What are the success rates of the non-NRT therapies?

Table 12 shows the success rates of the various non-NRT therapies.

table 12 success rates of non-nicotine replacement therapies

success rates of non-nicotine replacement therapies

What is cognitive behavioral therapy and how is it helpful?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) involves talking interventions that focus on both thoughts and behaviors. CBT has been shown to be effective with or without the use of medication in smoking cessation. It is a goal-oriented problem-solving approach to overcome distortions resulting from ingrained or automatic thinking that lead to maladaptive behaviors.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful because all smokers develop not only physiological dependency to cigarettes but also psychological and behavioral addictions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful because all smokers develop not only physiological dependency to cigarettes but also psychological and behavioral addictions. The physiological dependency can be dealt with by taking one of the medications for smoking cessation. However, medication cannot take care of the psychological or behavioral addiction. Thoughts and behaviors or addictive habits that people have developed over time are difficult to change. Many people have integrated cigarette smoking into their daily lives (wake up in the morning, smoke; drink coffee, smoke; read the paper, smoke; feed the dog, smoke). Smokers view cigarettes as a friend and a support. There is the "good morning" cigarette, the "pat myself on the back" cigarette, the "stress relief" cigarette, and my "after dinner" cigarette. Consequently, some people need more than just medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great adjunct to pharmacological therapies to ensure a person's success at quitting.

Sykes and Marks from the United Kingdom developed a world-renowned CBT program called Quit for Life. It is a two-stage program of reduction and relapse-prevention. The reduction phase aims at a gradual reduction over a 7 to 10 day period. The relapse-prevention phase occurs the week after "D-Day" (that is, the quit day). The goal is to empower a smoker to quit and maintain abstinence.

Smokers may choose the quit methods that are most comfortable for them. A textbook includes a cassette tape, which summarizes the various behavioral and cognitive strategies that participants can select. Handouts for participants include a combination of 30 CBT methods and other materials. A self-help package is provided, which includes:

A handbook

Reduction cards

A progress chart, etc.

Behavioral strategies include:

Identifying triggers (that is, cues to smoke) and risky situations

Keeping a smoking diary

Delaying tactics

Fading techniques (tapering the nicotine content in NRT medications)

Behavior substitutes (chewing gum or eating carrot sticks versus smoking cigarettes)

Positive reinforcements (setting goals and self rewards)

Self-esteem enhancement

Coping skills training

The cognitive techniques include:

Personal responsibility for one's own thoughts

Learning to change beliefs that prove to be barriers to success

Disputing irrational thoughts and then replacing them with more positive thoughts

Homework assignments

Learning mastery and control

Cognitive rehearsal (that is, practicing how to deal with risky relapse situations)

Identifying barriers to successful quitting and how to cope with them

Styles and Marks' studies have shown that Quit for Life has quit rates that are five to six times higher than quitting using willpower alone. CBT is another effective method to add to the smoking cessation repertoire of quit programs.

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