Quit Smoking Guide Chapter 8

There are many resources available to smokers nowadays to help them butt out. It is a good idea to find out what is out for you to help you in your efforts to quit smoking. Here is a list and description of some of them:

This a plastic “cigarette” that contains a peppermint-menthol flavored capsule, which you can puff away on. There is no smoke, no ashes, no nicotine, and no damage to your health. You can use E-Z Quit while cutting down after quitting. Because there’s no smoke, you can even puff away in no-smoking areas. The plastic “cigarette” lasts indefinitely, although the mint flavor disappears after three to four weeks. A 90-day supply of capsules is included when you first buy E-Z Quit. Additional capsules are available. You can order E-Z Quit from:
The Center for Self-Care Studies
3805 Stevenson Avenue
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 458-9333

This is a tiny computer (the size of a fat credit card), which is programmed to help you taper down gradually before quitting. Several weeks before your chosen quitting day, you press a button to activate the mechanism, then carry the LifeSign with you at all times. For the first week, you press the “smoke” button on the device each time you light a cigarette. Beginning on the first day of the second week, you smoke only when the computer tells you its time it’s time for a cigarette. The computer beeps each time a cigarette is allowed. It starts you at your normal smoking rate. The intervals between cigarettes get longer and longer over a period of two to four weeks immediately before your chosen quitting day. On your quit day and thereafter, the device flashes a “no smoking” symbol. For more information you can contact:
Health Innovations
13873 Park Center Road
Suite 336
Herndon, VA 22071
(800) 543-3744 or (703) 478-2824

This is a home sputum test designed to serve as an early warning system for smokers by identifying tissue damage at a time when quitting smoking can still reverse the progression of the disease. In addition to screening for lung cancer, the test looks for signs of six other biological responses to cigarette smoke. The Lung Check is designed to be repeated at regular intervals. Test results are given in a graphic format that allows the smoker to evaluate positive or negative trends in lung function. The test can thus be used by smokers to determine the extent of existing damage or by recent quitters to document improvement in lung function. The Lung Check is normally marketed directly to physicians. But the company will also provide the test directly to interested individuals. Those who order the test will receive a stamped, mail-in sputum container, a brochure on smoking and your lungs, and instructions for collecting a sputum sample. The user collects three morning sputum samples and mails them back to the lab. The results arrive by mail. You have to include the name and phone number of your primary physician with your order. The lab will phone your physician if the results suggest that further testing is needed. Call or write:
Lung Check Division
1601 Saratoga Sunnyvale Road
Cupertino, CA 95014

This method provides financial rewards for positive steps toward quitting. As part of your commitment to quit, you pledge to put aside a certain amount of money each week. This money can be kept in a special envelope or bank account. You receive the money when you have gone without smoking for 100 days (or any length of time you prefer). You can even ask some of your support people to contribute to your health bank.

This method is actually backed by research. You wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it against your skin when you feel the urge to smoke. Be sure that the rubber band is loose enough so it doesn’t block blood flow or leave a mark on the skin when it is removed.

A recent study suggests that the drug Clonidine (marketed under the brand name Catapres) significantly reduces withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings among recent quitters. Clonidine is often prescribed for high blood pressure. The drug seems to reduce cigarette cravings significantly. This does not mean that the drug is a cure for smoking, since some people will continue to smoke despite taking clonidine. The side effects of this drug are dizziness and drowsiness. If you are receiving medical treatment for hypertension, ask your doctor if it would be appropriate for you to switch to clonidine. Some physicians may be willing to prescribe clonidine for prospective quitter even if they do not have hypertension (particularly those with serious smoking-related illnesses, such as emphysema).

You can contact the following groups that have excellent support programs for people who wish to quit:

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2013 H. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 659-4310

American Lung Association
1740 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 315-8700

American Cancer Society
4 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 736-3030

The Breathe-Free Plan for Stop Smoking
Narcotics Education Inc.
6830 Laurel Street, NW
Washington, DC 20012

Smokers Anonymous
PO Box 25335
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
(212) 474-8997

Aside from the above resources, there are also various tips that you can use to help you in your efforts at quitting. Here are some of these tips:

1) Keep your hands busy. Knit a sweater. Write letters. Do crosswords. Read a book. Make puzzles. Take up drawing or painting.
2) Take frequent showers. Whenever you feel like smoking, take a long hot shower instead.
3) Clove oil. Anytime you get the urge to smoke, put a drop of clove oil on your finger and apply it to the back of your tongue. You buy clove oil at most health food stores.
4) Licorice sticks. This is not the candy, but the actual licorice twigs, which you can buy at natural food stores. They have a pleasant taste and give you mouth and hands something to do.
5) Sunflower seeds. Buy a few pounds of sunflower seeds, and whenever you feel the urge to smoke, take out a handful and eat these instead. As you crack the shell and take out the kernels, you will keep your hands really busy.
6) Brush your teeth right after meals. Often the urge to smoke is really intense right after meals. So it is a good idea to get up from the table right after you eat, head into the bath, and brush and floss your teeth.
7) Cut down on alcohol, because all too often a cigarette and a drink are very closely linked.