Smoking Cessation Services
Of those who try to quit smoking, fewer than 3% are successful in becoming permanent ex-smokers. This is because the vast majority of people who make a quit attempt do not seek professional assistance. The good news is that there are effective treatments that can greatly enhance your chances of successfully quitting.
Dr. Harte offers cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), combined with a smoking cessation medication (such as the nicotine patch, for example), which produces significantly higher success rates for smokers who are motivated to quit. CBT is an evidenced-based psychological treatment that focuses on identifying and changing maladaptive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that trigger, worsen, and/or maintain a range of smoking-related behaviors and smoking urges.
How it Works
Smoking cessation treatment starts with conducting a comprehensive assessment of your smoking history (e.g., smoking duration, number of quit attempts, how you quit, etc), and your current smoking patterns (e.g., frequency, times of day you smoke, situations or environments you are in when you smoke, and moods experienced before, during, and after smoking). You and your provider will then set a quit date, which is typically between 2 to 4 weeks after you start treatment in order to give yourself time to prepare for quitting.
Once your quit date arrives, it is recommended that you take a nicotine replacement medication. These medications (such as the nicotine patch) deliver a safe and controlled amount of nicotine to your body so that you can reduce the physical aspects of your addiction while you utilize the following CBT techniques to address the psychological aspects of the habit:
Restructuring your thinking patterns related to smoking: for example, challenging the belief that smoking is the only activity that relieves stress.
Identifying ways to stay busy: Boredom is a common trigger to smoke. You will be helped to identify a range of activities that can provide you with a sense of accomplishment and that will help you to keep your mind off of smoking. You will also identify alternate activities to keep your hands and mouth active (for example, eating healthy snacks, chewing gum, holding a pen).
Increasing physical activity: Exercise has been shown to reduce smoking urges and to reduce weight gain associated with quitting smoking.
Managing negative mood states: Stress and other negative mood states increase smoking urges. CBT will help you to more effectively manage these moods so that they have less of an impact on your urge to smoke.
Relaxation training: Stress is one of the biggest triggers to smoke. Relaxation training teaches you how to relax both your mind and your body. This helps you to reduce any anxiety or tension that triggers you to smoke. This method can be used both during the day and at bedtime. It involves training you how to better control muscle relaxation, breathing, and mental focusing.