Quitting smoking: Methods and limitations

Are you also looking for the magic pill to stop smoking? Unfortunately, we have to disappoint you, because there’s no such thing. To successfully quit smoking, you need two things above all: time and patience. And, of course, a suitable method that supports you in achieving your goal. But which methods are most common and what are their limitations? Here we’ll give you an overview.





Tobacco addiction consists of two components - physical and psychological dependence. Before you decide to quit smoking, you should understand both mechanisms. This is important for the success of your goal to quit — treating only the physical dependence will be just as ineffective as focusing only on the psychological component. To be successful, you should always keep both aspects in mind. For this purpose, we would like to recommend our article "Stop Smoking - Understanding Tobacco Addiction". There you will learn, among other things, how cigarettes are addictive and what role toxins and nicotine play.


Now we come to the methods.

Physical dependence - methods of treatment

1.) Nicotine replacement therapies (over the counter)

Examples: Nicorette® or Nicotinelle® chewing gums, patches, sprays, etc.


Advantages: Healthier nicotine delivery in a pleasant formula, unobtrusive to use or take, reduces cravings by delivering nicotine, chewing gums come in a variety of flavours


Limitations:

  • They only treat physical dependence.

  • Uncontrolled, undocumented withdrawal therapy

  • Ineffective delivery of nicotine causes withdrawal symptoms to persist

  • Risk of nicotine overdose

  • Skin allergy possible with patches

  • Success rate is only 6%

  • Relatively expensive

  • First use may cause nausea

  • Does not help with the widespread fear amongst (mainly) women of gaining weight without smoking.

2.) Nicotine-free drug therapies (prescription)

Examples: Zyban® (in D), Chantix® (only in the USA).


Advantages: Medically supervised drug therapy


Limitations:

  • They only treat physical dependence and are associated with adverse drug reactions. Psychological dependence is not – or hardly – taken into account.


3.) E-cigarettes

Examples:

Juul®, Iqos®, blu®.


Advantages:

Compared to cigarettes, nicotine intake is reduced, mouth-to-mouth movement is maintained.


Limitations:

  • Can only support physical dependence, no support/control of psychological dependence.

  • Efficient nicotine delivery, but no control to reduce nicotine over time

Psychological dependence - behavioural therapy methods

1.) DIY / digital and online solutions

a)

Examples: Brief counselling & addiction hotline


Advantages: low-threshold offer, short-term or selective help


Limitations:

  • Treats only psychological addiction

  • In most cases, only a reactive service and not a full programme is offered

  • Low user guidance and engagement due to lack of data or guidance between appointments

  • Not promising, as smoking cessation is usually a long-term project and requires time and patience

b)

Examples: Apps and online programmes for smoking cessation.


Advantages: Support through psychological assistance, support through documentation of data, often free to start, can be easily integrated into everyday life


Limitations:

  • Treats only psychological dependence

  • Often very limited and standardised content

  • Low user engagement due to lack of data and personalisation to keep users motivated and engaged in the programme

2.) Individual expert approaches

a)

Examples: Intensive face-to-face therapy.


Advantages: Personal expert counselling/personal coaching

Limitations:

  • Treats only psychological dependence without addressing nicotine dependence.

  • Time-consuming and impractical as users usually have to come for physical appointments.

  • Low user engagement due to lack of data or guidance between appointments.


b)

Examples: Stay in a rehabilitation clinic


Advantages: Continuous monitoring and support by doctors and possibly other healthcare experts.


Limitations:

  • Extremely time-consuming and expensive

  • Does not take into account the everyday life or environment of smokers, which often leads to relapses.

Treat physical and psychological dependence with one method

1.) Product: nuumi


Advantages:

  • Complete programme that treats physical and psychological dependence.

  • Simple application that can be easily integrated into everyday life

  • Nicotine quantity can be reduced according to individual needs, thus avoiding common physical withdrawal symptoms

  • preliminary maintenance of the learned smoking ritual. Thus, the individual components of the addiction (physical/psychological) can be separated in time, which enables the patient to concentrate on the treatment of the individual aspects of the addiction.

  • Already, the first step is a "healthier" nicotine intake (e-cigarette instead of smoking)

  • Very motivating due to transparent documentation of the cessation progress as well as gamification through milestones

  • Presumably high success rate because of a combination of behavioural change and nicotine reduction


Limitations:

  • Currently still an unknown brand (i.e. little trust)

  • At first glance, "another app"

What exactly is nuumi and how does the product work in detail? Is the method based on scientific facts? Answers to these and other questions can be found in our article "Stop smoking - the formula for success".

Want to know if nuumi is something for you? Take the test here and become a free and non-binding beta tester