Smoking still remains to be the primary preventable cause of many fatalities all over the United States. But if you are a smoker, you know that kicking this habit is easier said than done.
You can put the blame of nicotine, which is a highly addictive tobacco component that can lead to emotional dependency and physical withdrawal.
However, this is now the perfect time to work on your stop smoking resolution and finally quit smoking immediately.
Why Quitting is Just So Hard?
There is no need to be disheartened in case you still struggle with kicking the butt because you are not the only one that fights in this battle. The truth is, this is one of top 5 New Year’s resolutions that a lot of people make every year, meaning there are really plenty of other people who share the same dilemma as you.
Before anything else, you need to deal with your addiction as well as the habits that go with this. Start with creating a realistic plan that will help you get through this particular challenge.
One or several reasons have pushed you to make such a decision. In order to succeed, this motivation needs to be reinforced with a strong and firm will power. Check your planner and pick the perfect stress-free month for you to quit.
Create a Support Group
Things will be difficult for the first several weeks since you will need to deal with withdrawal symptoms. You can enlist the assistance of your family, friends as well as coworkers. These people can be the best source of encouragement and strength during this challenging time. Also, you can join a support group.
Eliminate the Temptations
You have to determine the things which trigger you to smoke. Avoid situations that might make you grab a cigarette and lessen the time that you spend hanging out with people who also smoke. Clear your surroundings of cigarettes as well as other smoking paraphernalia and tools.
Physical activities will help for you to stay busy each time you get the urge of smoking a cigarette. Visit the gym or take a stroll in the park when you have a lot of free time.
See an Expert
You might also consult a behavioral therapist who can assist you in quitting smoking or you can also visit your doctor who can suggest prescription medications that can help ease the nicotine withdrawal.
Never Give Up
Just like the rest of addictions, it is never easy to quit smoking. Perseverance is needed and you have to stop looking for excuses to get your hands on a cigarette again. Although there might be relapses, take this as a chance for making your commitment stronger and try much harder.
It can be a very challenging to quit smoking, A lot of people even try making multiple attempts and it is primarily because nicotine is one drug that can be highly addictive and difficult to resist. However, you should never give up trying only because you failed to succeed in the past.
Remember your previous attempts to stop – what worked and what did not. In case a single method did not work, never hesitate trying a different method. It is very possible for you learn something new each time you try. For all you know, this might already be the perfect time that you will be quitting for good
Barriers to Smoking Cessation
A lot of people continue to smoke because they have a feeling that this habit somewhat helps them in certain ways or they are only fearful of the side effects that they can possibly experience once they quit. Some of the most common concerns are the following:
The need to smoke in order to relieve stress
There are still plenty of healthy and effective ways that can help you relax which are beneficial for your entire body, including meditation and exercise.
The fear of getting depressed
Smoking cessation can usually make an individual feel so much better about themselves, completely in control. In the case of people suffering from mental illness or who used to have a mental illness, there is special support available.
The fear of gaining weight
The perfect approach is focusing on how you feel and look physically instead on focusing on your weight. Several other methods are available to help in maintaining your weight.
The fear of withdrawal
It is known that nicotine is an addictive drug, with the withdrawal effects’ being unpleasant. But, these are only temporary symptoms and the use of quitting medications will reduce the effects.
As you can see, there are some factors that, even if you know how to stop tobacco addiction, push a lot of pressure on you.
Prepare in Advance and Change Routines
- After learning from your past attempts, it is important that you fully prepare yourself for that one day that you are planning to quit for good. Consider your environment and the things that need to be altered. Eliminate all the tobacco products as well as other things like ashtrays in your house, car and your workplace.
- Never let other people smoke when you are around them. Try to ask them to avoid using tobacco when you are nearby or put cigarettes and similar tobacco items in places where they are visible to you.
- If you have tried quitting before but you failed, try changing your routine. Use an entirely different route when going to work. Have your breakfast in another place. Do things that can lessen you stress. You can also try distracting yourself every time you feel the urge to use tobacco or smoke. Talk to others, go for a stroll, read a book or exercise. Plan things that you can enjoy doing every day.
As no man is an island, it is important that you get all kinds of support that you can get from other people around you. Through their assistance, it will become much easier for you to face this testing battle.
Let Others Help You Quit Smoking
As it was said, smoking cessation is never easy if you will be doing it all on your own. Make sure that you can get all the support that you can from other people around you. There are plenty of ways on how you can do this.
