Pros: It gives you something to do while you quit.
Cons: Doesn't really do anything.
"Smoke Away" sounds great--its supposed to help you quit smoking in just seven days and promises to curb nicotine cravings. Well, these are dubious claims, and based on my experience with "Smoke Away" this past week, I would have to say that this remedy is only remarkable for its placebo effect (the power of which we shouldn't underestimate) and the way it works as a motivational tool.
I have now stopped smoking for over a week after I recently (and impulsively) made the decision to put down cigarettes forever. I decided to skip the nicotine patch routine (I've tried that already in one previous quit attempt) but knew that I would at least need some sort of psychological crutch. "Smoke Away" was at Walgreens (it is sold at both drug stores and TV infomercials) selling for a steep $50. But, if you are a smoker trying to quit, then you know the expenses--and lengths--one will go to in order to get over nicotine addiction, and suddenly, $50 is nothing. I purchased one box, which includes a motivational CD (which is pretty good, actually), a bottle of pills (taken the first week of quitting), a smaller pack of pills (taken later in the quit), a vile of breath-mint looking tablets (for getting rid of cravings), and a "motivational" instruction booklet.
The pills contains many ingredients, none I which I am familiar with, so I have looked them up online. Strangely enough, two of the main ingredients are diuretics, and lobelia, another ingredient that is touted as a nicotine wannabe that tricks your brain into thinking its addiction is being fed, has been shown, according to what I've read, to do absolutely nothing. Hmmm...
I am suspicious of the craving tablets that come with the package. According to the directions, putting three in your mouth will get rid of a craving within five minutes. Well, duh. Putting anything (or nothing) in your mouth produces the same effect as the average craving lasts anywhere from 2-5 minutes anyway.
The most amusing part of taking this bogus product was the motivational booklet, which instead of being an uplifting, info-filled discussion on the pains, hazards, and benefits of quitting smoking (as I have seen in most other guides) is a self-promoting tome of "Smoke Away" testimonials! The directions say to read this booklet three times a day to keep you going (or, er, to convince the pill-popper that her cravings aren't hurting that bad).
Well, to shorten it up, "Smoke Away" doesn't do much in the way of shortening or lessening cravings (mine were common and robust). Frankly, such a miracle doesn't exist (pharmacologically at least. Deep breathing works pretty well). Maybe "Smoke Away"'s greatest attribute is its diuretic properties--I've been reading that drinking lots of water and flushing nicotine out of your system (and perhaps with the help of diuretics) speeds up the detox process. If this is true, than "Smoke Away" may no be totally worthless.
I took "Smoke Away" for about four days. I didn't have any side effects but the pills are huge and you have to take four of them three times a day. This was ouchy for my poor esophagus, and realizing my impulsive buy was worthless anyway, I stopped taking the pills completely. Oh well, no big loss, because each time I got to the time of day where I had to take a pill, it was like another mile-marker I had reached in my quitting, another attribute that makes this remedy "work." Psychologically, the "Smoke Away" people seem to know what works.
I think "Smoke Away" depends on the users faith in the drug (and we smokers need it) in order to help them get over what can be a very painful period of nicotine withdrawal. Quitting is so hard that we are willing to chase almost any remedy whether it makes ridiculous claims or not. When faced with the seemingly impossible goal of actually quitting, suddenly impossible remedies don't seem so ridiculous.
The placebo effect is very mighty, and if it helps your quit, then go for it. Just please don't go into your quit period believing that this product (or any product) will be the absolute answer.