This is a comparative analysis between two methods designed to help people quit smoking. Know about the pros and cons of both these methods from the following.
NRT is the short for nicotine replacement therapy. It is one of the many methods that have been designed for people who wish to quit smoking, for good. And cold turkey means a method which executes a program to shun smoking at one go. In other words, this method does not entertain any gradual process of quitting smoking.
What’s the Difference Between NRT and Cold Turkey
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
People who have been smoking for years, have actually made their body completely dependent on the supply of nicotine. And so, when these people try to quit smoking, the nicotine supply gets disrupted. This make their body protest in the form of various uncomfortable symptoms, known as nicotine withdrawal side effects. So in order to avoid such side effects, the NRT was developed.
Here, the patient is given nicotine but from sources which do not contain the harmful chemicals as tobacco smoke does. So in this way, the patient is able to keep himself from the harmful effects of tobacco, and at the same time, avoid the withdrawal side effects due to lack of nicotine. The nicotine dosage can be received in the form of inhalers, patches, nicotine gums, sprays, and lozenges. The dosages may be higher during the early stages of the smoking cessation program.
The adequacy of the dosage may also depend on the number of cigarettes the person used to smoke per day. With time, the dosages are reduced until they become nil, and the patient does not feel the urge to smoke anymore. So the main advantage of NRT is, the patient can shun smoking without having to experience any nasty side effects. However, the grass does not stay green on the other side. In some cases, there is a possibility of the patient getting addicted to nicotine itself. And when he does, it becomes no better than smoking.
Quitting smoking cold turkey has the reputation of being the hardest. This is because of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms, as I have cited in the above paragraph. These side effects may be more severe with those who have been smoking for several years. The common ones may include irritability, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, stress, increased appetite, weight gain, and concentration problems.
- It is important to keep your mouth busy the moment you decide to shun smoking cold turkey. It is obvious that you would feel the urge to go for a smoke, and when you do, pop in a sugar-less chewing gum, or suck on a hard candy. In fact, some people do not mind sucking even a lollipop. It really helps!
- Try to avoid being in solitude. People tend to smoke more when alone or stressed. So take some time off with your friends and family, and de-stress. Yoga, meditation, and various breathing exercises are great stress-busters. So use them for your good.
- It is most likely that you may experience the withdrawal symptoms. And one simple way to reduce their severity is to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. 8 – 9 glasses is the minimum requirement.
- Trying new exercises, new recipes, reading books before bedtime, etc., are stuffs that help to bring some changes in your life. And when you get a new feeling, you build up new strength and determination to fight the withdrawal symptoms and reduce their intensity.
If we leave aside the side effects, the main advantage of this method is, you are getting yourself free from the effects of nicotine and the tobacco at one go. Also the withdrawal side effects tend to be severe only during the early stages, and diminish with time. All a person requires to do, is to take the pain at the beginning, and things will definitely get better with time.
So to summarize this article on NRT vs cold turkey, with the help of the former method, the patient can bypass the nicotine withdrawal side effects, and eventually shun smoking for good. However, the chance of overdose and nicotine addiction always stays as a major risk. And with the latter method, that is cold turkey, the side effects are a major concern. However, they tend to diminish with time, and the person can stay tobacco and nicotine-free from the very first day. So it depends on the person’s personal preferences and choices. Hope this helps!