A good quit smoking program will combine a strategy for eliminating nicotine with techniques for getting rid of your psychological dependence.
Regardless of whether you choose a residential, class-room, or home-study program, the psychological factors around quitting are the same, so whatever kind of program you choose, make sure it has a strong psychological component.
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On this page you'll find quit smoking program information for three categories of quit smoking programs: Residential programs, where you actually check into a facility to quit smoking, classroom-type programs, where you must attend sessions outside of your home, and home study quit smoking programs, where you receive program materials which you use at home, with varying degrees of help or follow-up via phone contact or e-mail.
These types of programs can vary a great deal in terms of cost, convenience, and effectiveness. I'll tell you what to look for in each type. Click on the link for each program type to find more quit smoking program information and recommendations for that specific type.
An inpatient quit smoking program is likely to be the most expensive and least convenient, since you actually check into a medical facility for a period of time in order to quit smoking. However, for some people these can be very effective, with success rates in the 50% range. (This is about 10 times the rate for cold turkey quitting. In comparison, nicotine patches and prescription medications to quit generally have a doubling effect.)
An inpatient program should be all-inclusive, dealing with physical nicotine addiction issues as well as psychological dependence issues. Importantly, this type of program removes you from your regular environment while you quit, which can make it easier initially. However, to be effective it must include techniques designed to help eliminate smoking triggers in your regular environment so you can go back to your normal life without relapsing. Generally this means an in-patient program should include lots of opportunities for follow-up help and support after the 'inpatient' portion of the program is over.
This is the middle-of-the-road ― significantly less expensive than residential programs, and certainly more convenient to attend a few classes than to take time off work or other activities to check into an residential facility. They vary in terms of effectiveness, depending on the information and techniques that are used. These are sometimes delivered by medical facilities, and may be called 'outpatient' programs.
An classroom-type quit smoking program should definitely have a strong component for dealing with psychological aspects of the smoking dependence. It should also either include a nicotine fading structure or some other tools or products to eliminate the physical addiction while minimizing withdrawal symptoms. It should either last several weeks, or it should include some type of follow-up for at least a few weeks after you quit.
Home Study quit smoking programs have the convenience of no classes to attend, and generally speaking are lower in cost compared to programs that require in-person attendance. (Of course, they are much lower in cost than residential programs.) This type of program can range from nothing more than a brochure-like program guide, which you can generally get for free at a number of different government and community group web sites ― to a step-by-step program complete with opportunities for consultation and on-going follow-up support after you quit, generally via phone or e-mail. The latter is more of a hybrid-type program that combines the convenience of a home study program with support-on-demand. The effectiveness of home study programs varies widely, depending both upon the quality of the materials and the amount of effort you choose to put in to using them. (In truth, the ultimate effectiveness of any program or product to help you quit smoking depends on your personal effort.)
If you are considering a home study quit smoking program, one of the most important things to look for is a detailed step-by-step guide that gives sufficient attention to the psychological aspects of quitting. Ideally, it should also include a way to deal with the physical nicotine addiction, or you will need to choose a technique or product to use in tandem with it that helps with that part. An added bonus would be a home study program that also provides ample opportunities for consultation and/or follow-up support. These may increase the cost somewhat, but are worth it in terms of the potential increase in effectiveness.
Quit Smoking Program Information: Compare Program Types
Comparing three categories of quit smoking programs: Residential quit smoking programs, quit smoking classes, and home study quit smoking programs.
$3500 to over $5000
Generally higher than less intensive interventions
Professional staff, good follow-up procedures.
Medium: $300 to $600 and up.
Effective behavioral techniques, strategy for minimizing physical withdrawal, unconditional guarantee of at least 3 months
up to ~$400
Clear step-by-step procedures, opportunities for consultation or support, unconditional guarantee of at least 3 months
Note that just because a program comes with a guarantee doesn't mean it is more effective than one without, but it does mean you can get your money back if it turns out it's not for you.
Although the residential programs are intensive with relatively high success rates, many people manage to quit smoking without such extreme and costly measures. If you really feel you've tried everything, or if you have a dire need to quit immediately, and simply want the most intensive intervention you can find, then an residential program may be the way to go. Otherwise, I'd recommend looking for a good classroom-based program, or a home study program with a clear step-by-step process that includes also include some form support.
By the way, if you haven't come across this yet, I do review my own program on this site - it's a home study program designed to deal with both the nicotine addiction and the psychological dependence that keeps bringing you back to smoking after you've quit. It's called The Complete Quit System, and if you want to use your brain to help you quit, you may want to check it out.