Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, but quitting can be daunting. Smoking causes cancer, breathing problems, heart attacks, and stroke. Secondhand smoke causes asthma and breathing problems. Support groups, nicotine replacement therapy, and other medications can help you quit.
There’s no one way to quit smoking, but to quit, you must be ready both emotionally and mentally. You must also want to quit smoking for yourself, not to please your friends or family. It helps to plan ahead. This guide will help you get started.
Why Is Smoking So Addictive?
Blame nicotine, the main drug in tobacco, for your smoking addiction. Your brain quickly adapts to it and craves more and more to feel the way you used to feel after smoking just one cigarette.
Over time, your brain learns to predict when you’re going to smoke a cigarette. You feel down and tired, so you think, “I need a cigarette,” and the cycle starts again.
Some points to quit Smoking
Here are some key points about smoking cessation. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
- Quitting Smoking means breaking the cycle of addiction and essentially rewiring the brain to stop craving nicotine.
- Write down when you smoke, why you smoke, and what you are doing when you smoke. These are your smoking triggers. You need to avoid these as often as possible going forward.
- Find your reason. To get motivated, you need a powerful, personal reason to quit. It may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke. Or lower your chance of getting lung cancer, heart disease, or other conditions.
- To be successful, smokers that want to quit need to have a plan in place to beat cravings and triggers.
- Stop smoking in certain situations (such as during your work break or after dinner) before actually quitting.
- The benefits of quitting smoking begin in as little as 1 hour after the last cigarette.
- Ask your doctor about all the methods that will help, such as quit-smoking classes and apps, counseling, medication, and hypnosis. You’ll be ready for the day you choose to quit.
- Make a list of activities you can do instead of smoking, like taking a brisk walk or chewing a piece of gum. You have to be ready to do something else when you want to smoke.
- If you usually smoke after meals, find something else to do instead, like brushing your teeth, taking a walk, texting a friend, or chewing gum.
- Your Body Can Start to Repair Itself When You Quit Smoking.
- Drink lots of water. Drinking at least six to eight 8 oz. glasses will help you feel full and keep you from eating when you’re not hungry. Water will also help flush toxins from your body.
- Take a walk. Not only will it help you burn calories and keep the weight off, but it will also help alleviate feelings of stress and frustration that accompany smoking withdrawal.
- People Will Like You More if You Quit Smoking.
- The sooner a smoker quits, the faster they will reduce their risk of cancer, heart and lung disease, and other conditions related to smoking.
- Think Positive. You might have tried to quit smoking before and not managed it, but don’t let that put you off. Look back at the things your experience has taught you and think about how you’re really going to do it this time.
- Replacement Therapy. When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may give you headaches, affect your mood, or sap your energy. The craving for “just one drag” is tough. Nicotine replacement therapy can curb these urges.
- Medicines can curb cravings and may also make smoking less satisfying if you do pick up a cigarette. Other drugs can ease withdrawal symptoms, such as depression or problems with concentration.
- Once you’ve smoked your last cigarette, toss all of your ashtrays and lighters. Wash any clothes that smell like smoke, and clean your carpets, draperies, and upholstery. Use air fresheners to get rid of that familiar scent.
- There are many options. You can exercise to blow off steam, tune in to your favorite music, connect with friends, treat yourself to a massage, or make time for a hobby. Try to avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.
- Get some stop smoking support. If friends or family members want to give up, too, suggest to them that you give up together. There’s also support available from your local stop smoking service.
- Eat healthy, varied meals. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary food, sodas, fried, and convenience food.
- Learn to eat mindfully. Emotional eating tends to be automatic and virtually mindless. It’s easy to polish off a tub of ice cream while zoning out in front of the TV or staring at your phone.
- Keep your house and mouth busy.
- Think about if you want to quit smoking. Nicotine is incredibly addictive and it will take determination to quit. Ask yourself if a life without smoking is more appealing than continuing your life as a smoker.
- Realize that it may take more than one attempt to stop smoking. About 45 million Americans use some form of nicotine, and only 5 percent of users are able to quit during their first attempt.
- Choose a date for when your plan will start. Committing to a start date adds structure to your plan. Pick a date within the next 2 weeks. This gives you time to prepare and start on a day that isn’t stressful, important, would otherwise lead you to smoke.
- Prepare for cravings. Have a plan in advance for when cravings strike. You might try hand-to-mouth. You might try exercising to combat cravings. Go for a walk, clean the kitchen, or do some yoga. You might also try to control your impulses by squeezing a stress ball or chewing gum when cravings hit.
“The key is focusing on the positive. Build up the good things in your life and the smoking will go away by itself.”
Hope this Symptoms and cure article will be helpful to all. Do not forget to share your valuable suggestions if any.