If you’re a smoker trying to quit, boy doyou have options. Patches, chewing gum, lollipops and evenlasers! But if you’re overwhelmed with choice, maybetry nothing at all. Hi aware citizens, Trace here for DNews. Now smoking is bad for you it causes cancerand a gazillion other diseases. You know that. We know that. This is your life and we’re not going totell you what to do.
But we are going to tell you the science behindquitting if you or someone you know is trying to give up the habit. Now before we breakdown the options, we haveto first understand why it’s so difficult to quit in the first place. One word: nicotine. It’s what’s naturally found in tobaccoand as addictive as heroin and cocaine. When inhaled, nicotine travels quickly tothe brain. There, it releases dopamine and other feelgood chemicals into brain cell receptors.
This creates more and more nicotine receptorsin the brain. When these receptors are starved of nicotineyou go through intense withdrawal, which can lead to depression and tension, until youget your next fix. So the trick may be to gradually giving yourbrain less and less nicotine, which is where the highly advertized treatment of nicotinereplacement therapy comes into play. We’re talking about patches, chewing gum,lozenges, inhalers and even nasal spray and lollipops. But do these methods actually work?
Let’s take one of the most popular methods,the patch. This is typically a reservoir of nicotinesandwiched between an occlusive and permeable adhesive layers. Stick it on your skin and the nicotine slowlyleaches through the layers of your dermis, to the hypodermis, which contains blood vesselsneeded to bring the drug into the bloodstream. This happens at a much slower rate and ata lower concentration than smoke inhalation. Different patches contain different amountsof nicotine, slowly ridding your body’s dependence of the drug.
But is it effective? Well, one study conducted by the Harvard Schoolof Public Health looked at 787 adults who had recently quit smoking. They were surveyed three different times overthe course of six years and asked questions about what type of nicotine replacement therapythey had used, the duration of the therapy, if they had consulted a professional, andtheir current smoking habits. During each one of those checkins arounda third of the participants had relapsed. This led researchers to conclude that â€œusingnicotine replacement therapy is no more effective
in helping people stop smoking cigarettesin the longterm than trying to quit on one’s own.â€� What about alternative ways to quit smoking? Some people have tried acupuncture and hypnosis,but based on some of our last tutorials, it’s a little up for debate on whether that worksor not. And others have even tried lasers. Yes, lasersâ€¦ well, lowlevel lasers therapy. The company Innovative Laser Therapy claimsthat an hour of therapy is all you’d need