't want to use medication to quit, 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. Using medication can make quitting more comfortable and less stressful. And there’s no shame in using it -- just like how you’d tape up a blister while you’re out on a hike, so you can enjoy the journey and get where you want to go.
Quitting Medications: Non-Nicotine Medication
You also may want to try one of two non-nicotine quit smoking medications in addition to a nicotine replacement therapy. One is called bupropion (brand name: Zyban®). It has an effect on the nicotine receptors in your brain through a chemical associated with the pleasure of using tobacco. The other is called varenicline (brand name: Chantix™). This medication acts like nicotine and fools the receptors in the brain into believing they've already had their dose of nicotine. Prescriptions are needed for both medications. Check out Dr. Hurt's advice in this video.
Nicotine Addiction and Quit Medications
Next, consider quit medications that may work for you, as well as alternative options.