7 Nootropics That Make Quitting Smoking a Breeze

Arcticle prepared in conjunction with Jonathan Roseland at limitlessmindset.com

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Introduction

Every year around January 1st many millions of people take on the valiant goal quitting smoking and shockingly few succeed. The vast majority will relapse and wallow in self loathing as they shamefully billow second hand cigarette smoke, having failed yet again to quit.

If you’re serious about kicking this bad habit and avoiding all the pain and expense of the numerous deadly illnesses which are a virtually inevitability if you continue smoking you’re definitely going to want to consider some of these Nootropic and smart drugs.

Rhodiola Rosea

Two Italian studies conducted in 2011 and 2012 indicated that it maybe a (literal) lifesaver for smokers, the studies showed it alleviated some of the depression and physiological symptoms that are associated with Nicotine cessation – quitting smoking.

The potential benefits of rhodiola for one who is quitting smoking are many.

First, rhodiola may reduce withdrawal symptoms. In a study done on mice who had formed a nicotine dependence, extract of rhodiola rosea was shown to decrease signs of withdrawal exhibited after cessation of nicotine administration. While this study was not done on humans, it does show promise that rhodiola will aid in the reduction of withdrawal symptoms after quitting smoking.

Second, Rhodiola may also help to counter the effects of weight gain associated with quitting smoking. Not only does it reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol (high cortisol levels result in an increase in belly fat) it also helps to burn existing fat. Rhodiola does this by mobilizing fatty acids from adipose tissue and activating adipose lipase, an enzyme needed to burn stored fat.

Personally, my researcher has a few words to say about her own experience with Rhodiola: I have been smoking cigarettes for sixteen years but have recently decided to give it a try and quit. I have never been such a heavy smoker…mostly up to five a day so…why should I smoke at all? I started a few weeks ago using Rhodiola, one little 200 milligram pill per day and have cut smoking down up to one cigarette per day. I haven’t experienced any withdrawal symptoms so far and my cravings for nicotine have been really insignificant. It seems like Rhodiola has been helping me a lot and I will eventually quit smoking for good, thanks to its properties.

Dosage & Usage: 200 – 600 milligrams daily

Oxiracetam

The Discipline Molecule, this subtle smart drug is not very stimulating but it gives you a noticeable boost in will power for 4-6 hours. If your smoking relapses occur at the end of a long when you’re tired and you will power is sapped, dosing some Oxiracetam in the afternoon may make a big difference.

Oxiracetam is one of the racetams, and is structurally different from piracetam due to a single hydroxyl group. It is also used for nootropic purposes such as enhancing learning in students or preventing against cognitive decline. Like all other racetams, it is a synthetic molecule that is not found in food sources or in nature.

This Reddit.com user  reported on Oxiracetam’s helpful effect:

Smoked around a half a pack a day for the last few years, and ive taken a collection of nootropics for about the same amount of time. I have noticed a significant reduction in cravings while using oxiracetam and am currently using that while I attempt (again) to stop smoking completely.

Another Reddit.com user added:

For about 6-7 solid years I was a half-a-pack/day smoker, and had tried to ween off into vaping a couple of times. While tripping with the girlfriend and some friends, I was able to officially stop smoking on New Years Day, 2014 (The whole tripping thing really helps to kick bad habits, as anything unhealthy for you just starts to feel 10x worse). I was able to substitute smoking with sub-ohm vaping, as the clouds and potency were enough to finally satisfy that part of the habit. It didn’t take long to wean down to 2-3mg juice, and I have since been a regular sub-ohm vaper, because nicotine.

Recently, I’ve added Oxiracetam and Alpha-GPC to my stack, and it seems to have unlocked an underlying motivation to make positive changes in my life.

