Quitting smoking is tough. Tobacco contains nicotine, which gives a temporary and addictive high. This makes smoking a physical addiction, the need of the body to get its regular nicotine fix. Nicotine withdrawals can be painful for some, but there are ways to get around it.
Smoking is also a psychological addiction. It is difficult to give up on something that makes you feel good. Smokers become accustomed to coping with stress, anxiety and even depression using cigarettes. It also becomes a habit, an automatic response to, for example, a heavy meal, or during morning coffee breaks.
To quit smoking, the smoker has to address both addictions. The process can be both stressful and the withdrawal symptoms intense; however, it is usually short-lived. Each day that passes without smoking is a day closer to stopping the addiction for good.
One way to begin the process of quitting smoking is to set a date when you will quit and to stick to it. If it will help, come up with a quit smoking contract with the date of your quitting, plus the conditions and consequences for failing to stick to the contract. Enlist the help of friends and family to help you kick the habit and stick to your plan. They can also give you support and encouragement.
As you near your quit date, you can start throwing or giving away your cigarettes, including your secret and emergency stashes. Do not go through them using the quit date as an excuse. Just gradually decrease your stick consumption per day, getting rid of the excess. You can also stop buying cigarettes. Removing temptation everywhere, and we mean everywhere, will keep you firmly in the wagon.
Smokers who want to quit can try nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy replaces the need to stick a cigarette in your mouth for the nicotine fix. It comes in various forms: patches, nasal spray and inhalers, medicines, gums and lozenges too. Consult a doctor to get the best therapy for you. The medicines, nasal spray and inhalers need prescriptions. However, patches, gum, and candy can be bought over the counter.
Various things trigger your need to smoke. Prior to the quit date, you can identify them already, be it stress in the office, heavy meals, skipping meals, or hanging out in a bar. Then, list down alternatives to working your way through the triggers. It can be exercise, chewing gum, or avoiding smokers. That way, when the ‘quit smoking’ is in effect, you will know how to cope with the situation, without resorting to a cigarette stick.
The health benefits of quitting smoking outweigh the urge to continue the addiction. In the end, you and your loved ones will be grateful you quit.