nicotine patch

  1. Acupuncture and hypnosis proven to help quit smoking

    Go alternative to quit smoking

    I can think of plenty of great reasons to quit smoking -- and I can think of just as many fruitless ways to try to achieve that goal.

    From dangerous drugs to worthless patches, it's easy to get frustrated when you think you've tried "everything," but still find yourself puffing away on your cancer sticks.

    Don't give up, because a new study shows that some of the safe and natural anti-smoking therapies I recommend all the time are far more effective than anything the mainstream has to offer.

    Researchers say their review of 14 studies finds that both acupuncture and hypnosis are more effective than going cold turkey with no treatment. In some cases, the acupuncture patients had triple the success rate of those who didn't get any help quitting.

    The new analysis doesn't offer a direct comparison of either acupuncture or hypnosis to nicotine patches and gums, but a 2008 study on laser acupuncture found that 55 percent of those who received the treatment were not smoking within six months.

    That's remarkable -- because up to 93 percent of smokers who try nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gums are either back to smoking or still smoking six months later.

    That makes the acupuncture eight times more effective.

    Surprised? Not me -- I see it all the time. I have a terrific acupuncturist on my staff who has helped plenty of my patients kick butts for good.

    And if any of my patients smoke but aren't trying to quit, they hear it from me every time they walk in.

    It's not that I want to be a nag. It's that in addition to the obvious risks -- cancer emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoker's cough, bad breath, and more -- smokers face a number of other serious health concerns.

    Cigarettes expose smokers -- and those around them -- to toxic heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. Cigarettes from tobacco grown with certain fertilizers can also contain polonium, a radioactive element.

    And let's not forget all the other dangerous chemicals and additives deliberately put into cigarettes. I've seen estimates that there are up to 4,000 chemicals in each cigarette.

    That's a lot of toxins gathered in one place, all headed into your body every time you inhale.

    You don't want that. Quit now -- while you still can.

  2. Gimmicks won't help you quit

    There are plenty of gimmicks out there that claim they'll help you to quit smoking -- not to mention a couple of risky Big Pharma drugs.

    And just about none of them work.

    Ever see someone with a nicotine patch on each arm and a cigarette in his hand puffing away? Me too.

    The latest research confirms what's obvious to everyone but him: The patch doesn't work.

    And here's something else to chew on: Nicotine gums are equally ineffective.

    Of 787 smokers who quit in the new study, a third restarted again within two years -- and the folks who spent money on patches, gums, inhalers and sprays were just as likely to be among them as those who went cold turkey.

    That's a far cry from the success rate promised when these things were first approved by the FDA, with studies showing they could triple the success rate of quitters.

    But it's right in line with what anyone who's already tried -- and failed -- to quit using gums and patches can already tell you. And it's also right in line with the rest of the research on this, which shows that all the gimmicks in the world can't deter a determined smoker from his habit.

    On the other hand, at least the worst thing that could come from a nicotine patch or gum is another failed attempt at quitting...and hopefully the determination to try even harder next time. (There's always a next time, right?)

    If you turn to meds for help, however, you could find yourself battling something worse than a return of your bad habit. You could even end up in a fight for your life.

    As I've told you before, Chantix -- the most common anti-smoking med -- has been linked time and again to bizarre behavior and even suicide...and one recent study found the drug can boost your odds of severe depression or suicide by 800 percent.

    If that's not enough, Chantix has also been linked to violence, hallucinations, paranoia, confusion and weird dreams -- and some of the drug's side effects can actually start after you stop taking it.

    All that, and 80 percent of the people who take the drug are back to smoking a year later.

    Here's the "cold" hard truth: There's one method that's been proven time and again to work. It's been used by close to 90 percent of successful quitters...and it won't even cost you a dime.

    It's cold turkey... and if you're serious about quitting, put it on the menu tonight.

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