26 March 2012

Planning for Success. Part 2

Posted by Jody under: Wellness .

While you are deciding how to tackle your tobacco habit, consider some of the common issues that tobacco users often have to face when changing their tobacco use. You probably use tobacco for a variety of purposes, such as for relaxation, for punctuating the end of a work period, for assistance to focus your attention, or for enjoyment when you are out with your friends. Plan how you will deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, cravings for tobacco, your psychological attachment to the habits of using tobacco, friends who smoke or chew in your presence, and stress management and weight management problems.

You might consider identifying at least two to four different strategies to cope with each reason or situation that might trigger a tobacco craving. That way, you will be armed with at least four to 12 different strategies to overcome cravings and relapse. You will have developed a great repertoire of behaviors, skills and attitudes that will help you cope effectively with a craving in almost any situation and overcome the most common obstacles to changing a tobacco habit.

The use of a combination of strategies is showing to have the most success in tackling a tobacco habit. In addition, the most successful strategies have included the use of medication with behavior modification. For example, using the combination of medication with exercise and stress management skills. Arming yourself with a variety of strategies will help you cope with the variety of situations that can trigger a tobacco craving.

If you smoke more than 15 cheap cigarettes a day, or use more than a can of smokeless tobacco a week, you could also consider using the antidepressant, Zyban, with a nicotine replacement therapy, like the patch, gum, nasal spray or inhaler. Research at the University of Wisconsin showed this combination of medications to be more successful than using only a nicotine replacement therapy. The more strategies you use, the greater your chances of successfully overcoming cravings to use a tobacco product!

The drkoop.com Tackling Tobacco section is dedicated to keeping you informed about your options so that you can create a successful personal plan. Start with our Risk Profiler to begin the design of your personal plan of action. The My Profile section is a tool to help you build your plan. Our next article will examine more of the ingredients of a successful plan to tackle your tobacco habit!

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