How To Quit

How To Quit Smoking – Your Guide To Kick The Habit

Smoking is a serious addiction that affects a number of teens and adults each year. An estimated 10 percent of these smokers will attempt to quit at some point through the course of their lives; however, only 5 percent will actually be able to quit. With such a high amount of problems related to smoking cigarettes and a small amount of users being able to quit, this means that a majority of individuals will be stuck in a never ending battle that eventually leads to their passing.

So what can you do? If you are thinking about quitting, you need to be educated on the certain steps that must be taken before, during, and after you make the initial decision to quit smoking. Being informed of the benefits of quitting as well as the several methods of helping you to quit will surely help you through your struggle. It is important to note that quitting is not an easy task, and smokers must have the proper motivation to endure nicotine cravings for overall success.

Making the Decision

 
A lot of smokers at one point in their lives have said the words, “I’m going to quit”, only to succumb to nicotine cravings hours, days, or even weeks after. This is why a serious decision to quit is necessary before the onset of quitting occurs. If you are indeed serious about quitting, you need to set a date and stick to it. Don’t think that a cigarette one in awhile is OK. Quitting means quitting, for good. Decide a certain day when you want to be completely cigarette free, and tell everyone you know about your decision so they may help you through your struggle.

Motivating Yourself to Quit

 
motivation to quit smoking
Motivation is key. Whether you are trying to lose weight, stay on a steady diet, and especially in the case of quitting cigarettes, motivation is an essential part of success. Motivation will help you reach your goal and keep you energized, even when the intense cravings seem like they are dragging you down.

Smell: It is no secret that cigarette smoke leaves an unpleasant smell on the smoker. Thinking about no longer having to cover up the bad smell with perfume or mints may keep you motivated throughout your struggle. Think of how nicely you will smell, and how you won’t have to spend hours doing laundry or trying to cover up the smell before entering work, a social situation, or other event where smoking cigarettes is deemed unpleasant.

More Dates: A majority of people who do not smoke, don’t want to date someone to smokes. If you no longer smoke and don’t have a smokey aura around you, you might have a better shot picking up a date with that special someone you’ve been eyeing.

More Money in Your Pockets: Cigarettes are extremely expensive, especially if you are smoking a pack or more a day. A majority of cigarettes are priced at around 5 dollars, which means you could be spending up to 150 dollars or more per month on a nasty habit. Once you quit, you will have an extra amount of money in your pocket that you can use on something that will actually benefit you and your health, such as a gym membership.

Better Lung Function: Smokers tend to have a much more difficult time performing regular physical activity. They may begin to feel out of breath and exhausted only moments after the activity begins. Knowing that you will be able to breathe easier and engage in sports and other physical activities unlike before may motivate you intensely.

Physical Attractiveness: A known side effect of smoking cigarettes is bad hair, crinkly skin, and stained teeth. To save yourself from these horrible physical side effects and return to a state of overall attractiveness, you need to quit smoking. Thinking about how great you will look and feel after quitting is a sure way to keep you motivated to quit.

Smoking is Dangerous: It is a known fact that smoking cigarettes causes health problems throughout the entire body, from the brain to the heart, lungs, and more. Cigarettes have a tendency to increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, lung cancer, and other certain cancers in the body. Reminding yourself of the incredibly horrible and deadly side effects from smoking is a great way to motivate yourself through cravings.

Getting Your Life Back: A lot of smokers work their entire schedules around smoking. They have to have a smoke at certain points throughout the day, and if they miss a scheduled cigarette the results are almost unbearable. Getting back to a life full of enjoyment free of cigarettes is a great motivating technique.

Combating Unpleasant Feelings Involved in Quitting

 
kick smoking habitMotivation is only one of the key elements of successful cigarette habit breaking. Being able to combat unpleasant feelings involved with withdrawal symptoms and cravings is the other half of the battle. As cigarette addiction is one of the most prominent habits and one of the toughest habits to break due in part to the fact that nicotine is the main component found in tobacco, overcoming the need for nicotine is a challenge. It produces psychological dependency that changes the chemicals in the brain wave pattern, making your body feel as though it needs to have more. This, combined with environmental dependencies, such as having to smoke after eating or drinking, is why cigarettes is such a hard habit to break. Knowing how to combat these feelings will ensure overall success.

