Cigarettes - The Substitution Strategy
Finding Something New
One approach to dealing with your resistance to giving up cigarettes is to substitute something for them. The substitute may occupy your hands or mouth, replace the sensation in your airway, or divert your attention and energy altogether. This section reviews methods of replacing cigarettes, other than those covered in the nicotine-replacement section.
Many smokers enjoy the oral stimulation of smoking. Chewing-gum companies occasionally focus on this fact. Some of them market their product to help smokers cope during times when they cannot light up. A number of recent advertising campaigns have emphasized this point.
Chewing gum is one of the easiest things you can do to help You quit smoking. Unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence about whether it will help you or not. Nevertheless, it is not considered harmful, so you have nothing to lose if you want to try chewing gum.
Fake cigarettes, sold in many pharmacies, are plastic imitations designed to give you something to hold. Some of them contain a fragrance or a slight minty taste. One executive from a large drug-store chain remembers that his superiors laughed when he first suggested that they carry the product. Now, it is one of their best-selling smoking-cessation aids!
These fake cigarettes may help you if you often feel like you have to keep your hands busy. They also give you something to "puff" on when you crave a cigarette. The benefit of this product is not clear. The problem is that although the fake cigarettes keep your hands busy, they may also remind you of smoking. The best that can be said of this strategy is that the cigarettes are cheap and harmless.
Some smokers say that they enjoy the distinctive sensation of smoke. This desire is confirmed by reports that smokers do not derive as much satisfaction from nicotine delivered in ways other than smoke. Some experts believe that the respiratory sensation is an important component of smoker satisfaction.
This theory was first tested by some researchers at the University of California at Los Angelesr They numbed the airways of smokers with an anaesthetic, alldwed them to smoke, and then inquired about their satisfaction. Blocking the sensation of smoke dramatically decreased the overall satisfaction of these smokers, although they were being exposed to the same amount of nicotine.
These researchers then wondered if they could find a safe substitute for the sensation of smoking that would help smokers quit. They developed a fine aerosol containing a mildly irritating but nontoxic solution of citric acid (a substance found in lemons and limes). Their research suggested that this spray simulated the sensation of cigarette smoke. Further studies showed that smokers rated the sensation of the aerosol similar to their brand of cigarettes or at least as good as a low-tar and low-nicotine cigarette. Their results suggest that the aerosol may be used by smokers trying to quit as a way of decreasing the craving for cigarettes.
Larger studies proving the benefit of a citric-acid aerosol have not yet been published in major medical journals. Therefore, the real value of this intervention remains speculative. The aerosol mist is not yet readily available. For now, this approach remains experimental, although it appears promising and may be available in the future.
Exercise And Diet
Good health practices tend to go together. Substituting regular exercise and a healthy diet for cigarettes may be a powerful contributor to your success. As you pay more attention to good health practices, smoking becomes more incompatible with your lifestyle.
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Serenity Manor East is leading alcohol and drug rehabilitation center in New York. We exist to provide a safe, nurturing, and effective course of alcohol and drug treatment, in a serene, high end environment, that will empower all who walk through our doors to go on to live a productive and happy life.