Quitting smoking is not easy, but is worth it

“Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a thousand times!” â€” Mark Twain

The reason smoking is one of the hardest habits to change is because of nicotine, a substance considered as addictive as heroin or cocaine. The incredible physical and emotional dependence a user has on nicotine makes quitting a challenge. Here are some methods available for wannabe quitters.

Cold turkey

This method can require super-human will power and the ability to suffer through some possibly severe withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, tiredness and jitteriness. Drink lots of water, breathe deeply when cravings hit and don’t substitute smokes with snacks.

Medication and nicotine replacement therapy

Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy (patches, nasal spray, gum) and other non-nicotine medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Important note: Truckers are not allowed to take varenicline tartrate, the generic name of Chantix as well as Champix.

Nicotine gum, nasal spray or patches work by delivering a small dose of nicotine into the body to relieve withdrawal symptoms and help break the physical and psychological addiction.

Alternative options

Some smokers find relief with hypnosis and acupuncture, both relieve stress and trigger the release of endorphins. Check to see if either is covered by your insurance.

Motivational therapies

Therapy, self-help books, addiction groups with step programs, smartphone apps, text message services and free online phone counseling can provide the motivation you need to quit smoking. Monetary savings motivates some smokers and others are motivated by the desire to set a good example for their children. Most serious health issues truckers face are made worse or are caused by smoking. Immediate and long-term health gains may motivate a smoker to give up the habit.

Scams and unproven methods

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some smokers may be easy prey for savvy marketers because of the difficulty and, for some, desperation involved in quitting. Low-voltage lasers, electronic cigarettes, herbs, supplements and magnets — though some have experienced success using them — all come loaded with promises that border on fraud and deception. Be aware of scams and research any method offering easy quitting techniques.