Quitting isn’t always as easy as it seems. In really severe cases of cigarette and nicotine addiction, individuals who attempt to quit try multiple times for years before they completely live their lives free from nicotine and cigarette dependency. People smoke for different reasons. Likewise, they find various purposes for quitting as well. Some find it that they need to stop smoking because of health concerns, while others quit because of social pressure. Whether you’re suffering from increased blood pressure, lung-related complications, or even being rejected by your peers and family because they see your habit as offensive, smelly and disgusting, we’re here to help you find the best and most effective ways to stop smoking.
There’s no easy way to put it, nor is there any easy way out of it. In this article, we’ll talk about 7 tips you can use to (finally) successfully quit smoking.
Finding Your Purpose
This isn’t even the first tip. But let me start by saying that the first step to quitting is finding a reason to do so. Many smokers fail on their first attempt either because they were simply talked out of it or they aren’t fully committed to their decision to quit.
Trust us when we say that it’s what’ll keep you from picking up another cigarette when you start feeling the urge to. A strong will and a strong determination to stand by your decision will keep you motivated through your journey. Here are some compelling reasons why you should quit smoking.
- More than 16 million Americans are affected by diseases from cigarette smoke (either by first hand or second-hand smoke).
- Smoking causes a myriad of health issues including minor ones like coughing, throat irritation, and bad breath, to the major ones like stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
- It’s the leading cause of preventable death.
- Smoking kills and average of 480,000 American individuals per year.
These aren’t just lab numbers. They’re actual data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking not only affects you as an individual but it also affects the environment and more importantly people around you. A cigarette butt takes an average of 8 months to 20 years to decompose, while the smoke you exhale from a puff of cigarette carries toxic compounds that adversely affects the people close to you as it adversely affects you. That’s why quitting is always best for you and (if you care for them) those around you. So, if you find in yourself that quitting is in your best interest, here are our 7 tips to help your journey to quitting a success.
1. Make the Necessary Preparations
It’s best to do your research before you start quitting. The major causes or relapses in smoking is the lack of support system and the lack of medication and counseling.
Studies show that you have a higher likelihood of picking up another pack on your way home without a strong support system. Not everyone understands what you’re going through. That’s why not everyone gives you the same level of support to drive you to do better in what you’re trying to achieve.
Nicotine patches, gums, and vaporizers also make good smoking cessation aids.
Make preparations and don’t be afraid to try different methods that can help you wean down the number of cigarettes you smoke per day or the level of nicotine you’re used to.
While sheer will power may be enough for others to drive them away from smoking, it’s best to make small preparations so you won’t go into your battle empty handed.
2. Avoid and Manage Smoking Triggers
It’s true that certain social situations can trigger your drive to smoke. Anxiety and stress (at home or in the workplace) are some of the most common triggers. Drinking alcohol and a cup of joe are also habits that are closely linked to smoking. Other smokers also report that lighting up a cigarette after a meal as a common practice.
While drinking alcohol can be avoided, social anxiety, coffee, and of course, your regular meals simply can’t be helped. Instead of smoking, you can manage these triggers by replacing them with smoking cessation aids.
3. Avoid Smokers
Avoiding what triggers you to smoke will all be a waste of time if you keep hanging out with smokers. While this can be difficult, real friend will support you and won’t drag you down when all you want to do is simply get back up. If it really can’t be helped, talk yourself through it and remember the reasons why you resolved to quit.
4. Get Busy
Smokers find the urge to smoke the strongest during down time. Playing mobile phone games, reading e-books, watching online videos are just some of the easiest ways to divert your attention. Exercising, on the other hand, will help you take your mind off smoking while providing you more favorable results. When you sweat, toxins that you get from cigarette smoke leave your body. Likewise, by drinking enough water while you exercise, nicotine and other similar toxins are flushed out of your system helping you cope up with your nicotine cravings.
5. Quit Gradually
Quitting is not a race. Relapses occur frequently to those who decide to quit cold turkey. That’s true, the abrupt loss of nicotine in their body leads them to suffer from unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like excessive snacking, weight gain, mood swings, persistent cough, and flu-like symptoms.
Nicotine fading can be beneficial especially if you have been suffering from severe nicotine dependence. By weaning your cigarette consumption, your body can slowly get accustomed to the gradual loss of nicotine intake until such time your body no longer feels the need for it.
6. Reward Yourself
It’s not bad to look forward to a reward. It’s another motivator and a gauge to tell if you’ve been doing a good job.
Rewards can come in different forms aside from a puff of smoke. From a simple slice of cake to a weekend getaway will give you something to look forward to and will help you associate quitting with positive perks instead of relating your experience with punishment.
7. Think Back on Why You Started
When all else fails and you feel like you’re not making any progress, give yourself a break and think back to why you started. Look to your loved ones for support and stay positive.
Some of the most compelling testimonies from former smokers include their drive to keep themselves healthy for their family. They want their children to grow with health parents or they do not want their children to get sick because of their habit.
If you want to know more helpful and effective content to help you quit smoking. Head on to SmokeFree and find more tips and guides to help you live a smoke-free life.