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Taking Our Own Best Advice: A Tobacco-Free NIH

Planning to Quit

photo of a female researcher in a lab

Quitting is difficult. Research shows that most tobacco users have more success with one of the assisted quit methods mentioned below. With many quit methods to choose from be aware that no single approach works best for everyone. And you may need to try more than one method before you quit for good.

Counseling. Individual, group, and telephone counseling as well as seven medications reliably increase long-term quitting. The seven medications (5 nicotine and 2 non-nicotine) are: Bupropion SR, Nicotine gum, Nicotine inhaler, Nicotine lozenge, Nicotine nasal spray, Nicotine patch, and Varenicline.

Counseling and medication are effective when used by themselves for tobacco cessation; however, the combination of counseling and medication, however, is more effective than either alone.

Although there are many proven effective treatments, there are many approaches that that are marketed to the public that lack scientific evidence to support the effectiveness. Some examples of treatments we cannot recommend are acupuncture, hypnosis, and laser therapy.

(Source: Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guideline on Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update)

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This page last reviewed on May 4, 2016

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