Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things anyone will have to do in their life. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and coupled with the social addictions associated with smoking, it makes giving them away a very challenging task.
Fortunately, there are many products on the market that can help you stay in control as you quit, allowing you to find effective cigarette alternatives. This includes step-down options and replacements that are much safer than smoking. Here are the 7 best options.
Alternatives to smoking cigarettes
One of the oldest methods when it comes to quitting smoking remains one of the most recommended products by health professionals. These patches work by dolling out small amounts of nicotine through the skin and reducing cravings. You can step down with different patches to reduce the volume of nicotine being administered until finally, you are addiction free.
This process usually takes between eight to 12 weeks and patches are also a popular option for uses in places like hospitals and prisons as widespread smoking bans reach these facilities. There are patches available without a prescription and stronger variants are available through a prescription for heavier smokers as well.
Gum and lozenges
These effectively do the same as pouches by delivering nicotine without tobacco and allowing you to step down and slowly become free of the addiction. One of the other parts of smoking that these gums and lozenges address is the hand to mouth action that many smokers find it hard to mitigate when they are trying to quit. You can carry these around in a packet just like you
There are various medicines that you can take when looking for ways to quit smoking that also have different side effects and need to be explored probably in consultation with your GP. Chantix works by directly impacting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain to give mild nicotine-like effects and also reduce the severity of withdrawals.
Zyban is another option, a drug that was designed to be an antidepressant but has the side effect of reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is not known how it does this, but this drug is safe to use in a proper quit smoking treatment plan administered by your GP.
E-cigarettes or vaping
This has become a popular alternative to smoking for many, especially younger people because you still go through the same process as smoking a cigarette but there is no tobacco involved. Nicotine is inhaled in a vapour that can be flavoured as well for a more pleasant taste.
Whether this practice is safer than smoking is debatable though and there are numerous ongoing studies into the safety of vaping. There are different laws in different countries surrounding the purchase, possession and use of vaping devices and nicotine-laden liquids that are used with these devices.
Pure nicotine pouches
A new product based on a centuries-old idea, pure nicotine pouches are based on Swedish snus in which a pouch is placed in the mouth for you to chew on, releasing a minty-fresh burst that satisfies cravings. The difference between these pouches and snus is there is no tobacco, just natural fibres and a chewy base for a fresh hit in a range of flavours.
Nicotine pouches are proving to be a popular method for quitting smoking and are available legally and without prescription in the UK.
Group therapy and support
One of the most effective ways to quit smoking doesn’t involve a physical replacement, rather a support network of like-minded people that will help you achieve your goals. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a sit-down, group session as many people are too busy for that. There are many online forums and apps that offer live chat, metrics and goals and achievements for you to strive for.
Outside of these primary methods for quitting smoking, there is an array of other devices that you can try as well. These include oral and nasal sprays, micro tabs, tablets, inhalers, oral strips and much more. It is about finding the right product for you that is legal and safe and is best used in conjunction with a quit plan put together in consultation with your GP.