As I’m sure you’re aware, smoking is an unhealthy and expensive habit to maintain. Sure, you might enjoy the taste and the stress relieving effects of nicotine. Is that really worth risking cancer and emphysema for though? I thought not! From a longer life to better teeth, there are a lot of reasons for kicking this horrible addiction. However, getting off nicotine is an incredibly difficult thing to achieve. If you’ve tried before, and not been able to follow through, then you may have simply been using the wrong kind of method. While quitting smoking always takes some effort from you, doing it the right way can be a big help. Here are some methods you might want to consider.
First of all, the cold turkey method. This entails throwing away all of your cigarettes, and simply riding the withdrawal symptoms out. There’s no therapy, substitutes or medicine involved. This is all down to your own willpower. Although there are a lot of easier ways of quitting, the cold turkey method stays as one of the most popular methods there is. This is strange, when you consider it’s also one of the least successful! A tiny proportion of people who try quitting cold turkey will actually follow through with it. However, if you think you’ve got it in you, then go ahead! Like with other addictions, it can help to have a “sponsor” in place. Tell a trusted friend or family member that you’re trying to quit cold turkey. Make sure they understand the reasons you’re doing it too. If you think you’re in danger of buying more cigarettes, call your sponsor instead. Their encouragement should help you resist your urges.
The second method I’ll list is setting out a quit plan. This is also among one of the most popular methods for quitting smoking. In this plan, you set a definite “quit date”, roughly a month from now. Write that date down and keep it in places where you’ll be reminded of it. Then, start preparations. Start trying to cut down, one cigarette at a time. Try to keep a record of the amount you smoke each day. Once you have an average, start trying to reduce it by one cigarette every day. By the time you reach your quit date, you should have thrown out all your cigarettes and gotten rid of all the ashtrays in your house. Through your gradual cutting down, you should also find it a little easier to go completely nicotine-free. Again, you should tell your friends and family that you’re planning on quitting. This will give you something of a support network you can lean on when you’re finding the cravings tough to bear.
Although cold turkey and using a quit plan may sound easy, you might find that they’re a lot harder than anticipated! Don’t worry, the only thing to be ashamed of is not making an effort. You might be better suited to nicotine substitution instead. This is an increasingly popular method in the modern day. This involves nicotine patches, gum, sprays, or whatever delivery system you want. Anything that isn’t smoking is going to be a healthier method of nicotine delivery. Remember though, the idea is to beat your addiction, not just to change one component of it! One popular method is using e-cigarettes. While not entirely healthy, electronic cigarettes are a fantastically close substitute for smoking. These work by vaporising flavoured e-liquid containing nicotine. One good thing about this method is that e-liquid can be bought in varying nicotine levels, allowing you to cut down at a chosen gradient. Be wary though. Occasionally, you’ll come across e-liquids which have been made in unregulated factories. There’s no telling what these will contain! If you’re going to switch to e-cigs, make sure you do your research into trusted brands. To start you off, you can get quality E liquids from Flavour Factory.
Behavioural therapy is another effective way to quit smoking. There’s an immediate drawback to this though; it’s usually very expensive! Despite the high price, behavioural therapy is almost guaranteed to help you quit. Because of this, I’d only really recommend this course of treatment for people who have tried other methods and failed. This gets down to the root cause of your smoking. That is, besides the physical addiction to nicotine! In this method, you’ll work with a private counsellor, and talk to them about the entire history of your habit. Through this, they’ll determine your specific “triggers”. These are outside stimulus, situations and emotions which make you crave a cigarette. Then, through a little more study, your counsellor will talk you through methods of coping with those triggers. This method isn’t for smokers in general, but is tailored to the individual. As a result, the success rate is great! You can find out more at centres like CBT.
All these methods have been proven to work in different cases. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick to just one though! For a lot of smokers, a combination of a few quitting methods could be the best way to go. Prescription medication could be combined with substitution. Behavioural therapy almost always aims to get the smoker to follow through with a quit plan. When you’re going cold turkey, other self-help techniques might be incorporated. Various support groups prescribe meditation techniques specifically for quitting smoking. People have been trying to quit for a long time now, and all kinds of combo methods exist. Do your research, experiment with different mixes, and settle on something which you know is working.
I hope this has brought you one step closer to a healthy, smoke-free life. In won’t lie to you by saying you’ve got an easy road ahead. However, once those last cravings float away, you’ll feel that it’s all worth it. As you try to quit, remember that the first few days are the hardest, and try to pin down your specific triggers early on in the process. Quitting might feel like an impossible task right now. Believe me though, the cravings will get easier to handle with time!