Smoking cessation (quitting)

Specialty of Pulmonology & respiratory medicine

Smoking is the acute or chronic intoxication produced by addictive tobacco use. It presents all the characteristics of any dependence disorder generated by toxic substances, including the withdrawal syndrome that occurs when they are discontinued; in this case, nicotine. Smoking has a number of health consequences affecting the body in general: pulse and breathing disorders, diarrhoea, vomiting, vertigo, fever, cold extremities, and in very serious cases, collapse and respiratory arrest. Common diseases among smokers are: respiratory, such as laryngitis or bronchitis; Digestive disorders, such as gastritis or heartburn (hyperchlorhydria); Cardiovascular diseases, such as arteriosclerosis; and others such as angina pectoris or lung cancer. There are now numerous smoking cessation programs that include some complementary therapies, such as nicotine replacement therapy in patients with high physical dependence, or antidepressants.

Smoking cessation is a therapy to stop smoking. Depending on the attitude of the individual, smoking cessation may include different treatments such as the use of pills. There are three different treatments that have been proven as effective over the years.

  • Nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches or gum.
  • Bupropion: an antidepressant drug proven effective for smoking cessation.
  • Varenicline: a drug that blocks the effects of nicotine in the nervous system by decreasing the desire to smoke.

The treatment is administered for 12 weeks, although in some cases it can be extended.

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