16 Essential Tips for Quitting Smoking
Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. There will be approximately 159,260 deaths from lung cancer in the United States this year alone.
Despite smoking being the most common cause of lung cancer, more than 42 million Americans continue to smoke cigarettes. In case you are struggling with ditching the habit, here are some tips for quitting smoking.
Table of Contents
- 1. Find a Substantial Reason to Quit
- 2. Understand the Damage That Smoking Does
- 3. Recognize the Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal
- 4. Find Your Smoking Triggers
- 5. Keep a Journal
- 6. Throw Out Anything Associated with Smoking
- 7. Cold Turkey Rarely Works
- 8. Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy
- 9. Keep Your Mouth Busy
- 10. Take Pills to Reduce the Effects of Smoking
- 11. Supplemental Treatments
- 12. Ask For Help
- 13. Keep Busy
- 14. Hang Out With Healthy People
- 15. Use Technology to Beat Cigarettes
- 16. Create a Strategy and Schedule
1. Find a Substantial Reason to Quit
The best way to motivate yourself is to find a compelling reason to quit.
For many people, it’s to preserve their health. There are others who want to quit for the benefit of their loved ones.
Once you have identified your reason, remind yourself of it every day.
Place reminders on your phone, fridge, computer or even in your car. If your family is your reason for quitting, place their photo in your packet of cigarettes. Anytime you are about to light a cigarette, you will see their faces and think twice.
2. Understand the Damage That Smoking Does
If you require more motivation, spend some time looking into the health implications of smoking. In addition to causing lung cancer, smoking also increases your risk of having coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and cerebral infarction.
Your risk of having lung-related ailments also increases if you are a smoker. You’ll be prone to developing emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma attacks.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggests that, in addition to lung cancer, smoking can encourage cancers in other parts of the body, too. The list includes stomach, pancreas, liver, throat, kidney and bladder cancers.
Other health problems related to smoking are reduced sperm count, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, birth defects and stillbirth. It’s also associated with increased cataract risk and impaired immune system function.
3. Recognize the Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal
Once you have plenty of motivation to quit, it’s essential that you develop an understanding of the battle you’ll be facing. The first step is to know the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
The nicotine in cigarettes is what makes you feel good when you smoke. Nicotine stimulates your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and give you a pleasurable feeling.
Some of the symptoms you may experience when withdrawing from nicotine include irritability, frustration, depression and anxiety. You can also experience headaches, fatigue, increased hunger and constipation.
By understanding the symptoms, you can create a plan to combat them.
4. Find Your Smoking Triggers
Most people have certain triggers that cause them to smoke or increase the number of cigarettes they light in a day.
For example, some people find themselves more compelled to smoke when they are drinking alcohol or after having a meal. Others have certain places or activities that make them more inclined to smoke.
One of the greatest tips for quitting smoking is to identify your triggers so that you’ll be able to deal with the compulsion.
If you find yourself smoking when drinking alcohol, replace it with another activity, like eating pistachios. This will keep your hands busy and reduce your compulsion to smoke.
5. Keep a Journal
To help you identify and remember your triggers, use a journal to keep track of your activities and how much you smoke each day.
You’ll be surprised to find how your emotions can affect your smoking habits. A journal is a good reminder that smoking is both a psychological and physiological addiction.
6. Throw Out Anything Associated with Smoking
Go around the house and remove anything associated with your habit. All your ashtrays, antique pipe collection and lighters must go.
You need to keep an eye out for anything that might trigger your cravings for cigarettes. As much as possible, remove the smell of cigarettes from your home as well so you don’t have a constant reminder of tobacco.
7. Cold Turkey Rarely Works
No matter how tough you think you are, quitting smoking is not an easy task- even if you go cold turkey.
According to research, most people who do manage to quit by going cold turkey relapse shortly afterward. The figures are shocking as only 3 to 6 out of 100 smokers quitting through the said approach manage to ditch the habit for good.
The most successful way to quit is to create a plan that will gradually reduce your nicotine consumption.
8. Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) uses gums, pills, patches, inhalers, lozenges or mouth sprays to deliver nicotine to your system as you reduce your cigarette intake. Studies indicate that people who use NRT are 50-70% more likely to successfully quit smoking.
Nicotine is the addictive component of cigarettes.
9. Keep Your Mouth Busy
Many cigarette smokers experience a compulsion to do something with their hands and mouth when they attempt to quit smoking. Directly address this problem by chewing gum, sucking on lozenges or eating pistachios to keep your hands and mouth preoccupied.
Some smokers gain weight when they are quitting because they begin to consume more candy. Instead of indulging in sweets, try selecting healthy treats like nuts.
10. Take Pills to Reduce the Effects of Smoking
There are medications available to help you quit smoking, such as Chantix and Zyban.
Chantix attempts to reduce the stimulatory effect that nicotine consumption has on the brain. Zyban, on the other hand, is a mild antidepressant that can reduce the negative impact of nicotine withdrawal.
It is important to remember that both of these drugs have some possible side effects.
11. Supplemental Treatments
A wide range of supplemental treatments has been reported helpful when it comes to nicotine withdrawal.
Aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and massage have great benefits to people aspiring to quit smoking. Deep breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques work well, too.
12. Ask For Help
In recent years, the government has been spending millions of dollars on programs to help people quit smoking. You can use the Internet to see what free programs and help lines are available in your area.
You could also quit with a friend who smokes or seek professional medical help for a safer process. It’s a good idea to ask your family to help as well.
The more help you have, the easier the quitting process.
13. Keep Busy
Nicotine withdrawal can also make you feel restless. To address this, try to keep yourself busy.
Take up a new hobby, wash your car or go hiking. You can also go for a quick jog or go out to lunch with your friends.
A busy schedule will help you forget about your nicotine cravings. Keep in mind, however, that you still need to avoid stressful activities as they can be smoking triggers.
14. Hang Out With Healthy People
If you have non-smoking friends who live healthy lifestyles, spend more time with them. Their enthusiasm for fitness and being healthy will help you overcome your cigarette addiction.
15. Use Technology to Beat Cigarettes
There are applications for quitting smoking which you can download to your smart phone. Good examples include Quit It Lite, Quit Smoking, My Last Cigarette and ButtOut.
Most of these applications are free or cost a few dollars, so experiment with them to find the best one.
16. Create a Strategy and Schedule
If you can create a detailed plan using the mentioned tips for quitting smoking, your chances of succeeding will be greatly increased.
A good way to start your plan is by drafting a quitting schedule with a start date and a number of milestones. Use these milestones as markers for every symptom you’ll be able to overcome.
For example, 14 days after quitting, your circulation and lung capacity should improve. After 28 days, you will have less shortness of breath and be able to exercise more strenuously.
Quitting a habit is not an easy task. However, with the right preparation and these tips for quitting smoking, you’ll be able to beat your addiction and live a healthier life in no time.
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Author: Jake Tyler
Hi all, I’m Jake Tyler. From the age of 16, I have been a kickboxer, and I’ve built up an incredible passion for fitness & self-improvement. I’ve created http://strongdaily.net/ for YOU to guide with the best tips in achieving your health & fitness goals.