Smoking is not just a bad habit, but an addiction. Nicotine in tobacco is the substance that causes the addiction. It is usually the fear of nicotine withdrawal, and sometimes, the actual withdrawal that causes people to continue smoking. The following are some “quit smoking tips” that will help you get out of the smoking habit.
- Quit cold turkey: This tip has been successfully used by many people to quit smoking. The expression “cold turkey” means to quit smoking suddenly, often without planning, and not through gradual reduction in smoking. The method involves choosing the date you wish to quit and then never taking another puff. Make plans for the day, throw out all smoking paraphernalia, and ask family and friends for their support. These tips can help someone quit smoking, especially if the smoker understands that what they are facing is an addiction and that a single cigarette can get them back into the habit instantly.
- Nicotine replacement: Nicotine replacement is possible in many forms. To quit smoking, you can use nicotine chewing gum, nicotine lozenges, nicotine patches, and nicotine inhalers. Regardless of the mode of delivery, nicotine replacement works by substituting the nicotine from cigarettes with that of other sources so that the person does not go into nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine replacement is achieved through small and steady doses of nicotine in other forms; it does not contain the toxic and carcinogenic form of a cigarette. The advantage of nicotine replacement is that it helps the smoker deal with the psychological addiction while learning “new behaviors and coping skills” without having to deal with nicotine withdrawal at the same time. The disadvantage of substitution is that it can be addictive and therefore needs to be tapered off over a reasonable period of time. Tip: Consult your health provider for the best options!
- Non-nicotine medications: Zyban and Chantix are two of the “quit-smoke medications” that fall into this category. These medications work on the brain and reduce the cravings for nicotine and control withdrawal symptoms, thus helping you kick the smoking habit. They do not involve nicotine substitution. The medications are started a few weeks before the smoker is advised to quit; the medicine dose is gradually increased. These medications should be taken for a period of three to six months. The disadvantages of these medications are that they have side effects, some of which are potentially serious. Consult your health care provider to determine if you can take these medications.
- Alternative therapies: Hypnosis, acupuncture, and relaxation therapies have been known to help a lot of smokers kick their smoking habit.
Smoking is not just a physical addiction but also a psychological condition. Often, there are situations that trigger the craving in the body, and therefore demand nicotine. Some triggers include having a cup of coffee. It is important to recognize these situations and learn coping strategies to deal with the craving. Whichever way you decide to quit smoking, it is important to resolve that once you kick the smoking habit, you will never take another puff.
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