Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Quitting Tobacco

If you smoke or use tobacco products, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of your loved ones. Good planning, support, and the latest quit tobacco medications can help you succeed.

What Are Quit Tobacco Medications?

Quit tobacco medications are drugs that help people quit smoking. Cigarettes and tobacco products contain nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive drug. Medications can ease cravings and other symptoms you might feel as your body withdraws from nicotine. This will help you focus on your strategies for living life without tobacco. 

People who use medications are twice as likely to quit successfully as those who don’t use them. 

Some People Shouldn’t Use Medications

These medications may not be right for people who:

  • Are pregnant.
  • Are breastfeeding. 
  • Have certain medical conditions. 

If you smoke fewer than 5 cigarettes per day, these medications are probably not going to help you quit.

Types of Medications

There are 2 main types of quit tobacco medications:

  • Nicotine replacement therapy. This usually comes in a patch, lozenge, or gum. 
  • Non-nicotine medication. This comes in a pill.   

Both types increase your chances of successfully quitting. Studies have shown that combining medications may be even more effective.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is safe to use. It contains nicotine without all the other dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke. This form of nicotine can help wean you off the nicotine in tobacco. There are 2 main categories of NRT:

  • Long-acting NRT. This gives your body a steady, long-acting supply of nicotine. You wear a patch all day to help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It takes about 30 minutes to begin working. You still may have a few cravings as the day goes on. 
  • Fast-acting NRT. This provides quick, temporary relief of cravings and withdrawal symptoms. You can use gum, lozenges, inhaler, or nasal spray.

Using Both Types of NRT Together

We may recommend that you use both types of nicotine replacement therapy at the same time. Using the long-acting nicotine patch will give you a steady supply of relief all day long. However, you may still have breakthrough cravings or other withdrawal symptoms. When this happens, you can use a fast-acting NRT like gum or a lozenge. This can help you deal with periods of intense cravings. 

Non-Nicotine Therapy

Non-nicotine therapy helps you manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This means you can focus on your other strategies for quitting tobacco. Two non-nicotine prescription medications are:

  • Bupropion SR (sometimes known by the brand names Wellbutrin or Zyban).
  • Varenicline (known by the brand name Chantix). 

Both can reduce your urge to smoke. They also ease your withdrawal symptoms by increasing the release of certain brain chemicals. 

Combining NRT and Non-NRT Medications

Combining quit tobacco medications may make it more likely that you will quit successfully. We may recommend that you use 2, or even 3, types of medications. This is usually for a short period of time, for example, 8 to 12 weeks. We may suggest that you combine:

  • One, or both, types of NRT (patch and gum/lozenge), with 
  • A non-nicotine therapy medication like Bupropion SR. 

These medications work in different ways. Used together, they provide extra support to reduce the urge to smoke and they ease withdrawal symptoms.  

Related Health Tools:

Classes and Coaching
Interactive Programs

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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