You may begin to feel cravings for nicotine only hours before your last cigarette. Do not give into these cravings. Remind yourself that they will only last for a few days, and you can then live your life completely smoke free. To help manage these sometimes unbearable feelings, try some of the following tips:

Increase Activity: When you feel a craving coming on, try going for a run or doing some type of physical exercise. This will relieve pent up anxiety and stress associated with cravings. You will also be able to feel the enhanced function of your lungs as well as an ease of breathing, which may motivate you to quit further.

Keep Hands Busy: A lot of smokers smoke simply because they are used to having something in their hands. Once a craving starts coming on, keep your hands busy. Try buying a stress ball or simply grabbing a small item nearby, perhaps a pencil or piece of fruit. Squeeze the item or fiddle with it in your fingers, trying to keep your mind off of the craving and urge to indulge in a cigarette.

Keep Mind Busy: Keeping your hands busy during a craving is important, but so is keeping your mind just as busy. A lot of people will decide to listen to their favorite songs during cravings, belting out the lyrics and taking their mind off of cigarettes. Others may decide to read a relaxing book or call a friend.

Put Something in Your Mouth: A majority of smokers are used to having something going into their mouths throughout the day. When you feel a craving coming on, try popping something other than a cigarette into your mouth. This could be anything from candy to carrots, and the decision is completely up to you. A sweeter option might enlighten you through the craving while a healthier option may leave you feeling healthier than before.

Drink Plenty of Water: Water is incredibly important during the cessation of smoking, partly in fact because is flushes toxins and also to help minimize withdrawal symptoms. Water can also help with those suffering from headaches, which is common during the cessation of smoking.

Stay Away from Events That Tempt You: Smokers will generally have a smoke in relation to a certain activity, such as while drinking alcohol or watching television. To combat this particular habit, try avoiding alcohol, television, or other event which enhances your want to smoke a cigarette until the cravings pass.

Stay Away From Other Smokers: This may be hard if your best friend is an avid smoker, but if you are trying to quit, it is best to stay away. Stay away from parties and other social events where smoking may be present, as the pressure and intensity of cravings may leave you caving in.

Get a Massage: Those trying to quit smoking will more than likely have stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Getting a relaxing massage will help you defeat cravings and come to a more relaxed state, making sleep easier.

Get Support: A support system is a great way to combat cravings. This support system could be your friends, family, or lover. Inform them of your cessation and let them know that if you do in fact begin to yell at them, to not take it personally. They should understand and they should encourage you through every step, taking special care not to anger you or cause you any more stress or discomfort.

Preparing Yourself to Quit

 
Now that you know how to stay motivated and combat unpleasant feelings, you’re ready to take the next step towards quitting: preparing yourself to quit. These simple preparations will ensure you stick to your main goal of quitting while helping you to dodge potential slip-ups.

Set Your Quit Date: Make this a realistic date. Unless your quitting cold turkey (described in depth below), then there is really no need to make your date the very next day. The average smoker will set their date for either one week, two weeks, or one month after their decision to quit smoking. It is important to stick to the original quit date and never push the quit day to an earlier time, as to stick with overall cessation.

Get Rid of All Temptations: As a smoker, you probably have a lot of cigarettes and lighters lying around your home, car, and possibly even work space. It is imperative to remove all temptations from your life. Get rid of all of your cigarettes and related items including lighters, matches, tobacco, papers, and all other items that may tempt you.

Tell Your Friends and Family: It is a great idea to tell your friends and family about your goal to quit smoking. Not only will they be able to encourage you, but will also know to keep the cigarettes away from you (especially if they are smokers).

Clean: The residue of cigarette smoke is thick and can easily be smelt, especially if the smoker smokes inside of their home or car. After deciding to quit smoking, cleaning all of the areas you typically smoke in is a great idea. This way, you won’t have to be combatted with the smell of cigarette smoke which may provoke you to pick up a cigarette and start smoking.

Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Ways to Quit Smoking

 
After you have been educated on the dangers of smoking, made proper preparations, and learned how to motivate yourself and combat unpleasant feelings associated with cessation, you can choose a quit date and begin a quitting method to increase chances of success. Luckily there are several methods for quitting smoking, all of which have been proven to help smokers with their cessation.

Medication cessation methods should typically not be combined with other quitting methods. For instance, Chantix (medication) should not be used with another medicine or nicotine replacement therapy method. However, natural remedies can usually be combined together to ensure quitting (example: nicotine replacement therapy gum and acupuncture can be used together). The best way to decide which method is right for you and if you need to combine multiple quitting methods is to discuss with your doctor.

