Nicotine is by far the most addictive substance in the world. A curious, social habit that starts as a teenager may lead to a lifelong addiction. There are multiple forms of tobacco that are used from cigarettes, hukka, bidi’s to smokeless tobacco that are chewed or used in toothpaste.
The reasons to quit tobacco vary from chest diseases, cardiovascular diseases, oral cancer and the financial burden associated with the average monthly expenditure on tobacco products. Evidence on effects of secondhand smoking is noted clearly with an overall ban on smoking in enclosed places. So where does one fall short if the data and evidence on effects of nicotine are so clearly stated? There is no nicotine vaccine available as yet. The most essential tool in tobacco treatment is psycho- education, building motivation and confidence in quitting nicotine.
Tobacco cessation therapy empowers the individual helping them move using these motivational interviewing techniques. The client moves from the pre-contemplational stage to the contemplational and finally the action stage until he/she is fully motivated to quit. Quitting tobacco can be achieved by ‘cold turkey method’ during which an individual attempts to quit cigarettes at one go or could involve strategies of cutting down the quantity of nicotine consumption.
Tobacco dependence severity measures are used to assess the level of dependence and the client is taught behavioral interventions to reduce the levels of nicotine. Withdrawal effects of nicotine can be managed by referral to a tobacco treatment specialist for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). A cost-benefit ratio analysis allows the client to assess the pros and cons of the addiction. An action plan is established in addiction counseling and therapy by removing the barriers or resistance to change.
The therapist and the client establish on a quit date and both move forward in achieving this goal. Follow-up dates are set to assess side effects and relapse. Tobacco has one of the highest relapse rates and thus building effective coping strategies is important for the quitting process. Underlining psychological triggers such as depression, anxiety and other behavioral concerns such as increase in weight gain are addressed during the follow-up visits. The client accepts that change is a process that is slowly but successfully achieved.
Call me – Shrradha Sidhwani – experienced certified psychotherapist in Mumbai with more than 15 years of experienced in tobacco cessation counseling and therapy. Call me on 9920812638 or contact via website for psychological help. Tele-Counselling sessions are also available.
Allow me to nurture, while you walk the path.