Smoking Cessation


Dr. Kavita Mody
M.D., F.C.C.P, P.G.D.H.H.M

Q) What does cigarette smoke contain ?                                                              

A) Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 harmful chemicals like carbon monooxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, etc. There are more than 70 carcinogenic chemicals.

Q) Why is smoking bad for me ?                                                                          

A) Smoking harms almost every organ in the body. It causes increased risk of coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disorder, aneurysm, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, oral cancers, other cancers of blood, esophagus (foodpipe) bladder ,kidney etc. It also causes low birth weight, stillbirth, sudden infant death, infertility etc.

Q) How does smoking affect my lungs?                                                                          

A) Smoke contains many chemicals which irritates the lungs, causes increased secretion of mucus causing smoker’s cough, affects cilia( small hair like brushes which help to keep bronchii i.e. smaller pipes in lung clean), destroys the alveoli and airsacs leading to emphysema.

Q) How can I quit smoking ?                                                                         

A) You can discuss with your doctor about the plan to help you quit smoking. There are smoking cessation counselling and behavioural therapy available along with nicotine replacement therapies and medicines to help quit smoking.

Q) What is nicotine replacement therapy?                                                                          

A) Nicotine is the most addictive substance in tobacco smoke which causes craving for smoking. When you stop smoking you are likely to feel craving for the same , withdrawal symptoms like craving, irritability, restlessness, cramps, etc.
To overcome this nicotine is replaced in the form of tablets, lozenges, inhalers, chewing gums or patches. This is given over period of upto 4 to 6 weeks to help quit smoking

Q) What other medicines can help me quit smoking?                                                                         

A) There are two commonly used medicines under supervision of doctor given by prescription: Buproprion – It is an antidepressant drug approved for smoking cessation to be used under physician’s supervision. Common side effects include insomnia and dry mouth. Treatment with bupropion begins while the user is still smoking, one week prior to the quit date. Treatment is then continued for 7 to 12 weeks. Length of treatment is individualized.
Varenicline: Treatment with varenicline begins one week (7days) before your quit date. This allows medicine build up in your body. You can keep smoking during this time. Make sure that you try to stop smoking on your quit date. Take varenicline after eating and with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Treatment is up to twelve weeks. If you have completely quit smoking by twelve weeks, ask your doctor if another twelve weeks of varenicline may help you stay cigarette-free.
Other drugs like clonidine, nortryptiline may also be used.

Q) How can my doctor help me ?                                                                          

A) Your doctor will ASK you regarding your smoking habits, ADVISE you to quit smoking, ASSESS your willingness to quit smoking, ASSIST you in quitting, and ARRANGE for regular follow-up.

Q) What is secondhand smoke and what are its effects?                                                                          

A) Secondhand smoke (SHS) is the combination of exhaled mainstream smoke and side stream smoke. Secondhand smoke is also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Breathing in secondhand smoke is also referred to as passive smoking. Secondhand smoke affects the health of both nonsmokers and smokers. There are at least 250 chemicals in secondhand smoke that are known to be toxic, including more than 50 that are known to cause cancer.

        Dr.Kavita Mody,
M.D., F.C.C.P, P.G.D.H.H.M
Director, Infectious
Diseases and Pulmonary Care Pvt. Ltd.
Chembur, Mumbai.
Ph: 9820394451
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