Dosage & Usage: 500 – 1000 milligrams daily

Piracetam

Is a similar smart drug to Oxiracetam, it’s a safe, cheap and effective stimulating drug that improves willpower – often in as little as 45 minutes. It has a synergistic effect on willpower with Oxiracetam, you would want to combine the Piracetam and Oxiracetam at a 4:1 ratio, so:

4 grams Piracetam
1 gram Oxiracetam
Or
2 grams Piracetam
500 milligrams Oxiracetam

Piracetam has also been demonstrated in clinical trials to have a nice synergistic effect with another Nootropic in this article, Rhodiola Rosea. If you have limited budget to invest in quitting smoking, I’ll narrow my recommendations down to:

Piracetam
Oxiracetam
Rhodiola

Piracetam can also restore healthy award arousal mechanism. Chronic use of vice can numb you to natural healthy pleasures; a conversation with a friend, dinner with loved ones or sex with your partner and Piracetam can restore your joy in these things.

Here’s what Biohackers are saying…

A Reddit.com user:

Piracetam and aniracetam helped me quit smoking. Sounds kinda weird but smoking was a good amount of times something I did when I was either stressed or was just kind of something I did when I wasn’t being productive doing anything else. Taking piracetam has really helped me to become much more proactive and productive, I sometimes find it hard to pry myself away from things I could possibly be getting done ahead of time.

Another biohacker on Reddit.com

I was able to quit smoking cigarettes (5 year habit) after unsuccessfully attempting cold turkey a couple times. No joke, piracetam really did the trick for breaking nicotine addiction. Any withdrawals or cravings were dramatically reduced.

American User on Longecity.com:

I am a 23 y.o. male from the U.S.A. and I began taking piracetam (and choline bartartrate) recently to help me quit smoking. Piracetam has worked well for me for this purpose. I have never heard about or seen any articles about using nootropics to assist in quitting drugs, but I decided to give it a go after not having good results with wellbutrin (stopped taking after several weeks, a month or so prior to starting piracetam).I feel like the piracetam helped me avoid, or at least not notice, the withdrawal symptoms I typically receive when not smoking for a few days (e.g., adhd, anxiety, insomnia, lethargy). This is not even mentioning the other benefits I have received from this nootropic. I also did not gain any weight, but I am skinny, have a fast metabolism, and was not a “heavy” smoker, so this was most likely not related.

Dosage & Usage: 2 – 4 grams daily

N-Acetyl Cysteine

A small pilot study of 12 heavy smokers conducted in the Netherlands in 2011 was quite optimistic about NAC as a quitting hack:

Relapse is the rule rather than the exception in smokers aiming to quit smoking. Recently, evidence has emerged that glutamate transmission plays an important role in relapse. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a cysteine prodrug, restores glutamate homeostasis and appears to be a potential new treatment for substance dependence.

It is concluded that the results of this pilot study are encouraging and suggest that NAC might be a promising new treatment option for relapse prevention in nicotine dependence.

If you peruse the anecdotal accounts of NAC users you’ll frequently hear it described as a willpower aid for abstaining from various vices, ranging from cigarettes and marijuana to cocaine and overeating.

An Australian user on earthclinic.com articulated how NAC effectively detoxifies your lungs which is makes it a great idea for former smokers and those trying to quit:

If you smoke or used to smoke and want to clean out your lungs try NAC, this is an indispensable product.

Aside from increasing your body’s production of glutathione, essential for liver protection, NAC is particularly effective in clearing your lungs of damaging carcinogens or any other detrimental pollutants.

In fact, if your dog is silly enough to go after a skunk and gets sprayed, and you take it to the vet, the first thing the vet will do is give it a 1K mg shot of NAC to clear its lungs of the spray, which can be toxic due to its preventing your dog’s ability to breathe with that oil covering the oxygen intake cells. So, for liver or lung protection/healing, NAC is essential and well worth the relatively minor expense, considering the benefits of taking it in contrast to the damage done if you don’t use it regularly while smoking.

This worked very well for us and its effects were immediately noticeable. It should be taken between meals with a B-6 tablet and 50mg of vitamin C in order to get the greatest benefit. I would recommend 2x 600mg capsules per day taken separately between meals for anyone needing the benefits of NAC.

