Frequently Asked Questions About Quitting Smoking

Every year, over one million Americans quit smoking, and maybe this year you’ve decided to one of them. The journey may be tough at first, so here are answers to some common questions that people who quit often have. 

  • How do I quit smoking?

    Every quit smoking journey is different but there are some simple ways to find your motivation. Watch the video to the right for some quit-smoking tips. 

  • Why not quit cold turkey?

    Nicotine delivered by cigarettes is so addictive that people often underestimate how difficult it is to resist cravings using willpower alone. Nicotine replacement therapy delivers a controlled amount of nicotine to your system to help soothe your physical cravings and allows you to focus on the mental aspects of your quit. Using nicotine replacement therapy as directed doubles your chances of quitting.*

    *Doubles your chances of quitting vs placebo. Use as directed. Behavioral support program increases chances of success. Many people require several quit attempts to stop smoking. Products are part of an 8–12 week program.

  • Why should I use NRT?

    Nicotine replacement therapy doesn’t contain any of the carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) that are found in cigarettes. Nicotine replacement therapy programs are designed to help you stop smoking. They help you wean off of nicotine until you do not need it anymore. 

  • Do nicotine replacement products have side effects?

    Because the active ingredient in nicotine replacement products is a low, therapeutic dose of nicotine, side effects can include vivid dreams. Some users may experience skin irritation with use of the nicotine patch. Check out the video for information and solutions. Be sure to carefully read the user guide inside your package for a complete list of possible side effects.

  • What should I expect in my first week of quitting?

    There’s no doubt about it, the first week is tough. Make a plan. Remember your reason for quitting. It’ll help get you through the cravings and give you the motivation to stay strong. 

  • What is nicotine withdrawal?

    When you’re nicotine dependent, smoking releases neurotransmitters into your brain, one of which is dopamine. It’s dopamine that gives you that relaxed and satisfied feeling when you light up. When ending your dependency on nicotine, you may feel withdrawal symptoms. It can be tough, but know that it’s your body’s way of getting back to a healthy way of functioning. Hang in there. Stick with it. It will get better as your quit progresses.

  • How do I cope with cravings?

    Most cravings don’t last longer than a couple of minutes. When they do hit, think about your reason for quitting. If it’s a loved one, keep a photo handy. Exercise is another great way to keep your mind off smoking. These helpful tricks along with the use of nicotine replacement treatment programs can help you get through those tough moments.

  • How do I replace my smoking rituals?

    It is possible to maintain the social and physical aspects of your daily smoking rituals without lighting up. If you go out for a cigarette at certain times of the day, go outside and do something else. Go to the park, call a friend, not find the parts of your daily smoking rituals that you like that don’t involve smoking and focus on those.

  • What should I expect in my second week of quitting?

    You’re on your way. But you’re not out of the woods just yet. Make sure you’re aware of your smoking triggers. Once you know what they are, it’s easier to avoid them. If it’s a trigger that you can’t avoid, like work, find a replacement for your smoking rituals. It’s also a great time to reach out to a friend or loved one for encouragement. They’ll be proud of your progress.

  • Will I gain weight if I quit smoking?

    When it comes to quitting smoking, weight gain is a common concern. Even if you do gain a bit, it’s nothing compared to all the good things you’re doing for yourself. If you continue to gain weight after a few months, try to analyze what you’re doing differently. Reduce your fat intake, choose healthy snacks, and increase your physical activity to help burn off extra calories.

  • I’ve tried to quit smoking several times. Why can’t I quit?

    You can. You just haven’t succeeded yet. Try to learn from your slip-ups. Figure out why you fell off the wagon so you can avoid putting yourself in similar situations in the future, choose a new quit date, and then try again. This time, you may be able to quit for good!

  • How do I bounce back from a slip-up?

    Don’t be discouraged by slip-ups. Learn from them. Use a slip-up to find your smoking triggers and then avoid the situations that cause them. Watch the video for more information.

  • How can I tell if I am no longer addicted to nicotine?

    The signs are different for everyone, but the one way to tell that your addiction is waning is that cigarettes are no longer an option, no matter what. When the things that once triggered you to reach for your pack no longer have power over you, you’ll know you’re winning the battle.

  • How much nicotine do I receive from a cigarette?

    Your body receives approximately 1 milligram of nicotine from each cigarette. Remember, the nicotine from cigarettes is absorbed very quickly and goes straight from the lungs to the brain. 

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