Fagerstrom’s Test For Nicotine Dependence
You probably have some clue of how hooked you are on nicotine. Remember the last time you took a flight and forgot your Nicorette Gum?… As you probably already know, if that last cigarette deprivation was unbearable, you are addicted. But there is a way to determine how addicted you are beyond “it sucks,” it is the Fagerstrom’s Test For Nicotine Dependence, a simple questionnaire that helps you or a doctor better understand your level nicotine addiction.
The Fagerstrom Test consists of six simple questions that help you to do an accurate self assessment. Each answer on the test is assigned a number of points, you answer the questions honestly, then you add your points to determine which category you fall into; just like the fun quizzes in Cosmo. If you want to take the test online you can do it here: http://www.quittea.com/quiz.php
The levels of nicotine dependence are split into five categories: low dependence, moderate dependence, average/over average dependence, high dependence, and extreme dependence. It is important for you to understand which category you fall into to determine the method you should use to quit smoking.
The low nicotine dependence group makes up 20% of all smokers. If you are in this group you are lucky. It probably means you have not smoked long, don’t smoke often, are just a social smokers, or are one of those people genetically resistant to addiction. For this group the nicotine withdrawal symptoms are low and short lasting, and your chances of quitting success are very high. Smokers in the group could probably quit cold turkey but may benefit from using some simple natural remedies to help them quit. Natural remedies include Quit Tea, acupuncture, hypnosis, lifestyle changes, buddy support, and other herbs and spices.
The moderately dependent group makes up 30% of all smokers. This group is also made of people that probably don’t smoke as consistently, because they don’t need to. Withdrawal symptoms for this group are moderate and very manageable. If you are in this group you could probably give up smoking on your own, cold turkey, but would benefit from some simple natural remedies as well. Nicotine replacement is an option for you but not necessary, and luckily you will have an easy time tapering off.
The Average to Over Average group is also a big one, making up 30% of all smokers and covering a large range of dependence. This group of people smokes consistently but probably could go for period without cigarettes and manage. For you in this group the withdrawal symptoms are as advertised, a few weeks of feeling over stressed and anxious, but they are not going to be unbearable. If you are in this group you should probably use nicotine replacement along with other natural remedies, and consider joining some type of nicotine support group, finding a buddy, or reading books on smoking cessation for the information.
The Highly Dependent group is only 15% of all smokers and is made up a people that have smoked a lot of cigarettes for a long time. People in this group will experience strong withdrawal symptoms that last a long time, and quitting will be difficult… but not impossible! There are some in this group that will experience disorders from the nicotine withdrawal, possibly due to existing conditions. If you are in this group you should talk to a doctor about quitting smoking. You may want to consider using prescription medications like Zyban or Chantix, although it is not necessary and you should be aware of the side effects. Nicotine replacement therapy is probably necessary to quit and you should taper off slowly. You might also find books or talk to a therapist about behavioral modification therapy. Also, anything can and should be combined with natural remedies as a supplement, as well as group support.
The Extremely Nicotine Dependent group makes up 5% of the population of smokers. This group is extremely addicted almost always due to an underlying medical condition such as debilitating social anxiety or depression. If you are in this group definitely talk to a doctor, quitting smoking without doing so properly could lead to more problems. As with the highly addicted group, the doctor may prescribe Zyban or Chantix. And you should use in combination all types of support available to you, such as group, natural remedies, books, buddy support, and so on.
Before you quit smoking try taking the Fagerstrom Test For Nicotine Dependence, even if it is just for fun.
Matthew Bucklin is the creator of the popular herbal stop smoking aid Quit Tea and President of Quit Tea LLC. As an expert in smoking cessation and health, he has helped hundreds of people finally quit smoking and return to health. Bucklin worked as a health care analyst at a hedge fund in New York for years, learning about pharmaceuticals and seeing the need for healthy and effective alternatives. He believes that drugs are the last option and that good health comes from a lifestyle change and sometimes a little help from natural remedies.