I was a smoker for 27 years and have been smoke-free for six. If you have resolved that 2013 is your year to quit smoking, you probably already know how expensive nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, etc. can be. Here are some tips that will help save you some money on nicotine replacement therapy:
1. Don’t buy any. The thought of quitting cold turkey may have you breaking out in a cold sweat, but here’s why it’s actually easier to quit cold turkey than it is to quit using nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms (e.g., irritability, difficulty concentrating, headache, hunger) are mild and only last for a couple of days. By introducing more nicotine into your system, you’re prolonging your physical addiction. And some people wind up kicking the habit only to find themselves hooked on nicotine gum, patches or inhalers. Also, keep in mind that nicotine replacement therapy may have side effects that could be as bad or worse as withdrawal symptoms. Side effects may include difficulty sleeping, nausea and headaches.
2. Talk to your doctor. If you really don’t think you can quit cold turkey, ask your doctor for help. Some forms of nicotine replacement therapy require a prescription, so you might be able to get them for the price of a co-pay, which could end up being cheaper than over-the-counter therapies. Your doctor may even be able to provide you with free samples.
3. Look for coupons. Although nicotine replacement therapy coupons can be scarce, the beginning of a new year is a good time to look for them. Internet Drug Coupons and OptimizeRx are two potential resources for coupons. You can also check our coupons page and your local newspaper.
Here are a few more tips that might help you get through your first few days as a non-smoker:
- Quit on a weekend. Since stress triggers cigarette cravings, it may be easier to get quit while you’re at home rather than at work.
- Keep your mind busy. Psychological cravings are worse than physical cravings, so try to find things to do that will keep your mind off cigarettes (e.g., reading, crossword puzzles, video games).
- Remember that weight gain is not a given. Even though you’ll be craving food as a replacement for cigarettes, you really don’t HAVE to eat everything in sight. If you keep that in mind, you’ll be less likely to gain weight. I gained about four pounds when I quit smoking, and I now weight less than I did before I quit.
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