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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
March 5, 2010
There is no “one way” to quit smoking. Some people have tried alternative methods that have worked for them, but not for the vast majority of quitters. Research tells us that the best chance anyone has of quitting for good is to combine a medication with a behavior modification program like Freedom From Smoking Online.
There are seven FDA-approved medications for smoking cessation. Three of them can be purchased over-the-counter: nicotine gum, the nicotine patch and the nicotine lozenge. The other four medications (nicotine nasal spray, the nicotine inhaler, Zyban® and Chantix®) all require a prescription from your physician or health care provider. A medication chart is available in the first module of both the Basic and Premium programs. The chart lists how to use each medication, how long it should be used, any identified side effects and when to call a doctor if you experience them.
We encourage you to use the medications, except under special circumstances—if they are not recommended by your physician. Your physician knows your health history and the other medications that you are taking so it’s always best to review the cessation medications with him or her before purchasing and takinganything.If you have any questions, please call our Lung HelpLine to talk with a nurse, respiratory therapist or smoking cessation expert. The number is 1-800-LUNG USA and the HelpLine is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Eastern Time. If you call on the weekend or after hours, you’ll be able to listen to recorded messages about quitting smoking and other lung health topics.
If you are in the Premium program, post to the Message Boards about your experience with medications or ask questions of other participants. We have a specific Board or Forum just for discussions about medications. We find that those who use the medications as directed, and take them for the recommended length of time have the greatest success with them.
It is important for me to note that the American Lung Association does not endorse any specific product. We encourage you to think about all seven medications and decide with your doctor which one might be right for you.
As you go through your quit journey, we hope that you will share the lessons you are learning with others, whether that be among your family, circle of friends or on the Message Boards of the Premium program. What works for one may not work for another. Each quit is different and that’s why we offer an individualized plan for you through our program.
Don’t forget: If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies friends to offer some assistance as well.
So, until next time:
- Work your plan
- Drink plenty of water
- Increase your physical activity
- and if you haven’t reached your Quit Day yet, talk to your health care provider about the cessation medications.
See you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella