by Sugar Team July 27, 2022 8 min read
If you’ve decided to stop smoking, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll go over various tools available to help you on your journey.
From over-the-counter products to pharmaceuticals, tools new and old, we’ve compiled the most effective options to help you quit tobacco products, all in one place. We’ll start with some of the more common nicotine replacement therapy products that you might have seen around, and then move on to some lesser known smoking cessation tools. Before reading any further, make sure to consult with your doctor before using any of the products mentioned in this article.
Considerations Before You Quit Smoking
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine Nasal Sprays & Inhalers
Combining Tools when Quitting Smoking
Smoking Cessation Support
You're here for the right reason: stop smoking. Nobody wants lung cancer or heart disease, or any of the other downsides to smoking tobacco (and there are a lot of them!).
When deciding which tool is best for you to help you quit smoking, there are a few major considerations. As you plan for your last cigarette, make sure to educate yourself, and to be prepared in order to increase your chances of success.
Price may be a factor that you need to consider when you embark on your journey. Some of the tools that we’ve listed below will be more expensive than others. Weighing all of the pros and cons will help you successfully plan your path to quitting smoking.
Some of the products require a prescription, and so you won’t be able to pick them up without discussing them with a doctor. And some of the products listed here contain nicotine, which does not necessarily help with nicotine addiction, but may very well help you with preventing lung disease.
Still with us? Throw away your cigarettes, focus on the health benefits you'll experience, and here we go!
After you quit smoking, you'll find that you're experiencing intense cravings. For most people, these cravings are accompanied by irritableness, anxiety, restlessness, and increased appetite.
Besides just being addicted to nicotine, you may also be addicted to the habit of smoking, which will contribute to your nicotine withdrawal. This may mean that the oral fixations built up over smoking for many years may make it more difficult to quit smoking. Some of the products listed below will help more than others to alleviate your addiction to tobacco use.
It's paramount to set a quit date, a specific time frame where you begin your journey, and a quit plan, a strategy that you will employ in order to accomplish your goals. Like anything in life, proper planning and execution will allow you to be successful in everything that you set out to do.
One of the most common smoking cessation tools that you’ll see over the counter is nicotine gum. It’s used by chewing the gum initially to “unlock” nicotine to the surface area, and then pressing the gum surface against your gums or cheeks. The tissue in your mouth is ultra-absorbent, and allows the nicotine to penetrate into your blood stream through your gums.
They usually come in two nicotine levels based on how often you smoke cigarettes. 2mg is the lower level of nicotine for moderate smokers, while 4mg is more ideal for heavier smokers.
Nicotine gum is a great tool to stop smoking because it can be combined with some of the other tools we’ll discuss later on. It’s also mostly odorless (aside from the flavors), and no one can tell that you’re using it to help with your fix. Another benefit of using nicotine gum is that it can help for those out there who have oral fixations built up over the years from smoking cigarettes.
Using nicotine gum to quit cigarettes should only be used as a tool to help cut down on your nicotine use, and not a replacement. Because there is still nicotine present in nicotine gum, that means you’re still putting that addictive chemical into your body. Eventually, you’ll need to taper off these products if you’re serious about being free from tobacco addiction.
One of the downsides to nicotine gum that you should be aware of is that it has a relatively expensive price tag. Many online products require you to spend at least $30-$50 for a box of gum.
Lozenges are similar to nicotine gum in that they still contain nicotine, and help you taper your nicotine intake as you wean off cigarettes. Experts warn not to use nicotine lozenges for more than 12 weeks.
To use them, put one into your mouth and allow the lozenge to slowly dissolve over 20 to 30 minutes. As they dissolve, your body will absorb the nicotine, helping with tobacco withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine lozenges are generally less expensive than nicotine gum per piece, though be careful to follow instructions when using this product.
Another popular and common tobacco cessation therapy tool is nicotine patches. They can be found at your local drug store or pharmacy, and are fairly cost efficient. For those who don’t need to satisfy an oral fixation, nicotine patches on their own can be effective in managing tobacco cravings.
Just like nicotine gum and lozenges, nicotine patches are low-dose nicotine delivery tools that help manage your tobacco cravings when you stop smoking. However, nicotine is still an addictive substance that you’re putting into your body, and don’t necessarily help you eliminate your addiction.
Each patch can be used for up to 24 hours, and can be combined with nicotine gum or lozenges, if needed.
These are one of our favorite smoking cessation tools because they allow the user to quit tobacco without quitting smoking. Additionally, studies show that CBD may significantly help reduce nicotine cravings without requiring the presence of nicotine.
