You Know You Need to Quit Smoking — How We Can Help You Succeed

smoking, addiction

You get it — smoking is bad for your health. From serious medical conditions like heart and lung disease, multiple types of cancer, diabetes, and stroke to premature aging and even sexual dysfunction, smoking wreaks havoc on your organs, tissues, and way of life.

If you’re already convinced you need to give up your smokes and are looking for the best way to do it, Dr. Kelly Willis at Open Water Medical can be your lifesaver. He’s been helping patients kick the habit for years using a variety of approaches and techniques, and he can help find the right solution for you, too.

The science behind quitting smoking

You want to quit smoking, and you’re not alone: about two-thirds of all smokers say they want to quit. But it’s easier said than done. And as you well know if you’ve ever tried to quit cold turkey, the success rate stinks.

That’s because nicotine is an addictive chemical, as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Nicotine causes cravings in three ways.

If you’re serious about quitting smoking, you need to recognize all three factors, face them individually, and conquer them completely.

I’ve tried to quit smoking and failed. What can help?

Fortunately, there are several methods you can try that might prove helpful on your personal smoke cessation journey, and there are many new products on the market to give you a helping hand. Just remember that the solutions are not one-size-fits-all. If you try one that doesn’t work for you, try something else. It may take a while to land on the solution that fits you best, but the benefits of a good solution far outweigh the wait.

One-on-one and group counseling

When you give up nicotine, you may notice signs of depression, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. That’s why so many people return to their smoking habit, so they can get rid of those negative feelings.

If you respond well to personal support and encouragement, counseling might be the best course of action for you. Dr. Willis can recommend groups and individual therapists throughout North Carolina that will welcome you in and help you out.

Over-the-counter smoke cessation products

Some smoking cessation methods are more effective when you use them together — like counseling and over-the-counter aids. Aids come in many forms, including:

No matter the form, they’re all called the same thing — nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). They work by helping you gradually wean yourself off of nicotine so you stand a better chance of breaking the habit for good. It’s important to note that since they contain low doses of nicotine, you must be 18 or older to buy them.

Another option is a prescription NRT that comes in the form of a nasal spray or an oral inhaler.

Prescription medications

When over-the-counter products aren’t doing the trick for you, Dr. Willis may recommend a prescription-strength solution. While there are several drugs currently undergoing trials and research, there are two FDA-approved medications available now.


Commonly known as Chantix®, this drug interferes with the nicotine receptors in your brain, which means you will find smoking less pleasurable and experience fewer withdrawal symptoms.

Dr. Willis prescribes verenicline a few weeks before the date you plan to quit smoking, and you will continue taking it for a total of 12 weeks on average. Duration and dosage depend on many factors, and Dr. Willis monitors you throughout the treatment to give you the best chance at long-term smoking cessation.


You may have seen this drug under the brand names: Zyban®, Wellbutrin®, or Aplenzin®. This extended release antidepressant helps curb your cravings for nicotine and lessens the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.

As with verenicline, Dr. Willis gets you started on this regimen a few weeks ahead of your quit date and keeps you on another seven to 12 weeks, depending on how well you respond.

While neither of these prescription medications contain nicotine, they both have known side effects. Make sure you talk with Dr. Willis at length about any health conditions you have and any medications or supplements you’re taking; these may affect your treatment.

There have never been more ways to quit smoking or more reasons to do it. If you’re in the North Carolina area, you know you need to quit, and you’re ready to do something about it, call us at Open Water Medical today (252-728-5737) or make an appointment online.

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