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-- Quitting is the only way that smokers can substantially reduce their risk of disease. Although quitting is difficult, millions of people have quit smoking for good. Many tips are offered in this fact sheet, but everyone is different so choose the tips that will work best for you. In general, keeping busy and avoiding the things that tempt you to smoke will help you manage withdrawal symptoms and avoid your triggers to smoke.
-- Common withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting include nicotine cravings, anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety, depression, and weight gain. It may help to know that withdrawal symptoms are usually worst during the first week after quitting. From that point, the intensity of the symptoms drops over the first month. In the meantime, there are many steps you can take to make it easier to quit smoking.
-- Triggers are the moods, feelings, places, or things that you do in your daily life that make you want to smoke. Triggers for smoking may include being around other smokers, feeling stressed, drinking coffee or tea, and enjoying a meal. Knowing your triggers helps you stay in control because you can avoid them, or, when you can’t, you can do things to keep your mind off smoking.
-- Strong and consistent evidence shows that nicotine replacement products can help relieve nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These products are available in five different forms—patch, gum, lozenge, nasal spray, and inhaler. In addition, cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be relieved by the prescription medications bupropion and varenicline.