For instance, you can tell the members of your family, your friends as well as colleagues that you have finally decided to quit smoking and that you require their support. Based on studies, it was shown that there is a higher chance for you to succeed with your smoking cessation goals when you have some help.
You can consider signing up for telephone, group or individual counseling. Counseling can double your chances of being successful. This can also help you in identifying and overcoming those situations which can make you feel the urge to light a cigarette.
There are now free programs that are available in local health centers and hospitals. You can call the health department in your area for information regarding the programs being offered in your place. If you are from the United States, there is also free telephone counseling being offered.
You can also visit your healthcare provider, including doctor, dentist, pharmacist, nurse, psychologist, or a smoking cessation counselor or coach, particularly if you would like consider the use of medications.
You can also combine quit counseling with the use of prescription or over the counter medications. It is a combination that can work much better compared to either method when used alone.
Research And Decide If You Need Medication
One of the methods that you can use to successfully quit smoking is through the use of medication. However, it is important that you conduct your own research first before you settle for any particular medicine.
Tobacco addiction might be something serious when it comes to choosing the appropriate medication. That’s why you have to do your research or consult with a doctor.
Medicines and Other Treatments to Support Smoking Cessation
When used correctly, medicines will be able to help you to stop your smoking habit. The different nicotine replacement medicines have gradually decreasing nicotine doses that can help lessen irritability and headaches that you can experience when you choose to quit smoking.
The non-nicotine prescription medicines will also be able to assist you in making your cravings for nicotine less severe.
Your nurse or doctor can also assist you in deciding if such medicines can be of help to you. Also, your doctor can decide if results will be better for you if you will use both non-nicotine and nicotine replacement medicines.
Once you get to talk to your healthcare provider, make sure that you inquire about the right ways of using the medicine. Based on studies, there are a lot of smokers who fail to use their medicines properly. If you will not be using these medicines in the right way, it will never work well enough for you.
Your medicine’s information sheet will tell you exactly the right way of using the medicine.
The Best Way To Give Up Smoking
Many people look for the best way to give up smoking, but they forget that they need to commit first. It just like alcohol or drug addiction. The first step that the addict needs to take is to admit his or her addiction.
Then, you can look for the best treatment to give up smoking that most fits you. But as I said, recognizing your addiction comes first before moving forward.
Now, the best way to give up smoking is to try different treatments until you get the one that helps you. This sounds like a very random approach. But there are diverse variety of treatments that really help many people with this addiction.
All depends on the specific cases and in the commitment each person has. Some people might try joining a support group while others prefer to try nicotine patches, which we will discuss in detail in a moment.
So what we want you to understand is that when you are trying a treatment, commit to it. Go all in! If you see that you are not progressing, you can then just try another.
Nicotine Replacement Medicine
These medicines cannot be used if you continue to smoke or use some other tobacco items. Combined nicotine usage can be harmful so you need to completely quit smoking prior to starting the use of nicotine replacement medicine.
Usually, the treatment lasts from 2 to 3 months. Although you can always purchase these products with no prescription, consult your doctor first regarding the most suitable medicine for you.
A prescription from your doctor is not needed to purchase nicotine patch. These patches usually have varied strengths. There are brands that come in 5, 10 or15mg strengths and there are also those that have 7, 14 or 21mg strengths. Make sure that you read the product package to know the strength that you have to use, based on your smoking amount.
Nicotine Lozenges or Chewing Gum
Nicotine gum has already helped a lot of people who want to stop smoking for 2 decades now. The lozenges or gums can be purchased in drugstores with no prescription. Go through the instructions and observe correct use of the lozenges or gum.
To purchase any nicotine spray, you need your doctor’s prescription.
This is a kind of mist or vapor that you will breathe to your mouth and upper chest.
Non-Nicotine Prescription Medicines
A certain medicine meant for curing depression, Bupropion hydrochloride has been discovered to help people who want to quit smoking. It has several brand names although you can also get it in its generic form. One relatively new medication which can help smokers to quit their habit is Varenicline.
Make sure that you get some advice from your doctor to know which of these medicines will be able to assist you in your smoking cessation goal.
David is a writer and graduate professor. He writes for different websites. With 7+ years of experience in writing and education, David has combined his expertise in teaching with his passion for physical and mental wellness. He researches and writes to bring you valuable information about weight loss, nutrition, fitness, community, society and more.