Most methods of quitting smoking are available over the counter for an affordable price, much cheaper than a month’s worth of cigarettes. Natural remedies such as acupuncture and hypnosis will have certain fees pertaining to the individual providing the service. Most medications will require a prescription from a doctor.
The below mentioned methods for quitting smoking are most commonly used amongst smokers trying to quit and have been proven to help smokers overcome their habit. Search through the available cessation methods until you find one that you believe would work for you and your needs.

Cold Turkey: Quitting cold turkey is the quickest way to end a smoking habit. However, it is also the most difficult for a majority of users. In quitting cold turkey, a smoker decides on the spot to quit smoking. From that moment forward, they will not touch another cigarette. This method is usually done without patches, gums, or other ‘helping’ resources, so the smoker goes through the withdrawals and cravings without a helping substance. This method takes around 72 hours for withdrawals to be steadied.

Decreasing: An easier way of quitting smoking is to gradually decrease the amount of cigarettes the smoker uses within a day. For instance, if a smoker smokes 10 cigarettes a day and sets a goal to quit smoking in 20 days, they may gradually quit smoking by removing 1 cigarette from their typically smoking habits every other day.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy: This type of method of quitting smoking involves the action of replacing cigarettes with another source of nicotine. The most common types of nicotine replacement therapy options includes nicotine gum and patch. One is chewed, while the other is placed on the skin so the nicotine is absorbed. These methods work be releasing smaller and smaller amounts of nicotine throughout the body in an effort to help the smoker quit smoking overall.

Medications (Pills): There are certain medications available to smokers prescribed by a physician. These types of medications, including Zyban and Chantix, are used to gradually help smokers through their cessation and help with unpleasant feelings involved with quitting.

Hypnosis: A new fad entering into the cessation of smoking world is known as hypnosis. In this particular way of quitting, users are put into a deep sleep at which point the hypnotist will strengthen the smoker’s ideas of quitting smoking, helping them to overcome the overall addiction altogether.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture has long been used for a number of stress-relieving aspects, and when it comes to quitting cigarettes, it is also commonly used. Acupuncture is said to help the smoker through the withdrawal symptoms be releasing their stress and anxiety.

Behavioral Therapy: As smoking cigarettes is an addiction, behavioral therapy works in reteaching the mind and body to learn new skills to replace the old addictive ways.

Motivations: When it comes to the motivational way of quitting, there is a few different aspects that can be chosen. There is a variety of books to help quit smoking and also groups where smokers can gather together and talk about their unpleasant feelings. In a motivational group, smokers trying to quit can also hear motivational stories from those who have successfully ended their addiction to smoking.

Natural Remedies: There are multiple natural remedies that can be used to help with cessation. Lobelia is one of the most common natural remedies as it provides a similar reaction in the body as nicotine, helping the smoker to cope with withdrawal symptoms. St John’s Wort is also common as it helps to cope with withdrawals and cravings considerably. Other natural remedies that can provide relaxation through cravings include the following: Ginseng, ginger, oats, and peppermint.

E-cigarettes: New to the list of quit smoking remedies include e-cigarettes. While still being studied on their effectiveness, a number of studies have shown that they help with the overall cessation of smoking cigarettes. This is due in part to the fact that e-cigarettes do not contain as many harmful ingredients as regular cigarette tobacco and the nicotine content is much less. Some say it is easier to quit smoking by gradually reducing the amount of nicotine in the e-cigarette cartridge until they are completely rid of their addiction altogether.

Each smoker requires different needs. While some prefer a natural method of cessation, others will find medications much more useful. Choosing a quitting method is the last step in cessation and is essential for success.

Are You Ready to Quit?

 
If you are thinking about quitting smoking and want to be on the path to better health and longer life, there is a variety of methods that can help you through your fight. The first step is to decide that you are ready to quit smoking and that you will stick to your quit date with no exceptions. Secondly, understand that the challenge of quitting is difficult, but most side effects of withdrawals are over within 72 hours and there are many ways to combat withdrawals and cravings. Lastly, stay motivated throughout the process and choose the cessation method that is right for you, whether it involves nicotine replacement therapy, medication, natural remedies, or another source. Remember that your health is priceless. The sooner you decide to quit, the better off your overall health will be.

 

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