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Health Condition

Smoking Cessation

About This Condition

While cigarette smoking is declining in many Western countries, more than 20% of US adults continue to smoke.1 However, studies show that 70% of them would like to quit.2,3 In many countries, major public health efforts are in place to encourage smokers to quit.4,5 Since many attempts to quit smoking are not permanent, it may be important to take advantage of a variety of strategies to increase the chances of success.6,7

Symptoms

Smoking cessation can result in improved health, including reduced risk of heart and lung diseases, many cancers, pregnancy complications, and other health problems. Soon after quitting, most smokers notice that coughing declines and that ordinary activities no longer result in shortness of breath. Also, smokers find that their teeth stain less easily, their breath is fresher, and food tastes better as their senses of taste and smell return to normal. However, smoking cessation can lead to short-term symptoms such as irritability, depression, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, headaches, and fatigue, due to the physical effects of nicotine withdrawal and the psychological effects of giving up a habit. Quitting smoking often leads to weight gain as well.

Other Therapies

Individuals who want to quit smoking cigarettes will have better success if they decide on a quit date and change their routines around typical smoking cues, such as coffee breaks, meals, boredom, and sexual activity. Absolute stopping, known as quitting “cold turkey,” is generally considered a better method than weaning off.

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cigarette smoking among adults—United States, 2003. MMWR 2005;54:509-13.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cigarette smoking among adults—United States, 1995. MMWR 1997;46:1217-20.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cigarette smoking among adults—United States, 2000. MMWR 2002;51:642-5.

4. The Tobacco Use and Dependence Clinical Practice Guideline Panel, Staff, and Consortium Representatives. A clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence: A US Public Health Service report. JAMA 2000;283:3244-54 [review].

5. Zwar N, Richmond R, Borland R, et al. Smoking cessation guidelines for Australian general practice. Aust Fam Physician 2005;34:461-6 [review].

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking cessation during previous year among adults—United States, 1990 and 1991. MMWR 1993;42:504-7.

7. Hatziandreu EJ, Pierce JP, Lefkopoulou M, et al. Quitting smoking in the United States in 1986. J Natl Cancer Inst 1990;82:1402-6.

8. Prado E, Maes M, Piccoli LG, et al. N-acetylcysteine for therapy-resistant tobacco use disorder: a pilot study. Redox Rep 2015;20:215–22.

9. Dwoskin LP, Crooks PA. A novel mechanism of action and potential use for lobeline as a treatment for psychostimulant abuse. Biochem Pharmacol 2002;63:89-98 [review].

10. Wren RC, Ed. Potter's Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Saffron Walden, Essex, England: C.W. Daniel Company, 1988:175-6 [review].

11. Davison GC, Rosen RC. Lobeline and reduction of cigarette smoking. Psychol Reports 1972;31:443-56.

12. Stead LF, Hughes JR. Lobeline for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;(2):CD000124 [review].

13. Quattrocki E, Baird A, Yurgelun-Todd D. Biological aspects of the link between smoking and depression. Harv Rev Psychiatry 2000;8:99-110 [review].

14. Perugini M, Mahoney C, Ilivitsky V, et al. Effects of tryptophan depletion on acute smoking abstinence symptoms and the acute smoking response. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2003;74:513-22.

15. Bowen DJ, Spring B, Fox E. Tryptophan and high-carbohydrate diets as adjuncts to smoking cessation therapy. J Behav Med 1991;14:97-110.

16. Bye C, Fowle AS, Letley E, Wilkinson S. Lack of effect of Avena sativa on cigarette smoking. Nature 1974;252:580-1.

17. Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. A Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, Md: US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2000. AHRQ publication No. 00-0032.

18. Zwar N, Richmond R, Borland R, et al. Smoking cessation guidelines for Australian general practice. Aust Fam Physician 2005;34:461-6 [review].

19. Garrison MM, Christakis DA, Ebel BE, et al. Smoking cessation interventions for adolescents: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med 2003;25:363-7 [review].

20. Smedslund G, Fisher KJ, Boles SM, Lichtenstein E. The effectiveness of workplace smoking cessation programmes: a meta-analysis of recent studies. Tob Control 2004;13:197-204 [review].

21. Curry S, Thompson B, Sexton M, Omenn GS. Psychosocial predictors of outcome in a worksite smoking cessation program. Am J Prev Med 1989;5:2-7.

22. Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Hart S. Smoking cravings are reduced by self-massage. Prev Med 1999;28:28-32.

23. Wynd CA. Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. J Nurs Scholarsh 2005;37:245-50.

24. Marcus BH, Albrecht AE, King TK, et al. The efficacy of exercise as an aid for smoking cessation in women: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 1999;159:1229-34.

25. Jiang A, Cui M. Analysis of therapeutic effects of acupuncture on abstinence from smoking. J Tradit Chin Med 1994;14:56-63 [review].

26. He D, Berg JE, Hostmark AT. Effects of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction for motivated smokers. Prev Med 1997;26:208-14.

27. Waite NR, Clough JB. A single-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a simple acupuncture treatment in the cessation of smoking. Br J Gen Pract 1998;48:1487-90.

28. White AR, Rampes H, Ernst E. Acupuncture for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;CD000009 [review].

29. Williams JM, Hall DW. Use of single session hypnosis for smoking cessation. Addict Behav 1988;13:205-8

30. Abbot NC, Stead LF, White AR,et al. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;CD001008 [review].

31. Green JP, Lynn SJ. Hypnosis and suggestion-based approaches to smoking cessation: an examination of the evidence. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 2000;48:195-224 [review].

32. Bowen DJ, Spring B, Fox E. Tryptophan and high-carbohydrate diets as adjuncts to smoking cessation therapy. J Behav Med 1991;14:97-110.

33. Froom P, Melamed S, Benbassat J. Smoking cessation and weight gain. J Fam Pract 1998;46:460-4 [review].

34. Klesges RC, Meyers AW, Klesges LM, La Vasque ME. Smoking, body weight, and their effects on smoking behavior: a comprehensive review of the literature. Psychol Bull 1989;106:204-30 [review].

35. Kawachi I, Troisi RJ, Rotnitzky AG, et al. Can physical activity minimize weight gain in women after smoking cessation? Am J Public Health 1996;86:999-1004.

36. Marcus BH, Albrecht AE, King TK, et al. The efficacy of exercise as an aid for smoking cessation in women: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 1999;159:1229-34.

37. Russell PO, Epstein LH, Johnston JJ, et al. The effects of physical activity as maintenance for smoking cessation. Addict Behav 1988;13:215-8.

38. Jonsdottir D, Jonsdottir H. Does physical exercise in addition to a multicomponent smoking cessation program increase abstinence rate and suppress weight gain? An intervention study. Scand J Caring Sci 2001;15:275-82.

39. Pirie PL, McBride CM, Hellerstedt W, et al. Smoking cessation in women concerned about weight. Am J Public Health 1992;82:1238-43.

40. Hall SM, Tunstall CD, Vila KL, Duffy J. Weight gain prevention and smoking cessation: Cautionary findings. Am J Public Health 1992;82:799-803.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

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