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Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

nicotine replacement therapy patches-and-nrt

Treatment: This involves the smoker swapping cigarettes for nicotine gum, patches, inhalators, puffers, nasal sprays, mouth sprays, or lozenges. The therapy therefore provides nicotine but without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals found in smoking. The aim is that over time the smoker or vaper moves completely to NRT and then phases out the gum or patches to become free of nicotine. In the UK, NRT is initially obtained via prescription from local NHS quit smoking services and is given for a 3 month period after which NRT must be purchased direct from the chemist/pharmacy.

Side Effects: These can include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, skin irritation, insomnia, and nightmares.

Who can use it: Most adults and children over 12 years of age can try this but anyone with a heart or circulatory condition, or on regular medication should check with their doctor. Anyone breast-feeding or pregnant should seek medical advice.

Comment: The problem is that the term NRT is a misnomer. Nicotine is not being replaced, it’s being maintained and since nicotine is a highly addictive poison, there’s nothing therapeutic about it! In fact, very few smokers using NRT are successful in quitting altogether in anything but the very short term2-10. Many go back to smoking or vaping and those that don’t have to continue to pay for the nicotine products. It is also quite common for people to continue to smoke as well as take NRT.

Quitting Smoking with E-cigarettes / Vaping

Quitting Smoking with E-cigarettes / Vaping

Treatment: This involves the smoker swapping cigarettes for an electronic device which delivers the nicotine in a vapour form. Nicotine is therefore provided but without the tar or carbon monoxide found in smoking. The aim is that over time the smoker moves completely to e-cigarettes and then phases out the e-cigarettes to become free of nicotine or simply carries on using e-cigarettes for the rest of their lives.

Side Effects: The vaping juice contains many chemicals including nicotine and to date there has not been sufficient research into the long term effects of vaping on the lungs and body. However, in recent months there have been studies published that suggest e-cigarettes harm the cardiovascular system13 of healthy young adults; increase risk of myocardial infection14; may impair the cells lining the lungs15; may hamper the lungs’ ability to fend off infections16 and liquids vaporised by e-cigarettes are chemically unstable and form new chemicals that irritate the airways and may have other toxic effects16. It’s likely that future research will identify further side-effects over the coming years.

Who can use it: Most adults can try this but anyone with a heart, respiratory, or circulatory condition, or on regular medication should check with their doctor.

Comment: The problem is that E-cigarettes are just another nicotine delivery system but with currently unknown side effects. There continues to be a significant on-going cost and you are not free of nicotine addiction while opening yourself up to unknown long-term side effects. It has also been noted that many people continue to smoke and vape, and therefore end up increasing their nicotine consumption but without any decrease in health risk compared to someone who just smokes.

Read more about How to Stop Vaping with Allen Carr’s Easyway

IQOS Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Products

Stop Smoking using Heat not burn / IQOS

Treatment: This involves the smoker swapping cigarettes for an electronic device which heats rather than burns processed tobacco. The heating process generates a nicotine-containing vapor. Since the tobacco does not burn, the levels of harmful chemicals are somewhat reduced compared to cigarette smoke. The aim is that over time the smoker moves completely to heated tobacco products and then phases them out to become free of nicotine or simply carries on using the products for the rest of their lives.

Side Effects: The vapour contains many chemicals including nicotine and to date there has not been sufficient research into the long-term effects of heat-not-burn devices. It’s assumed that these products are even more damaging to health than e-cigarettes. It’s likely that future research will identify further side-effects over the coming years.

Who can use it: Most adults can try this but anyone with a heart, respiratory, or circulatory condition, or on regular medication should check with their doctor.

Comment: The problem is that heat-not-burn devices are just another nicotine delivery system but with currently unknown side effects. There continues to be a significant on-going cost and you are not free of nicotine addiction while opening yourself up to unknown long-term side effects. It has also been noted that many people continue to smoke and use heat-not-burn devices, and therefore end up increasing their nicotine consumption but without any decrease in health risk compared to someone who just smokes.

