It is important to have a perfect plan in place before one decides to stay off cigarettes. There are different methods to quit smoking, including various behavioural, pharmaceutical and motivational methods.
Usually, quitters experience strong symptoms of nicotine withdrawal that might force them back into a relapse.
Quitting smoking thus includes building resilience and determination so that one does not yield to nicotine cravings.
10 ways in which smokers of all types can relieve themselves of the addiction have been discussed.
#1 Self-stimulated motivational method
Under this method, the cessation aid is not external. It is your own mind and its perseverance. It is important that you decide on a date on which you will quit smoking.
It has to ensured that the day chosen is relatively stress free. A day with difficult exams, tough meetings and presentations at work are strictly off the calendar for quitting smoking.
The following checklist can be followed to decide on the date and day:
- The day can preferably be on a weekend when your schedule to bound to be less hectic.
- If you are a person with vagrant mood swings, it is worthwhile to quit smoking when you are in a good mood.
- An ambitious start is good, but do not make it over-ambitious by trying to achieve overnight success. Break your quit smoking target into practical and doable parts with milestones.
#2 Resist nicotine cravings the herbal way
This is a way to quit smoking, the natural way, without having to swallow tablets or chew gums.
There are thousands of herbal products that we come across in our daily lives without realizing what wonders they can do for those desirous of quitting smoking. Some of these wonder remedies include:
- It is important to get rid of toxins deposited in the body due to nicotine exposure. And there is no better way to cleanse other than hydrating oneself.
- Grape Juice and Grape seed extract. Similar to water, grape juice also has detoxifying and alkaline properties and is an excellent remedy to fight nicotine temptations.
- Organic honey is one of the best remedies to get rid of smoking. Honey is full of enzymes and vitamins that can aid in cessation.
- Other products include oats, ginseng, lobelia, liquorice and cayenne Pepper, to mention a few that can expedite the quit smoking process.
#3 Nicotine Replacement Therapy
This method is popularly used all over the world and has achieved proven results even in die-hard smokers smoking more than 20 -30 cigarettes per day.
The idea is to administer to the body limited and organized doses of nicotine in various methods in order to take a step by step reduction on physical dependence on cigarettes.
- NRT products save smokers from various hazardous chemicals that are contained in cigarettes.
- Popular products include nicotine gums, patches and nasal sprays, each of which can be evaluated on ease of use, cost, feasibility and nicotine absorption rates.
- It is better to try out a variety of products before settling for one, since smokers cannot predict their nicotine requirements accurately.
Taking its roots from traditional Chinese medicine, the therapist uses fine needles to pierce and reach accupoints in the body.
Such points include the nose, wrists and the ear, which instigate the brain to release endorphins into the body.
These endorphins fight and resist nicotine cravings, making smoking a less desirable experience.
- The success of acupuncture decides to a large extent on the expertise of the therapist in identifying and acting on various pressure points in the body.
- Acupuncture enhances liver functioning which leads to better control in the cessation process.
- There may be incidents of pain and bruises associated with acupuncture. Nausea, headache and irritation may persist in some cases. Usually acupuncture is used in combination with other methods.
Hypnosis is a non-invasive method and is an extension of the behavioural approach to quit smoking.
Under this method, the therapist deals with the smoker at the sub-conscious level and appeals to the mind to break deeply-cemented thought patterns that cause the urge to smoke.
- The therapist puts the person physically and mentally at ease, where the sub-conscious mind starts listening to the therapist, without any disturbances form the material world.
- In the state of deep relaxation, the therapist makes positive suggestions, either by appreciating the person on success made in cessation or by detailing the ill-effects of smoking.
- Pre-recorded patterns are broken and the brain becomes receptive to new thoughts. New and good thoughts are sown in the mind and hypnotherapy becomes a success.
Read:How to Quit Smoking through Hypnosis
#6 Cold Turkey methods
The cold turkey way to stop smoking indicates abrupt cessation to quit smoking, without resorting to any aids such as NRT or laser methods.
Human intelligence is held in high esteem in this method, that cannot be dominated by nicotine addiction.
- The advantage with cold turkey method is that smokers need not worry about the duration of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Of course, the intensity of the symptoms will be heavier, but the process will not be long-drawn.
- It will also be advantageous to go in for the target, the moment the decision is made, instead of waiting for dilemmas to set in and make the person mentally imbalanced.
- There may be a tendency to go back to old ways or to give in to the tendency of taking one last puff. This is a failure to the cold turkey method and such temptations must never be encouraged.
The method is also called as vaping. Vaping is the process of inhaling heated vapours from a vaping tank, that emanate as a result of heating e-liquids at high temperatures.
Vegetable Glycerine, Propylene Glycol, flavour enhancers and nicotine are usually the ingredients of these e-juices.
- Different varieties of e-cigarettes are available with refillable tanks.
- Vaping gives the users an experience close to that of smoking, without the harmful effects of cancer-causing chemicals on the lungs.
- E-juices come in different sweet, salty and fruity flavours and can effectively help smokers manage their nicotine withdrawal symptoms when they choose to quit smoking.
- By absorbing the liquids through wick mechanism and processing it through an atomizer, the vapours result in cloud formation and desired throat-hit, making cigarettes less attractive.
#8 Laser Therapy
This method is a variant of the acupuncture way to quit smoking. The laser therapist focuses a uniform beam of light on various accupoints in the body.
Used in combination with the behavioural approach, the person is first counselled on various benefits of quitting smoking.
- Beams from the laser-head are directed at various vital parts like forearms, nose and ears. The flow of energy between these points are managed by the therapist in such a fashion that light energy from the beams are effectively absorbed.
- This becomes a stimulator for the brain to release endorphins that can resist the onslaught of nicotine pangs. Another name by which this method is called is laser acupuncture.
To quit smoking when inhaling sweet-scented herbs and their medicinal aroma is a satiating and holistic experience for the mind and the body.
Aromatherapy has been in the vogue since ancient ages, as a cure for many ailments that have been abandoned by modern medicine as incurable.
- Herbs like rosewood, rosemary and spices with strong flavour such as clove and cinnamon are used in aromatherapy.
- Various oils like Angelica Oil, Roman Chamomile and Ylang ylang are used. They may be stored in air-tight bottles with provision to rub against the skin so that an air of aroma encircles the body and mind, steering them away from addiction.
- The respiratory system responds positively to the medicinal aroma that will effectively reduce the body’s dependence on the smell and taste of burnt tobacco.
#10 Using prescription drugs
Drugs like Chantix which contains varenicline tartrate and Zyban that is made of buproprion hydrochloride are the prescribed drugs available in the market for smoking cessation.
They act on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain and are effective in the smoking cessation process.
They prevent nicotine from affecting the chemistry of brain Another popular brand called Wellbutrin is also a bupropion prescription which helps ease symptoms of anxiety and depression faced by quitters.
By controlling the release of dopamine which is the neurotransmitter that creates an artificial feeling of well-being and satisfaction when people smoke, these drugs curb nicotine addiction.
However, every nicotine addiction is unique and different drugs can have different effects and side-effects. It is better to go in for a medical check-up and start consuming the drugs only on the prescription of a qualified physician.
It can be inferred from the above analysis that quitting smoking is a decision that is to be made by the smoker – with full willpower and perseverance.
The above methods are only facilitators. Smokers must understand that the medicine and therapies are not magic potions that can bring a cure to the addiction.
The methods can only be used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and resist temptations.