How to Quit Smoking. Understanding the Dangers of Smoking
We get it. Smoking has been a part of your life for quite some time now. But what happens when you discover smoking no longer serves you, but you struggle to put it down? This requires more than discipline. Whether you want to gradually reduce intake or stop cold-turkey, there should be a clear strategy that works best for you. Let’s look at some ways to kick the nicotine addiction and how to quit smoking once and for all.
First, take into consideration the implications of stopping cold turkey: about 90% of people that try to quit tobacco do it without outside support free of aids, therapy or medication, but only 7% succeed in doing so. This by no means proves that you cannot stop cold turkey, but it wouldn’t hurt taking into consideration some other options for enhanced support.
Great things come to people with a plan; especially when we’re talking about life-altering undertakings for the better. It would be in your best interest to strategically organize your plan into manageable segments with milestones along with a date of completion at the end.
This date can be referred to as the “quit date” where you prepare for the actual date of cigarette abstinence. There are really two issues to deal with when stopping smoking:
- Nicotine addiction
- Actual habit of smoking.
You need to address both, or failure is much more likely.
Replacement Therapy for Nicotine Addiction
There is a wide selection of nicotine gums, patches, inhalers, sprays and cough drops that serve as nicotine substitutes. Rather than smoking, you can replace most, if not all, of the tobacco consumption with a healthier nicotine substitute.
Study Yourself, and Apply Alternatives to Help with the Habit
A dosage of behavioral therapy can definitely assist you with this process. By analyzing how you operate and recognizing your “triggers,” aka common times or areas where you crave cigarettes, recovering smokers can plan a way to avoid these times of temptation.
This may require you to detach from your old friends or settings of leisure. You also need to be busy during the times when you would normally smoke to keep your mind off of the habit of smoking.
DON’T GIVE UP!
The first few days are definitely going to be the most challenging, and the urge to smoke will probably be at an all-time high. Don’t give into the desire though. Sometimes stimulating areas around your mouth can make the brain register a feeling of pleasure similar to smoking. You can keep a toothpick or lollypop in your mouth, or even chew sunflower seeds.
You’re going to have to restructure your way of thinking and living around a healthier mode of operation. Associate yourself with people who do not smoke, and join them in social settings to experience fun without smoking. The journey you are undertaking is something entirely new and challenging. However, the long-term benefits of a life without cigarettes is worth the hard work and dedication.
Reynolds Memorial Hospital
Catherine MacAlister is Reynolds Memorial Hospital’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She offers inpatient counseling to individuals who wish to quit smoking.
According to the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Surgeon General has said,
“Smoking cessation represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about this service, please contact Catherine at 304-843-3258.