Read more about How to Stop Vaping with Allen Carr’s Easyway

Varenicline (Champix / Chantix) medicine

Stop Smoking using Champix / Chantix /Varenicline

Treatment:Champix in Europe or Chantix in USA is a well known quit smoking medication which requires a prescription due to the long list of possible side effects. How does Chantix work? The theory is that it reduces the craving for nicotine and blocks the reward pathways. One or two of the quit smoking pills are taken a day, or as otherwise directed by the prescribing physician, starting one or two weeks before the planned quit date. Treatment normally lasts for 3 months.

Side Effects:There are often side effects including feeling and being sick, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), sometimes with vivid dreams, dry mouth, constipation or diarrhoea, headaches, drowsiness, and dizziness. 

Who can use it: You must be over 18 years old and pregnant women, airline pilots and other professions are not allowed to use Champix. Prescription only.

Comment: It’s quite a serious drug to take and is only available on prescription. For those who would prefer a drug-free approach it’s unlikely to be an attractive proposition.2-10.

Bupropion (Zyban) medicine

Stop Smoking using Zyban / Buproprion

Treatment: This quit smoking pill is a widely prescribed drug that was initially used to help with depression. It is therefore actually an anti-depressant drug and in theory it reduces cravings and other withdrawal effects so helping smokers to quit smoking. One or two tables are taken a day, or otherwise directed by the prescribing physician, starting one or two weeks before the planned quit date. Treatment lasts for around 2 months.

Side Effects: This smoking cessation medication can have side effects such as dry mouth, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), headaches, feeling and being sick, constipation, difficulty concentrating, and dizziness.

Who can use it: You must be over 18 years old and it is not allowed for anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. This quit smoking medication is also not suitable for those people living with epilepsy, bipolar disorder or eating disorders. Prescription only.

Comment: It’s quite a serious drug to take and is only available on prescription. For those who would prefer a drug-free approach it’s unlikely to be an attractive proposition2-10.

Allen Carr’s Easyway

Group-Stop-Drinking-Seminar-London

Treatment: The world’s most popular and successful way to quit smoking with an estimated 30 million people helped worldwide. It is often described as a cognitive behavioural therapy, or “talking therapy” (or self-help in its written form) which engages with smokers and has them correct their understanding of what causes them to smoke. At the live seminars it takes around 5 hours and the smoker carries on smoking until they feel ready to throw their cigarettes away.

There are absolutely no shock or scare tactics, and no uncomfortable discussion of health implications. Smokers know all about those already. Instead, the Therapist helps the smoker dismantle all their arguments and reasons “for” smoking, leaving them to feel happy and relieved to “get rid of smoking” – rather than “giving it up” with a reluctant feeling of sacrifice – they feel genuinely delighted to be free.

Side Effects: None

Who can use it: Anyone

Comment: There are no side effects, it is clinically proven and it is entirely drug-free, with no need to use any nicotine products such as e-cigarettes, patches or gum and no need for any other smoking cessation drugs.

In a recent study, funded by the Irish Government, it was shown to be nearly twice as successful as the Irish quit smoking service (Quit.ie)12 and in another study by the University of Vienna the success rate after a year was seen to be 51% 12. There is also a full money back guarantee.

Find the right quit vaping and smoking program for you

No substitutes or medications

The seminar only takes 5 hours & video program 2.5 hours

No cravings
No weight gain

No changing your daily habits

No withdrawal symptoms

Money–back guarantee*

(seminars only)

Comparison table of quit smoking treatments

Comparison table of quit smoking methods

(click the method to read more about it)

