Home / ILS Blog / COPD and Smoking Cessation - Methods & Treatments

It cannot be emphasised enough that the most important tool in managing COPD is your mind. The first test of mental strength will be to stop smoking. This is an absolute imperative for COPD patients who wish to improve their condition, and could even be the difference between life and death for patients in an advanced condition. The impact of cigarette or pipe smoking on COPD-affected lungs could be devastating, so help should be sought to stop smoking as soon as possible. This help is available in many forms – medicated and non-medicated treatments for smoking cessation are ubiquitous in Australian society.

A trip to any pharmacy will uncover a plethora of treatments, such as tablets, patches, lozenges, inhalers and even chewing gums, which control nicotine dosage either by limiting the dose or by providing a steady low dose. These nicotine replacement products can double your chances of quitting smoking, and when combined with support from a health professional, the Quitline or the online QuitCoach, are proven to be effective in combating – if not eliminating – nicotine cravings.

Prescription medications such as bupropion and varenicline reduce withdrawal symptoms by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain to make smoking less satisfying. Prescribed medications are not suitable for all individuals, though, and advice should be sought from a doctor if you wish to undertake medical methods. Free ‘Quit Packs’ are available via the Australian government’s Quit Now initiative, with the suggestion to speak to a Quitline advisor at 13 78 48. Alternative methods such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture may also be useful to some individuals, but if you wish to pursue these options be sure to first conduct your own research on the subjects.

Any method of smoking cessation that hopes to be successful necessarily combines treatment of chemical, emotional and habitual cravings. It is of little use to replace or eliminate nicotine products without addressing the emotional cravings associated with smoking, so help from the aforementioned professionals, or from a range of other healthcare professionals who deal with addiction, is highly advisable.

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