Step 2: Consider nicotine replacements and medications
If you are a heavy smoker and especially if you have tried to quit before, medications such as nicotine gum or patches may help. They are more effective when used together with self-help materials or counselling.
Nicotine gum is used as needed to control your cravings one at a time. It eases strong cravings when you need extra help or temporary relief.
Nicotine patches are used for up to three months to replace and gradually reduce the nicotine you will no longer get from cigarettes. Most are designed to be worn full-time. As such, they work to help control cravings continuously and reduce the other effects of withdrawal. They will probably make it easier for you to say "no" to cigarettes.
Nicotine gum and patches can be bought at a drug store without a prescription. You start using them on your designated quit day. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you want to use patches or gum when you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you have angina, an irregular heart beat, or a history of heart attack or other heart disease.
Bupropion is a prescription anti-depressant that is also used to reduce cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. It must be started seven to ten days before you quit as it takes time to build up in the bloodstream. Bupropion can be used with nicotine gum or patches, but not with certain other medications. Some people experience side effects such as dry mouth and insomnia. Make an appointment with your doctor if you are considering using bupropion.