The Truth About Nicotine Replacement Therapies

Study confirms nicotine replacement therapies are not effective—what a shock!

A recent study conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts Boston confirmed what many people fighting on the front lines of the smoking cessation battle already knew or suspected: Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), such as gum or the patch, are not an effective way to help people quit smoking. Nearly 1/3 of NRT users relapsed regardless of whether or not they were heavy or light smokers.

Advocates of NRT claim that products such as the patch or nicotine gum are not meant to help smokers quit, but rather are just a way to help gradually alleviate the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. However, recent research, such as the study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology conducted by Dr. Rueven Dar of Tel Aviv University, shows that smoking is a psychosocial and not a physical addiction. Thus, products that claim to mitigate the symptoms of nicotine are merely a marketing ploy to sell their product, making spurious promises about curing tobacco addictions and leaving vulnerable smokers in the wake of their deception.

Smoking is a psychosocial habit that can be treated only when smokers address the underlying reasons behind why they ever lit up and continue to light up. Quitting cold turkey or by way of gradual withdrawal will not be effective enough because smokers have not really addressed the root of the problem with these methods. Additionally, NRTs are harmful because they promote a quick fix mentality that is all too prevalent in the Western world, an idea that products fix problems which is a line of thinking that takes the power to make changes towards a healthy lifestyle out of the hands of individuals.

Instead of continuing to market the false idea that smoking is caused by nicotine addiction, governments, researchers, and corporations should begin to find ways to invest their time in promoting therapy as a way of getting off cigarettes. Therapeutic methods such as hypnotherapy seek to help people take control of their smoking habit by helping them learn to take control of their own mind and its ability to form and control habits. Once smokers realize that the ball is on their field and that they ultimately have the power to quit smoking, they will be much healthier not only physically but also mentally: They will have taken the steps necessary to see them power of mind over matter in actions and will be able to apply this lesson in other areas of their lives where it is needed.

Avoiding The Weight Pitfalls Of Smoking Cessation

digitalart /

If you are a smoker or you know a smoker, then you know that when it comes to quitting smokers always have an excuse, a reason for why they just aren’t quite ready to give up tobacco. One of the most common excuses smokers use to avoid putting out that last cigarette is weight gain. Many smokers claim that smoking helps them keep their weight in check and they fear that if they quit, they will, to put it bluntly, get fat. If we look beyond the appalling fact that many tobacco users laud smoking as a health benefit in terms of weight control, we are forced to confront the reality that smoking actually is a weight deterrent, as paradoxical and unhealthy as it may sound. According to, smoking cessation causes the average person to gain between 4-10 pounds or roughly 2 to 5 kilos. Since smoking is an appetite deterrent and nicotine raises the rate of our metabolism, giving up tobacco means that the metabolism slows down while the desire to eat increases. Hence, the weight gain.

Even though smokers tend to gain weight after they quit, this does not mean that they will permanently be on the road to obesity. Within six months, those who have quit smoking are usually back to their normal weight. If you are a smoker and are worried about your weight, and use this as a crutch to keep lighting up, here are some ways to help yourself get healthy and keep your weight in balance:

  • Exercise: it is never too late to get yourself moving and grooving and in shape. Make walking, running, bicycling or any other physical activity a regular part of your life and reap the benefits of a healthier, fitter body.
  • Eat right: Your diet will determine your weight. If you eat right and cut our excess sugar, junk and other gunk you will find that you feel better mentally, physically, and you will be able to find the weight that is right for your body and makes you happy.
  • Set realistic expectations: If you are worried about gaining weight if you quit smoking, then realistically assess the state of your body. How was your body before you started smoking? What is your weight now? If you never had Heidi Klum’s body in the first place, then don’t act like the few excess pounds gained after smoking cessation will ruin chances at being a super model. You are in control of your weight and you have the power to make yourself healthy, but don’t compare yourself to perfection—smoking cessation should be about creating optimal health for your uniqueness as an individual.

The cold, hard truth is that smoking cessation usually causes weight gain, but the good news is that you have the power to create the body and weight you want, without the positive or negative influence of tobacco. This starts with exercise, a healthy diet, and realistic expectations about what is right and achievable for your body. Stop making excuses and take control of your body today—quit smoking!