Most people know how smoking can damage their health. With the world becoming a global village, research and information becoming easily available to all, people increasingly know of the many lung conditions and subsequent deaths caused by smoking. Still, tobacco use continues to be the topmost cause of preventable deaths.
According to the American Lung Association, smoking and exposure to secondary smoke are responsible for over 480,000 deaths each year in the US alone.
Not everyone is smart or strong enough to curb this addition and quit smoking but if you have decided that you want to take the plunge, the battle is half solved. You will need more resolution, more strength, and willpower, but you will get through.
Many people have gone from being chain smokers to people who never touch a cigarette. Quitting smoking is a gradual process. With the right approach and mindset, you will free yourself from this damaging habit forever.
Here are 5 easy ways to kick the smoke out of your life.
Set up a date where you go cold turkey
Going cold turkey is the best way to curb your addiction once and for all. Set up a final date to quit smoking and follow a no smoking rule from that day onwards. There are things you must do before this date approaches
- Throw away every cigarette pack you own. You must not cheat and keep a single cigarette by the date you have assigned to yourself
- Be sure to inform the people you live with or are close to about your decision to stop smoking so they can be a support instead of a hindrance.
- You must search for a support system or group for yourself, people who will encourage and support you from giving in to the temptation.
- Stay away from smokers and warn your friend not to smoke in front of you. This will be too much for you on the first day.
On this date which you have decided, you must not smoke at all. It also helps to stay busy and drink more water than you normally do. Distract yourself when you feel the urge to smoke and take deep calming breaths to resist the craving.
Hunt for a harmless substitute.
You must give your body an alternate to the cravings which hit even if it is something as mindless as chewing gum. Be sure to stock up on hard candies, chewing gums which you can immediately pop in the mouth. Be sure to have juices and water bottles on hand. Remain busy throughout the day and distract yourself immediately once you feel the urge to smoke.
A strong cup of coffee or tea can also help you to curb the temptation. So make sure you have plenty of harmless alternates near you. Avoid any triggers which may cause you to regress. Get out of the house for a breath of fresh air, avoid situations and people which encourage smoking. It is also essential to eat well and also get a good night’s sleep. If you are hungry, tired and sleepy you will reach for a cigarette again.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
For someone whose addiction has a powerful grip upon them an alternate way to going cold turkey is through the use of NRT. If you are someone who knows that going cold turkey will not work for you or if you have tried to leave smoking and relapsed several times, then this medication will most probably help you.
NRT is a medication that is formulated to help you stop smoking. It provides you with a very specific dose of nicotine without exposing you to the dangers of tobacco. FDA approved NRTs come in the form of patches, chewing gums, sprays, and lozenges. They help resist the temptation to smoke.
If you can’t go cold turkey and simply have to use this method you must ask your healthcare provider first. It is also important to remember that your ultimate goal should be to get over nicotine addiction. NRTs are a means to an end, not the end itself. You must also remain on the lookout for any side effects while using these products and immediately consult your doctor if you have any swelling, nausea or dizziness.
Create a non-smoking rule
It is time to stop worrying about how others will feel and think about you. Create an absolutely smoke-free zone around and strictly forbid anyone from lighting up near you. Make sure that no one smokes in your car or home. Make up big, bold signs saying “smoking is injurious to health” and “no smoking” and hang them up in your car or around your personal property. Stop attending restaurants which allow smoking or if you do, always request to be seated in the non-smoking area. This way, your limit, and endurance won’t be tested.
Remind yourself of the dangers.
Keep reminding yourself of the reasons you stopped smoking in the first place. Research on the harmful and deadly effects of smoking, read up on people who have lost their lives due to tobacco and remind yourself daily of the loved ones surrounding you who would be devastated if anything happened to you. Make a list of the harms like one below and hang it up in a prominent place to remind yourself daily.
- Smoking causes heart failure, strokes, and high BP.
- Smoking causes lung failure and subsequent death.
- Smoking is injurious to fertility and may cause impotence.
- Increases the risk of mental illnesses.
- Smoking causes depression and serious illnesses such as diabetes.
- Smoking is one of the leading causes of many types of cancer.
Pin this list up in a place where you will see it often. This will ensure you don’t relapse back into the addiction. Always remember, the temptation to smoke just one last time will lead you into the endless cycle of chain smoking again.
If you still think that this a battle which can’t be won, you can always take the help of a therapist or counsellor who will be a constant support for you in this lifestyle change. You can share your daily struggles with them using a reliable telemedicine platform. Combined with the above tips, you will kick out smoking from your life.