Supplements for Stopping Smoking: Quit smoking once and for all!

Supplements for Stopping Smoking: Quit smoking once and for all!

We give you information on a range supplements to stopping smoking with the potential to help you kick the habit once and for all and improve your health.

Smoking is one of the most harmful health practices currently in widespread use.

The reason people continue to get hooked on this bad habit is the addictive effect of nicotine in cigarettes.

Motives to quit smoking

The motives for give up smoking, no matter how hard it sounds, cannot be imposed by anyone. They must come from yourself.

Quitting smoking is always a good idea for people’s health, but it is also a hard and difficult process that will test you.

Stpo smoking

The first step is reasoning why you should stop smoking.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Is it worth smoking?
  • Are there more pros than cons?
If your answer to both questions is no, you have already begun your process of give up an addiction that puts your health and the health of those around you at risk.

Keep looking for motives to quit:

  • Is smoking negatively affecting my health?
  • Does smoking constitute a significant part of my weekly spend?
  • Does smoking take time away from family/friends?
  • Do I want to feel how I felt before I started smoking again?
Smoking is a habit that seriously affects your health, sometimes just remembering that football match with your friends years ago, while now you are not able to run for 10 minutes without getting tired and having to stop, can help you take the step to quit.

Quitting smoking results in considerable savings, taking into account the average number of cigarettes consumed by a moderate smoker is 10 a day and that each pack costs around €5 in mainland Spain, the savings are more than £75 a month.

Investment in time, money and health

Does continuing to smoke really pay for your investment in time, money and health?

  • With this money you could invite your daughter or son to dinner, which will allow you to spend more time with them without exposure to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke;
  • You can buy a gym membership;
  • Or if you save for months, you could pay for your next summer holidays.

Benefits of stopping smoking

Every single person that stops smoking benefits from doing so.

The effects on your health, according to the information offered by the WHO,are:

Benefits of stopping smoking

Dangers of tobacco

Tobacco is also associated with the development of disease and dysfunction in all organs of the human body.

Approximately half of the people who do not stop smoking will die from complications of a smoking-related illness.

Chronic exposure to smoke increases the risk of suffering:

  • Cancer.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Lung diseases.
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Emphysema; Chronic Bronchitis.
  • Contraction of tuberculosis and other respiratory infections.
  • Retinopathies, ocular vasculopathies and eye diseases.
  • Alterations in the proper functioning of the immune system, including autoimmune diseases.


Risk of death ratio by age group and difference in risk of death between smokers and non-smokers

Quitting smoking before the age of 50 significantly reduces the risk of early death from any cause.

Herbs for quitting smoking

There are currently very few approved treatments for quitting smoking, most of which are based on psychostimulants that supplement the action of nicotine on the brain.

In fact, one of the most widely used methods of stopping smoking is through nicotine replacement therapy using chewing gum, patches, vaporisers or other intake means.


We have a range of herbs that have been traditionally used to stop smoking, such as Ashwagandha Extract.

All of them have limited evidence of clinical effectiveness, and there is currently no treatment recommended by international reference bodies that recommend the use of botanicals for stopping smoking.

Which supplements can help you quit smoking?

Many of the food supplements that can have an effect on stopping smoking are based on their dopaminergic mechanisms, which can address the core symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.


Effects and interrelations between the 3 main neurotransmitters (Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Serotonin).

Some food supplements whose use is also often recommended during when stopping are”

  • 5-HTP: As a precursor to serotonin.
  • Mucuna Pruriens Extract: Due to its Levodopa content, an amino acid precursor of dopamine.
  • Ashwagandha Extract: For the management of stress induced by the cessation of the administration of an addictive substance such as nicotine.

Ashwagandha vs placebo

Effects of Ashwagandha vs Placebo on various markers of anxiety.

Again, if you are determined to stop smoking, contact your doctor for information on the options available to help you achieve your goal.

Food supplements are not intended to prevent any condition requiring medical attention, including abstinence or any undesirable effects of quitting smoking.

Why do people put on weight when stopping smoking?

One of the main undesirable effects of stopping smoking is weight gain.

The average weight gain associated with stopping smoking tobacco is 4.1kg.

Effect of stopping smoking

Forest plot showing the negative effect of give up smoking on body weight gain.

Tobacco is not the only cause of staying slim.

