Smoking cessation counseling
Smoking is unhealthy and can lead to various life-threatening conditions, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Yet, tobacco use is the primary preventable factor in disease, disability, and death. Most smokers find it difficult to stop smoking despite being aware of the health concerns because withdrawal can be intolerable. Intense cravings, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and weight gain are typical symptoms of quitting smoking. There is also a high rate of nicotine dependence among people with substance use issues and mental health disorders.
Individuals who want to stop but have been unsuccessful in the past would benefit from smoking cessation counseling. Only about 5 to 7% of those who attempt to quit without any assistance succeed, but many go through repeated cycles of relapse. With an emphasis on lowering the prevalence of smoking and tobacco use, a mental health clinician with specialized training in smoking cessation can offer effective treatment and support.
The challenges of smoking cessation
Most smokers had their first cigarette lit up for the first time due to peer pressure or because it looked cool. Because nicotine is so addicting, it can be difficult to stop once people start. Nicotine is one of more than 5,000 toxic compounds found in tobacco smoke. Smokers eventually become physically dependent on tobacco, and it is believed that nicotine is just as addictive as cocaine and heroin.
Anxiety and irritation were the two main obstacles to quitting smoking that people frequently reported. After quitting, the body’s nicotine runs low, leading to moodiness, headaches, and craving until the body adjusts or receives more nicotine.
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How counseling for smoking cessation can help?
Combining pharmacological treatment and counseling for smoking cessation is more effective than either intervention alone in treating tobacco use and addiction. By using various evidence-based therapies (or combinations of interventions) for different patients and drawing on their prior experiences and treatment preferences, counseling aids in continuously assessing and monitoring smoking status. Herbs, acupuncture, laser therapy, and other alternative methods for quitting smoking have not proved beneficial and cannot be advised for regular use.
Counseling that is supported by research assists smokers who want to stop. The patient and therapist decide on a quit date, ideally within two weeks after starting therapy. Smoking triggers or barriers to stopping are confronted in counseling as well as evaluating previous quitting attempts to determine what worked and what didn’t. Counseling programs have shown to be more effective than self-help programs as trained therapists utilize cognitive-behavioral strategies and other types of psychotherapies to manage self-imposed addictions.
Counseling to quit smoking
With the help of counseling to quit smoking and nicotine replacement therapies, the care team at Good Health can assist in developing a personalized quitting plan. Smokers and their families can benefit from in-person and online talk therapy sessions. If you want to quit smoking, counseling can include behavioral support services, wellness and lifestyle recommendations, and other advice.
It is helpful to think of smoking as a chronic relapsing disease to acknowledge the challenges of quitting and the potential for recurrence. Our clinicians individualize cessation support to improve cessation outcomes and spend time understanding the client’s medical history and personal circumstances.
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