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Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

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posted: January 1, 2011

Timely Tips

Timely Tip: Elderly Smoking Cessation

With large numbers of elderly continuing to smoke, caregivers should focus their efforts on getting their loved ones to understand that they can quit and that the health benefits begin almost immediately.

And there are tools available to assist: Nicotine replacement aides and medications help reduce the desire to smoke while also offering a way to avoid exposure to the toxic chemicals contained in cigarettes. The following products are designed to help smokers cope with nicotine withdrawal and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Nicotine Gum: Available over the counter (OTC). Delivers nicotine quickly to the brain, thereby reducing craving.

Nicotine Lozenges: Available OTC. In a candy-like form, lozenges release nicotine slowly as lozenges dissolve. Use of lozenges should not exceed 12 weeks.

Nicotine Patches: Available OTC and by prescription. At $4-$6 per day, patches steadily release nicotine into the body.

Nicotine Nasal Spray:  By prescription.  Nasal membranes allow for the fastest delivery of nicotine to the brain. Nicotine nasal sprays are popular among long-term and/or heavy smokers.

Nicotine Inhaler: By prescription. These are cartridges that resemble cigarettes. By puffing on the cartridge, nicotine is released. Dosages vary according to the individual.

Zyban: By prescription. Also known as bupropion hydrochloride and sold under the name of Wellbutrin, an antidepressant medication.  Zyban does not contain nicotine, but it has been proven successful in reducing the desire to smoke.  On average, Zyban is prescribed for not more than seven weeks.

Chantix: By prescription. Helps reduce withdrawal symptoms while at the same time reduces the pleasure of smoking. Tablets are taken twice a day for 12 -24 weeks.

Get the full story on how caregivers can help their elderly loved ones quit smoking in A Life Up in Smoke: Is Quitting Only a Pipe Dream for Elderly Smokers?, a feature article in the November 2008 edition of Caregiver’s Home Companion.

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