Dosage & Usage: The Dutch study dosed the smokers 3600 milligrams. That seems like lot of NAC. I’d recommend starting at a dosage of 600 milligrams daily and incrementally increasing the dosage to see how you respond.

Modafinil

Modafinil does not directly aid in quitting smoking but a lot of aspiring quitters find it very helpful because it makes you very focused for 8 – 12 hours and it also seems to have a synergistic effect with Nicotine. It will make whatever Nicotine you are consuming more potent, so if you’re tapering down your smoking or using Nicotine patches or lozenges Modafinil is worth trying.

Modafinil is an wakefulness enhancing drug that was created for treatment of daytime sleep related disorders such as Narcolepsy. It seems to have benefits for cognition via increasing levels of stimulatory neurotransmitters in the brain, lifehackers use it as a quintessential smart drug.

An American double-blind placebo controlled trial was conducted in order to demonstrate the impact of modafinil on nicotine addiction.

One hundred and fifty-seven treatment-seeking smokers received brief smoking cessation counseling and were randomized to: (1) 8 weeks of modafinil (200mg/day), or (2) 8 weeks of placebo. The primary outcome was biochemically verified 7-day point prevalence abstinence at the end of treatment (EOT). Secondary outcomes included cigarette smoking rate and post-quit nicotine deprivation symptoms (e.g., negative affect, withdrawal).

Eventually, this study was ceased and smoking should only be considered when modafinil is prescribed, especially among people with psychiatric conditions that have high comorbidity with nicotine dependence.

In a 2008 study, done at Yale University’s School of Medicine, nineteen smokers, participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.

In each of three experimental sessions, subjects were treated orally with a single 200 mg or 400 milligram dose of modafinil or placebo. Two hours and 10 min following the medication treatment, subjects received a single 2 milligram nicotine lozenge. Both doses of modafinil alone increased the rating of elated-depressed on the Profile of Mood States. subscale in the direction of depressed and increased ratings of negative affect on the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS).

In contrast, the 200 mg modafinil dose combined with a 2 mg nicotine lozenge, increased the rating of energetic-tired in the direction of energetic on the POMS subscale. Modafinil attenuated self-reported rating of ‘drug strength’ in response to the nicotine lozenge. Modafinil, alone or in combination with the nicotine lozenge, did not affect tobacco withdrawal symptoms. There was an increase in baseline heart rate and systolic blood pressure under modafinil treatment.

Here are a few anecdotal experiences from users on Reddit.com:

I recently started taking modafinil(past week) and while taking it I noticed that I do not get withdrawal symptoms from nicotine…

I’m not interested in cigarettes while using modafinil. The first time i took a cigarette on modafinil I got the chills.

Modafinil also has a mild appetite suppressing effect, which may be good for quitters who want to avoid getting a bit plump.

Dosage & Usage: Many people find Modafinil VERY stimulating, I would not recommend that people take the 400 milligrams used in the Yale study. I recommend starting at a dosage of 100 milligrams daily.

Noopept

Is used by nootropic enthusiasts and has become one of the most popular smart drugs. It’s exact mechanism and effects are yet to have been explained completely by science but it frequently has a subtle psychostimulatory effect that aids those quitting smoking. It’s a very affordable Nootropic that has a tremendous upside for some.

These users on drugs-forum.com share their personal experiences:

I started taking noopept 2 days ago. 15mg at 6am when waking up, 10mg subligual at 2pm (works great sublingual). I ran out of cigarettes 3 hours before my first dose 2 days ago. To my surprise I have not smoked or thought about smoking cigarettes since I dosed. I have no withdrawal or cravings. I didn’t realize I’ve not smoked in 2 days till I noticed I have 20 bucks extra in my wallet. That was a great surprise! I hope this stays like this! I’ve not even taken noopept long enough to notice any major benefits. I do notice some though.;

Noopept may have eased my withdrawal from nicotine though I was not aware of it at the time since the effects were not as drastic as yours. I feel noopept may have allowed me additional focus to keep my mind on new tasks I completed to distract from smoking, and also may have played some role in neuroplasticity which allowed me to generate new neural networks associated with my new tasks in place of my former nicotine networks. This is strictly hypothetical as the mechanisms of action are not fully understood yet in this class of compounds. ;

However it works, its a miracle. I feel it helps me concentrate on other things to take my mind off cigarettes as well. When I would attempt cold turkey without noopept, if I thought about smoking I would obsess about it for a minimum of 5 minutes. Now if I think about a cigarette its over in seconds.

