Skip Nav
Weight-Loss Tip From Autumn Calabrese
Autumn Calabrese
Forget the 80/20 Rule! This Trainer Says to Follow the 90/10 Rule to Lose Weight
30+ Exercises to Get a Sexy Midsection That Are Better Than Crunches
Healthy Recipes
11 Meat-Free Wraps You Should Meal Prep For Work
Pineapple Summer Ideas
Summer decor
8 Ways to Make Your Summer Pop With Pineapple

Doctor Recommendations on How to Quit Smoking

DrSugar Answers: How Can I Cut the Nicotine Habit?

DrSugar is in the house and he's answering your health questions.

Dear DrSugar,
I have been smoking ever since college, which I know is dumb, but I just haven't been able to cut the habit. I started smoking only at parties, but now I'm at about a half pack a day for the last few years. I'm totally healthy otherwise. I go to the gym three or four times a week and try to eat healthy. What do you recommend for quitting cigarettes?
— Getting Off the Butts

To see what the doctor has to say about ditching this unhealthy habit,


Firstly, I applaud your desire to quit and wish you luck in your journey. There is good news and bad news when it comes to quitting cigarettes. The good news is that there is an abundance of resources, websites, help lines, medications, and doctors who are there to help you quit if you need it. The bad news is that quitting cigarettes is very hard and often takes multiple attempts because relapse is common. If you succeed in quitting, you will be greatly improving the future of your health. Smoking accounts for almost 90 percent of lung cancer deaths. It can also lead to heart disease, lung disease, and vascular disease or blockage of blood vessels.

Some people are able to stop smoking "cold turkey" without the use of any aids, but this is a tough task and often results in failure. I think that online resources, such as QuitNet, can be especially helpful in terms of getting more information and hearing about other people’s experiences.

Many people successfully quit with the help of nicotine replacement therapy to curb the initial cravings. Nicotine gum is available over the counter, while nicotine patches require a prescription. Though I recommend trying nonprescription methods first, there are also two prescription medications that have helped thousands of people quit: Zyban and Chantix. Zyban (Wellbutrin) is a type of antidepressant that cuts the craving for nicotine during the quitting process, while the newer Chantix is a nicotine-receptor activator that essentially tricks the brain into thinking there is nicotine in the system.

I suggest setting a quit date, formulating a plan for how to cope with the cravings (gum, medication, exercise, etc.), and trying to keep your mind on other things. Come up with a new routine at times when you used to light up. You should also check out these seven tips for quitting smoking, which offer great practical tips. Also remember that doctors love to hear that their patients are trying to quit and are always there to help. Good luck!

Have a question for DrSugar? Send it by private messaging me here, and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

From Our Partners
What Is the Jar Method?
What Happens When You Drink Wheatgrass Every Day?
What Happens When You Start Eating Meat Again?
Is Ketoacidosis the Same as Ketosis?
How to Make a Summer Workout More Effective
Water Bottles That Track Intake
Best CBD Products
Easy 7-Day Detox Plan
Best Canned Foods For Health
Vegetarian Wrap Recipes
Healthy Gluten-Free Breakfast Recipes
Healthy Breakfast Sandwich Recipes
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds