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3 less common ways for nurses to quit smoking

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It’s an encouraging statistic: the number of nurses who smoke dropped from 11 percent to 7 percent from 2007 to 2011. Still, we know that for those who haven’t yet kicked the habit, quitting can be a long, tough road.

Some hospitals and other healthcare facilities have made the process a bit easier by creating smoke-free campuses and even refusing to hire smokers. We’ve explored tips to help you quit smoking in the past, and today we want to highlight a few programs that may not be quite as common as nicotine gum and the patch. For more information on many ways to quit smoking, both common and less common, SmokeFree.gov is a good place to start.

Combination Therapy

Speaking of all those quitting methods on SmokeFree.org, new research shows that particular pairings of multiple therapies may be the best way for many smokers to quit. Data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that “continuous abstinence” of smoking was more common in a study group that combined nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)—a nicotine patch in this case—with the drug varenicline. This drug is sold under the brand name Chantix.

“The odds of achieving successful smoking cessation after 12 and 24 weeks in relatively healthy smokers were significantly increased by using a combination of varenicline and nicotine patches compared to varenicline alone,” said Coenraad F.N. Koegelenberg, MD, PhD, head of the study, according to Healio.com. “The combination appeared to be safe, although further studies are needed to confirm this.”

Other recent studies find that combining different NRTs (such as a nicotine patch and a nicotine lozenge) may also increase the chances of quitting.

Hypnosis

Others have found that hypnosis can help with smoking cessation, either instead of drugs and NRTs or in addition to them. While one option is to visit a hypnotist in person, another avenue is hypnosis programs you can use at home.

One such program is the Kerry Gaynor Method. The namesake of the program is a hypnotist who has been working with smokers to help them quit for more than 30 years. The kit is a series of DVDs that includes hypnosis therapy and can be used at home. The makers say that the kit has an 85 percent success rate.

Exercise

Another new study, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, shows that exercise can be used to help smokers quit the habit faster, particularly in those smokers that suffer from depression.

The study of smokers that suffer from depression found that as little exercise as simply taking a walk can be enough to ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.

However, the study does say that more research is needed to determine the exact role exercise should play in smoking cessation programs.

Have you quit smoking? Let us know what methods worked best for you in the comments!

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