As they say, bad habits die hard and when it comes to smoking, it dies really very hard. What usually starts in the adolescent or young adulthood becomes an addiction in the later years of life and becomes the harbinger of numerous physical, psychological, societal and financial problems.
Some take up the habit from their parents, some due to social or peer pressure while for others smoking becomes a symbol if their cool nature. However, most people end up with the same problem – cigarette smoking addiction – something that they cannot free themselves from quite easily. The body and the mind become so used to the smoke and smell of nicotine that withdrawal symptoms start as soon as one tries to quit smoking.
Not only that, cigarettes are so easily available and used, that it becomes hard to refrain from smoking for long without falling for it again and again. Naturally, though thousands of cigarette smokers try to quit smoking every year, the success percentage is quite low and considering the time that they take to quit completely, it would be a long and arduous journey if you want to quit too.
So what would you do in such a situation? Let your life be ruined by these killers on a stick? Of course, not. You will have to be patient and persistent and you will be able to kick out this bad habit out of you very soon. All that you need to do is follow one or more of the techniques mentioned below and you are sure to reach your goal.
Try Alternative Solutions
If you are actually planning to quit smoking completely, it would be better to take it slowly. If you have been smoking for quite long, your body has adapted itself to the nicotine smoke that comes out when you smoke. So it would be quite unwise to stop the supply of nicotine quite suddenly. The body will not be able to fight the depravity and you can fall seriously ill.
In such situations, it would be better that you adapt your body and mind to alternative nicotine sources other than smoking. You can use temporary solutions such as nasal sprays, lozenges, etc. or opt for more permanent ones like nicotine patches.
Using these techniques will ensure that your body keeps getting the regular nicotine supply that it craves for without requiring you to smoke cigarettes regularly. This is beneficial because not only will your lungs be free of the nicotine smoke, but you can also save your body from the tar and carcinogenic components that form as by-products during smoking.
When you are on a mission to quit smoking, it would be best that you keep yourself away from all sorts of triggers and situations that may instigate you to smoke again. It is to be understood that your body isn’t only addicted to the nicotine smoke that arises when you take a drag, but your mind too is accustomed to your habit of smoking. Naturally, when the mind finds similar situations when you used to smoke earlier, it will crave more for the smoke.
To avoid such psychological cravings, it would be best that you totally avoid such situations like meeting smoke buddies, visiting places where smoking is rampant, etc. You can also make changes to the way you do things. For example, if you had a habit just after waking up or with your morning coffee, try having something that would take up the place of your cigarette. You could distract your mind by reading a newspaper or by munching on something that would keep your mouth busy. This way you will be able to divert your mind very easily.
1. Cold turkey
Though this may sound odd and baseless, yet studies say that cold turkey may have an effect on triggering the urge for smoking, thus making it difficult for smokers to quit. Also, those willing to smoking have also mentioned that once they gave up cold turkey, it became easier for them to stop/control the cravings for a smoke. Though the actual reasons aren’t quite clear, yet if you want to get yourself out of the grips of smoking, it would be better to avoid cold turkey under all conditions, so that there are no unnecessary triggers.
2. Financial incentives
The brain often craves for the smoke thinking it to be a ‘pleasurable’ activity. Trick the brain and make it understand that by quitting smoking you will gain financial benefits. Think about the hundreds of dollars that you spend on your cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, etc. every month and how you can use the same money to buy something for yourself or arrange for a quick vacation every month or so. Wouldn’t it be great to save all that money and use it for something that you really want or desire? Tell the brain (and the heart) that you are ready for the ordeal to gain something better.
3. Electronic cigarettes
Though there is nothing final about this option and researches are still going on, yet it is believed that electronic cigarettes or e-cigs are a savior for those who just cannot do without smoking, These e-cigs give the user the feeling of smoking without actually forming the dense nicotine smoke that can harm the lungs as well as cause cancer and other ailments. The benefit? Well, you can continue with your smoking habit with much less harm. Though the initial investment may be more than regular cigarettes, on the long run you do get to save money, especially if you are addicted to high priced brands and cigars.
Moreover, manufacturers have been quite successful at inventing and supplying a variety of flavors for the e-liquid to be used in these e-cigs, which means that if you do not like the smell of nicotine, you do not have to bear with it anymore. You can now get e-liquids in a variety of flavors, including menthol, fruit and dessert flavors, etc. so that you do not smell like a bag of tobacco anymore.
Though the use of e-cigs has proved to be somewhat beneficial in helping quit smoking, yet it isn’t a foolproof method. So, you need to be persistent and try to stick to your plan if you do really want to quit smoking totally.