Method  Money Back Guarantee? Nictoine or Drug Free? Potential Side Effects? Allowed during pregnancy? Initial Cost? Ongoing Cost? Method 
Allen Carr’s Easyway12 Yes Yes No Yes Yes – Medium No Allen Carr’s Easyway12
E-cigarettes / Vaping2-10 No No Yes Yes – Under Advice Yes – Medium Yes – Lifelong E-cigarettes / Vaping2-10
Heat not burn / IQOS2-10 No No Yes Yes – Under Advice Yes – Medium Yes – Lifelong Heat not burn / IQOS2-10
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (Patches, Gum)2-10 No No Yes Yes – Under Advice Yes – Medium Yes – Potentially Lifelong Nicotine Replacement Therapy (Patches, Gum)2-10
Champix / Chantix / Varenicline2-10 No No Yes No Yes – Medium No Champix / Chantix / Varenicline2-10
Zyban / Buproprion2-10 No No Yes No Yes – Medium No Zyban / Buproprion2-10

Click to see natural quit smoking methods not involving nicotine

Other useful quit smoking resources

To understand the addiction in more detail, its harmful effects and the benefits to quitting click one of the links below:

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Take a few minutes to fill out our online consultation and we will get back to you with our personalised recommendation.

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References:

  1. Lancaster T, Stead LF. Self-help interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001118. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD001118.pub2
  2. Stead LF. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012 Art. No.: CD000146. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.
  3. Hughes J, Rennard S. Efficacy of Varenicline to Prompt Quit Attempts in Smokers Not Currently Trying to Quit: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal. September 2011
  4. Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. June 2000.
  5. Lancaster T, Stead LF. Self-help interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001118. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD001118.pub2.
  6. Wu P, Wilson K, Dimoulas P, et al. Effectiveness of smoking cessation therapies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health 2006; 6: 300.
  7. Cahill K, Stead LF, Lancaster T. Nicotine receptor partial agonists for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD006103. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006103.pub2.
  8. Hughes JR, Stead LF, Lancaster T. Antidepressants for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000031. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000031.pub3.
  9. Crane R. The most addictive drug, the most deadly substance: smoking cessation tactics for the busy clinician. Prim Care Clin Office Pract 2007; 34: 117-35.
  10. GlaxoSmithKline. Zyban SR Prescribing Information. May 2007. http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_zyban.pdf
  11. Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation Barnes J, Dong CY, McRobbie H, Walker N, Mehta M, Stead LF Cochrane review 2010, issue 10
  12. In a 2 to 5 year post session study the success rate was seen to be 51%. Moshammer H, Neuberger M, Kong term success of short smoking cessation seminars supported by occupational health care. Addictive Behaviours 32 (2007) 1486-1493.
    National 12 month Clinical Trial finds Allen Carr’s Easyway almost twice as effective as other smoking cessation methods available on Health Service. Keogan, S., Li, S., Clancy L. (2018) Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking – A randomised clinical trial. BMJ Tobacco Control, Issue 4 Volume 28.
    UK Clinical Trial finds Allen Carr’s Easyway as good as, if not better than, the Gold Standard NHS Programme which uses NRT & 1-1 psychological support. Frings D, Albery IP, Moss AC, Brunger H, Burghela M, White S, and Wood KV (2020) Comparison of Allen Carr’s Easyway program with a specialist behavioural and pharmacological smoking cessation support service: A randomised controlled trial. Addiction 115: doi: 10.1111/add.14897
  13. Acute Effects of Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Inhalation on Vascular Function Detected at Quantitative MRI Alessandra Caporale. RSNA Radiology Vol.293, No1
  14. Electronic Cigarette Use and Myocardial Infarction Among Adults in the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Journal of the American Heart Association. 2019;8:e012317 D Bhatta and S Glantz
  15. Madison, M. C., et al. (2019). Electronic cigarettes disrupt lung lipid homeostasis and innate immunity independent of nicotine. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 10.1172, JCI128531
  16. Electronic cigarettes disrupt lung lipid homeostasis and innate immunity independent of nicotine M Madison, C Landers Journal of Clinical Investigation2019 JCI128531
  17. Hanno C Erythropel, Sairam V Jabba, Tamara M DeWinter, Melissa Mendizabal, Paul T Anastas, Sven E Jordt, Julie B Zimmerman. Formation of flavorant–propylene Glycol Adducts With Novel Toxicological Properties in Chemically Unstable E-Cigarette Liquids. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/ntr/nty192

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