CBD Cigarettes are similar to traditional cigarettes, except they’re rolled with hemp flower instead of tobacco. The idea behind them is that the user can continue their smoking habit while weaning off of tobacco and nicotine.
The owners of Sugar first started their hemp cigarette line because they were able to successfully quit smoking by using a combination of hemp cigarettes and nicotine gum. This allowed them to cut down on smoking gradually without actually smoking tobacco. The nicotine gum helped take off the edge of eliminating nicotine cold turkey.
Additionally, CBD has many other potential therapeutic properties on its own. With these benefits in consideration, this is one of our top three picks to help smokers reduce their tobacco consumption.
These are also potentially great for quitting smoking. You get a bit of that oral inhalation effect combined with CBD, which studies show helps with reducing nicotine cravings.
There are two main types of CBD inhalers, nasal and oral. The nose inhalers are manufactured similarly to the ones that help relieve nasal congestion. Oral CBD inhalers are just like your every day asthma inhaler, only CBD is the primary ingredient instead of a prescribed medicine.
Studies have shown that CBD oral inhalers may reduce cigarette consumption significantly, though more research must be done on this. They’re not cheap, but may be worth a try.
Vapes, or e cigarettes, have taken the world by storm this past decade, and innovators have tried putting anything and everything into vapes to see what works. CBD vapes were an obvious progression in the vape movement.
Similar to CBD cigarettes and inhalers, CBD vapes may be a solid option for attempting to quit tobacco. We’ve seen some negative reviews about CBD vapes not giving people any effects, though that may be a quality or dosing issue. CBD is known to have noticeable effects for helping with relaxation and sleep.
One pro about CBD vapes is that they can come in a variety of flavors, just like other types of e cigarettes. On the other hand, we’ve found little reviews and research about the efficacy and quality of CBD vapes on the market today.
Nicotine e cigarettes have been one of the biggest threats to the tobacco industry. Because nicotine vapes give the user a strong nicotine hit in a similar manner to smoking, many people have found success in quitting tobacco cigarettes by transitioning to vapes.
A major con to nicotine vapes is that you’re still ingesting large amounts of nicotine when vaping, and simply put, vaping often times becomes another addiction. There are conflicting studies showing the safety of nicotine vapes, so please be aware of the risks when picking up this habit.
If your goal is to be free from both smoking and nicotine addiction, then nicotine vapes may not be the best product for you. However, nicotine vapes can be an effective tool if you’re simply trying to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.
According to the CDC, nasal sprays act very quickly and can be effective in nicotine replacement therapy. However, many people hate the feeling of spraying things up their nose, as it causes nose irritation, and this is one of the major setbacks. Nicotine nasal sprays also require a prescription from your doctor for stopping smoking.
Nicotine oral inhalers are another prescription medicine that you might be able to get from your doctor, among some other drugs. They look like a small plastic tube, and you puff on it frequently throughout the day to curb your smoking habit.
We haven’t had any personal experience with either nicotine oral inhalers or nasal sprays, since they’re prescription medicines. They may be something you’d want to discuss with your doctor.
This prescription drug is in a class of medications called antidepressants, and works by increasing certain activity in the brain to reduce cravings. Bupropion, also known as Zyban, comes in tablet form, and is taken orally three to four times a day, and is known as an effective tobacco smoking cessation medication.
Some side effects of Zyban can be pretty intense, so make sure to discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of using this medication.
This medicine is another prescription drug that is used along with education and counseling to help smokers kick their habit. It works by blocking the pleasurable effects of nicotine on the brain. Varenicline is an oral tablet taken once or twice a day.
Quitting smoking is challenging, but many people have done it before you. One effective way that we’ve seen really work for others is by combining different tools on this list, such as smokeless tobacco and CBD cigarettes being used together.
Each tool may have different levels of effectiveness for different people, so one product that might work for one person may not work for you.
We’ve seen people immediately drop cigarettes for a nicotine vape, and then slowly cut down on vaping using nicotine gum or lozenges. The founders of Sugar used CBD cigarettes combined with nicotine gum to successfully quit smoking.
Ultimately, you’re going to need to figure out which products work best for you. The best way to do that is to try different options and use the ones that feel most comfortable and natural. Be sure to consult with your doctor before trying any of these products, or combining them. Safety first, and good luck! We’re rooting for you.
Both the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society provide education and support when you decide to have your last cigarette. Lung disease, lung cancer, and heart disease are huge risks for smokers, and it's okay to look for help.
Tobacco withdrawal symptoms are a serious challenge to overcome, and your doctor is also there to support you.
There are numerous health benefits that you'll experience once you quit smoking, and we're glad that you showed up.
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