Longecity.com user here says:

More likely to also have contributed to my irritability and which I forgot to mention was that I also quit smoking tobacco a week back, however even tobacco has lost all appeal to me as of late. I think this is because Noopept re-sensitized my nicotine receptors as they are subclass of the acetylcholine receptor.

Dosage & Usage: 30 milligrams daily, split up into two or three doses, taken with a choline source.

Phenibut

This tangy anxiolytic drug is at the bottom of my list of recommended Nootropics because it doesn’t have a mechanism that should affect cravings or withdrawal symptoms. However, it’s worth your attention because Phenibut is the closest thing to a viable alternative to alcohol. Many smokers repeatedly fail to quit because they’ll be socializing with their friends and after a few drinks they just don’t have the willpower to resist smoking.

The social drinking and smoking relapse causality is so strong and clear that I strongly recommend, if you’re serious about quitting smoking that you concurrently commit to abstaining for 6 –  12 months from drinking alcohol. During that time, if you may want to experiment with using small doses of Phenibut which makes you very social and talkative without really intoxicating you.

Although, some Biohackers find Phenibut’s gabaergic mechanism to really assuage the cigarette withdrawals and cravings

Just wanted to post my quick experience using Phenibut to quit cigarettes. I had messed around with Phenibut for around 2 years previous to this experiment, usually only taking it once or twice a month in doses of 1.5grams (never gone higher). I’ve been smoking around a half pack, sometimes more, of cigarettes a day for the last 2 years and had “quit” more times than I could count only to be sucked in a few days later by nicotine withdrawal.

No Cigarettes: Day 1 — Dose 1.5 grams of Phenibut at 6PM that evening to help with sleep since quitting nicotine always hits my sleep the hardest the first few nights. By 9PM, feel very relaxed, thinking about a cig but also realizing that I will indeed be able to get as much sleep as I need that night. No signs of physical edginess that accompanies nicotine withdrawal. In fact, the Phenibut seems to mask physical symptoms at all.

Days 2 Through 7 — Brought dose down to 1gram/day only for the rest of the week, always at 6PM each day. This allowed me to relax and retain a normal sleep schedule (perhaps better than normal, naturally cause of the Phenibut). After the first week cig-free, I tapered my dose by 200mg/day, so by day 4 of the second week I took my last dose of Phenibut (200mg) and was done.

Compared to Previous Attempts -Much less daily anxiety -Easier to ignore social queues to smoke -Cravings greatly diminished (Although this was brought about mainly through the physical/psychological discomfort greatly reduced by the Phenibut. I am now FINALLY cigarette free thanks to Phenibut. I experienced no withdrawal from the Phenibut partially due to the low dose used (1.5g – 1gram) and the ending tapering. I recommend using this method to anyone that has struggled to quit cigarettes in the past.

Dosage & Usage: 200 – 1000 milligrams of Phenibut, less than three times weekly. Use it in higher dosages and it may become habit forming, it may also intoxicate you like alcohol which may be counterintuitive to your quitting smoking.

Reprogramming the Nicotine Pathway

You may have heard former smokers lamenting that even though it’s been years they quit they still struggle with cravings, especially when they should be enjoying themselves in a social setting. I personally quit smoking 5 years ago and also struggled with cravings for a while which I ultimate overcame and vanquished by reprogramming my neurobiological Nicotine pathway with a different source of Nicotine, 5% Nicotine USP solution from a little blue glass bottle.

Funnily, now I get Nicotine cravings from little blue glass bottles, which is a whole lot better than having an urge to smoke a cigarette!

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