Are you or a loved one struggling with tobacco use? Do you want to quit smoking and don’t know how to start? Have you tried to quit before and been unsuccessful? Worried that vaping is not a great alternative?
Nicotine has been proven to be a highly addictive substance. According to the Diagnostic Statistic Manual (DSM-5), an updated definition of addiction related to tobacco related substances was established as Tobacco Use Disorder to include a problematic pattern of tobacco use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. Daily use is not needed for problematic tobacco use. In fact, only two of the following criteria must be met for diagnosing a Tobacco Use Disorder:
- Tobacco is taken in larger amounts or over longer periods of time than was intended.
- Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop or cut down use.
- A great deal of time is spent in activities to use or obtain tobacco.
- Craving, strong desire or urge to use tobacco.
- Recurrent use resulting in failure to fulfill or interference with obligations such as work, school or home.
- Use despite having social or interpersonal problems, such as arguments about tobacco use.
- Important activities are given up or reduced because of tobacco use.
- Recurrent use in situations that would be hazardous, such as smoking in bed.
- Use despite physical or psychological problems likely to have been caused or exacerbated by tobacco.
- Tolerance requiring more tobacco to achieve the same effects or diminished effects with continued use of the same amount of tobacco.
- Withdrawal after stopping tobacco use or continuing to use tobacco or closely related substance such as a nicotine patch, to avoid potential withdrawal symptoms.
How many did you check off?
According to the DSM-5 withdrawal can consist of irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety, difficulty concentration, increased appetite, restlessness, depressed mood or insomnia. The fear of withdrawal symptoms is often enough for someone to lack the desire to quit. Vaping, also known as e-cigarettes or Juuls, has been marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking, but new data is showing the opposite. The concentration of nicotine in vape pods is often higher and there are numerous carcinogens given off by e-cigarettes that have been linked to respiratory and pulmonary illnesses and even death.
Even when motivated to quit, many people are not able to quit tobacco use on their own. In fact, the first year is the hardest for most people that try to quit, with rates as high as 60-90% of tobacco relapse within the first year. Younger age is a strong predictor for relapse on tobacco. Many people try as many as 30 times to quit tobacco use.
We are here to help. Insight Into Action Therapy uses a clinical approach to support your attempt to quit tobacco products and increase your chances of success. We help explore your relationship with tobacco and factors impacting your use. We work with you to develop a quit plan and track progress while making adjustments if needed. We can also assess the need for supplemental medication and provide an easy internal referral to our prescribers to aid in quitting your nicotine use and support long term cessation goals.
Insight Into Action Therapy specializes in the treatment of Substance Use Disorders. We have specific services focused on supporting cessation of Tobacco Use, particularly with unique programming for teen smoking/vaping cessation. Give us a call at (703) 646-7664 to learn about our tobacco-related services.