While nicotine has a clear anorectic effect and may slightly increase energy expenditure (basal metabolic rate), weight gain is due to increased caloriceintake to replace the dopaminergic effects of nicotine.

Appetite homeostasis

Graphic representation of (neuro-)hormones that regulate appetite homeostasis.

The subject is complex, but to simplify it:

Any alteration in the balance of the reward systems, modulated by neurotransmitters such as Dopamine, or Serotonin (which are altered when smoking stops), results in an increase in energy intake and a loss of control over the regulation of satiety.


Factors conditioning the palatability and enjoyment of food.

This causes our calorie intake to increase significantly, mainly because most of the foods we want to eat are those with higher calorie density, higher in sugars and fats, which produce a more intense brain response due to their great taste.

Benefits of exercise for quitting smoking

Physical exercise is one of the most effective behavioural therapies currently available to reduce the symptoms of stopping tobacco.

Graphic 2

Changes in anxiety sensitivity rates between physical exercise and sedentary life.

Physical exercise is able to increase arousal, addressing anxiety sensitivity and psycho-emotional behaviours that can lead to relapse.

Benefits of exercise for quitting smoking

Benefits of exercise for quitting smoking.

3 simple aerobic training sessions per week, lasting 35 minutes, over 15 weeks, significantly reduced nicotine withdrawal symptoms and improved adherence to smoking cessation (Smiths et al., 2016).

Bibliographic References

  1. Broman-Fulks, J. J., & Storey, K. M. (2008). Evaluation of a brief aerobic exercise intervention for high anxiety sensitivity. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 21(2), 117–128.
  2. Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 255–262.
  3. Leas, E. C., Pierce, J. P., Benmarhnia, T., White, M. M., Noble, M. L., Trinidad, D. R., & Strong, D. R. (2018). Effectiveness of pharmaceutical smoking cessation AIDS in a nationally representative cohort of American smokers. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 110(6), 581–587.
  4. Liu, Y., Zhao, J., & Guo, W. (2018). Emotional roles of mono-aminergic neurotransmitters in major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(NOV), 2201.
  5. McDonough, M. (2015). Update on medicines for smoking cessation. Australian Prescriber, 38(4), 106–110.
  6. Nakano, K., Kyutoku, Y., Sawa, M., Matsumura, S., Dan, I., & Fushiki, T. (2013). Analyzing comprehensive palatability of cheese products by multivariate regression to its subdomains. Food Science and Nutrition, 1(5), 369–376.
  7. Nieoullon, A. (2002). Dopamine and the regulation of cognition and attention. Progress in Neurobiology, 67(1), 53–83.
  8. Smits, J. A. J., Zvolensky, M. J., Davis, M. L., Rosenfield, D., Marcus, B. H., Church, T. S., … Baird, S. O. (2016). The efficacy of vigorous-intensity exercise as an aid to smoking cessation in adults with high anxiety sensitivity: A randomized controlled trial. Psychosomatic Medicine, 78(3), 354–364.
  9. Thun, M. J., Carter, B. D., Feskanich, D., Freedman, N. D., Prentice, R., Lopez, A. D., … Gapstur, S. M. (2013). 50-Year Trends in Smoking-Related Mortality in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(4), 351–364.
  10. Tian, J., Venn, A., Otahal, P., & Gall, S. (2015). The association between quitting smoking and weight gain: A systemic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Obesity Reviews, 16(10), 883–901.
  11. Volkow, N. D., Wang, G. J., & Baler, R. D. (2011). Reward, dopamine and the control of food intake: Implications for obesity. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15(1), 37–46.
  12. Yang, J. J., Yu, D., Wen, W., Shu, X. O., Saito, E., Rahman, S., … Zheng, W. (2019). Tobacco Smoking and Mortality in Asia: A Pooled Meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open, 2(3), e191474.

Related Entries

  • If you’re still a smoker, you might be interested in finding out the supplements that can improve your quality of life. Visit this link.
  • What is the relationship between Nicotine and weight loss? We tell you here.
  • Everything you need to know about Ashwagandha in the following article.
Review of Supplements for Stopping Smoking

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About Alfredo Valdés
Alfredo Valdés
He is a specialist in metabolic physiopathology training and in the biomolecular effects of food and physical exercise.
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