If you or someone you know is thinking about quitting smoking, congratulations! We want you to know you can quit and stay quit—without excuses! Here are the top five myths about quitting smoking we hear in the Quit Tobacco Program at HealthNet.
Fact: Some quit smoking programs require people to set a quit date—usually two to four weeks down the road—to give them time to prepare to quit. During this time, people get support from friends, clean their houses and cars, and practice doing other activities instead of smoking. However, this is not the only way to quit. The Quit Tobacco Program at HealthNet does not require people to set a quit date. Instead, many people choose to begin using medicines and practicing alternatives to smoking before quitting for good.
Myth 2: I have to stop smoking before I can take medicine to help me stop smoking.
Fact: New research tells us it is safe to continue to smoke a little while getting started with nicotine medicine. Talk to your doctor or quit smoking counselor to make a personal plan that will help you reduce and then quit smoking.
Myth 3: Using nicotine medicine is like trading one addiction for another.
Fact: Nicotine medicine is designed to satisfy part of the brain’s craving for nicotine so it is more comfortable to go without using tobacco. Always use nicotine medicine according to the package directions or a doctor or counselor’s advice. It may take several weeks or even months of using nicotine medicines until you feel ready to be nicotine free. Then you can gradually reduce the amount of nicotine you get. Working with a doctor or counselor can help you make a plan to stop using nicotine medicines.
Myth 4: I have tried all the medicines out there to help me quit.
Fact: There are seven medicines approved by the FDA to help people quit smoking, and most people have not used them all. Five medicines contain nicotine. These are patches, gum, lozenges, inhaler, and nasal spray. Two other medicines are pills that help reduce the urge to smoke. Chantix and Wellbutrin work differently but they both require a prescription. Talk to your doctor about the best option for you.
Myth 5: I have failed too many times before. I am doomed to smoke forever.
Fact: You may feel frustrated if you have quit tobacco and started again many times. But there is good news! The more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to eventually be able to quit for good. Every time you go without tobacco, you learn more about your addiction and what does and does not help you avoid tobacco. Most people who quit for life take at least five tries. Working with a counselor and using medicine are two great ways to increase the chances your next quit attempt is your last!
For more information or to make a personal quitting plan, contact Linda Bundick, HealthNet’s Tobacco Cessation Counselor, at 317-957-2007.
To learn more about HealthNet’s Quit Tobacco Program, click here.