Are Natural Home Remedies Effective for Smoking Cessation?
Though smoking can be harmful to one’s health, it continues to be a common habit among a number of Americans. In the United States alone, 22% of the population uses tobacco products or electronic cigarettes. The numbers, however, are on the decline in comparison to 2014, when 40% of Americans consumed tobacco. That’s why our article “Top 10 Health Care Tips Everyone Should Know” explains that smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the country. Tobacco users actually account for 480,000 deaths in America annually.
These numbers further emphasize the importance of quitting. But figuring out effective methods of smoking cessation can be difficult. Thankfully, there are now numerous alternatives and natural remedies to aid you on this journey. Yet it is worth asking whether the latter is as effective as their non-natural counterparts to see which one is a better fit for you.
Many non-natural alternatives to tobacco fall under nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). These are products specifically made to deliver nicotine to your body without the negative effects of cigarettes. They aid in countering withdrawal symptoms, making smoking cessation easier.
Nicotine pouches, for one, are new to the market but are quickly gaining popularity as they’re smoke- and tobacco-free, come in a wide range of flavors, and offer different nicotine strengths so you can lower your dosage over time. They are also extremely discreet and easy to use, so smokers can use them whenever they need to. The nicotine pouches from On! listed at Prilla are great to start with due to their affordability. With a single can going for only $3.49 compared to the average $8 a pack of cigarettes costs here in the US, users will certainly get their money’s worth out of a product that can help them quit smoking gradually.
Non-oral options are also readily available in the market. Key player Habitrol’s nicotine patches users can simply stick to their skin. The patches are popular as they last up to 24 hours, during which they regularly administer nicotine through the skin to ward off smoking withdrawal. The brand also produces lozenges to curb withdrawal in the short term. However, other NRTs, like nasal sprays and inhalers, need prescriptions from physicians. This can make them somewhat inaccessible to the average person; that’s where natural remedies can fill the gap.
Natural remedies for smoking cessation also work for those that want to quit and need a way to curb their withdrawal symptoms. One example is St. John’s Wort. This plant-based pill can block serotonin reuptake, letting the hormone pass further into nerves and balancing your mood. Since smoking promotes serotonin production, you’re likely to feel irritable without tobacco. Natural supplements like St. John’s Wort can suppress this particular withdrawal symptom for a smoother smoking cessation journey.
There are also at-home changes you can do to make quitting easier. Mindfulness activities promote relaxation, addressing withdrawal symptoms in a holistic way. A study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that yoga is great for promoting inhibitory control while also staying physically active. Participants self-reported that their cravings decreased by 12.55% after only one session. And because yoga utilizes breathwork, it can actually work on rebuilding lung strength lost due to smoking.
There are also a few approaches from alternative medicine you can try. Acupuncture, a mainstay in traditional Chinese medicine, has been seen to help smoking cessation. It targets the body’s stress response, curbing symptoms like fatigue and irritability—which also happen to be smoking withdrawal symptoms—by promoting relaxation. One study from Research Square found that laser acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, and acupoint catgut embedding are most effective for both short-term and long-term cessation. Intradermal needling, on the other hand, wasn’t effective at all.
With all that in mind, are natural home remedies effective for smoking cessation? The short answer is yes. While non-natural alternatives help the transition from cigarettes to tobacco-free products, natural remedies provide more accessible ways for former smokers to boost their effects. Because they can address multiple withdrawal symptoms, they make quitting much easier than going cold turkey, as well as make help smoking cessation actually stick.
At the end of the day, it is really up to each individual whether they want to use non-natural alternatives, natural remedies, or both. Hopefully, the above discussion helps you decide how to tailor a smoking cessation strategy that suits your needs.