Smoking leads to harmful health hazards. It has undesirable consequences on the person, his family and the ecosystem.
Teen smoking and second hand smoking are further ill-effects of consuming tobacco based products.
In spite of these hard facts and hoards of statistics accusing smoking as the largest cause of preventable deaths, smoking addiction is considered incurable by many. The reality however is different.
With a determined mind and a careful choice of the right smoking cessation aid, quitting smoking is simple and easy.
Develop a personal quit-smoking plan
Planning is needed for every successful action. To get rid of a life-time addiction cannot be a spur-of-the moment decision. Such half-hearted decisions can only result in a relapse.
To avoid this:-
- Quit for the good, and quit for you. If you are quitting under pressure, involvement will be partial and unsuccessful.
- Pick a stress-free day for quitting and quit when you are in a pleasant mood.
- Jot down benefits of quitting and also the reasons that makes the decision difficult. Read them aloud daily and find the barricades dissolve into oblivion.
Join an interactive community of prospective quitters
Collective responsibility can work wonders for the reluctant quitter.
There are various offline and online forums that promote communication and interaction between smokers, ex-smokers and those desirous of quitting smoking.
- Take a resolve to quit smoking, along with a friend. This might be cross-motivational to both and joint celebrations of milestones will foster a positive frame of mind for the future. Take a no-tobacco pledge together or a smoke-free challenge.
- Undertake to quit a smoker, preferably one who is younger than you. Listing out the banes of smoking to your disciple will refresh you personally and motivate you better.
- Participate in community wellness measures such as giving awareness speeches, health care initiatives for victims of smoking-induced cancer and tobacco prohibition programs in schools and colleges.
Listen to advice from ex-smokers
There is no blanket formula that can be adopted by smokers that can give 100% success. What works for one person may not work for others.
That is why all wellness organizations keep an open window for publishing personal experiences that smokers encounter during their smoking cessation phase.
- Ex-smokers are people who have taken the journey, tackled the odds and have successfully adopted a smoke-free life. They are reservoirs of information on various aspects of smoking cessation.
- Quitting time is a time when smokers’ minds are clouded with misconceptions, doubts and insecurities. Getting them clarified and cleared from ex-smokers instills confidence and makes quitting targets less tedious.
Try out a combination of NRT products
Nicotine Replacement Therapy is not a substitute for smoking. It has been introduced to make the quitting process easier.
In other words, using NRT products help in better management of withdrawal symptoms.
- Products like nicotine gums, patches and nasal sprays are ways of introducing pre-calculated doses of nicotine to the body. They differ from cigarettes since other fatal chemicals that are inhaled are avoided.
- Smokers can use these products whenever nicotine pangs sting them and can phase them out by gradually reducing the nicotine content.
- Depending on smoking pattern, affordability and body receptivity, one or a combination of these aids can be used, to fight withdrawal symptoms better.
Monitor financial savings from quitting smoking
For the smoker who worries that smoking cessation expenses will balloon his budget, a fitting solution would be to self-monitor, either physically by placing big jars to drop in saved money or by use of mobile apps, the huge amount that is saved on a daily basis by cutting down the spend on cigarettes.
Following are some tips to make this practice livelier and funnier.
- Promise yourself a nice something, when a specific target is reached. Make it something that you have been craving for long.
- Promise to buy your soul mate, your kids or parents a gift, only out of the savings made from non-smoking. Declare it to them so that it becomes a commitment. The pleasure of accomplishment will make quit-smoking easier.
- To make your commitment long-term, subscribe to a recurring donation of a charity, based on the amount you save every month from buying cigarettes.
Stay away from unhealthy eating styles
Do not let obesity drain your confidence levels when you quit smoking. The reduced metabolism and increased appetite on quitting smoking may make your body bloat.
So, adopt a healthy and balanced diet, loaded with farm fresh vegetables, fruits, sugar-free candies, gums, protein shakes and dried nuts, well in advance before you start on your quit-smoking plans.
Do not let hunger pangs eat into your quit-smoking plans. Plan your meals and snacks, the healthier way.
Pursue a new hobby
You are bound to find lot of free time since time locked in smoking is now unlocked. Do not allow nicotine cravings to dominate quality time. Pursue new and productive hobbies.
- Hobbies can engage you both physically and mentally. Follow your passion. If you like singing or dancing, do them more frequently, so that your energy levels are enhanced.
- Walking, swimming, yoga and hill-climbing – the list is endless for the relentless pursuer. Replace one hobby with other so that the mind has something new to try.
- Unleash the philanthropist in you. It is not necessary that you must give away huge amounts as donations. Give away your time instead by engaging in charity volunteering.
Stash away all reminders of past addiction
Dump all traces of your smoking habit that can be found at home or in office. Ashtrays, cigarette cartons, lighters and anything else that can remind you of smoking must be thrown away.
Avoid hanging out with heavy smokers who can force you into your past ways. If any activity is associated with smoking, refrain from doing it.
Even tastes and smells associated with smoking should be avoided. If you smoke while driving, do not keep anything in the car that can remind you of smoking.
Change the car perfume. Similarly, if you are used to smoking while walking, change the route.
Pamper your body and invigorate senses
The move towards smoking cessation is a combined function of the body and the mind. A relaxed mind and an energetic body will result in easing the quit smoking journey.
The following techniques can be followed to treat your physique to the goodness of nature.
- It is important to ensure that your body is adequately re-hydrated for daily water-loss. Drinking plenty of water in place of soft drinks, alcohol and beverages can help detoxify faster.
- Massage, hot shower, aromatherapy and steaming sessions can help in unwinding the body from concerns and worries, caused due to the impending decision to quit smoking.
- It is better to plan for a smoking retreat where smokers travel to a different place and break away from routine life. Healthy food, exercise and expert health care can alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.
Take professional help
There are many NGOs. Government agencies and anti-smoking clinics that can help you tide over the difficult phase of quitting smoking.
These agencies can help you in the following way to make the process easier:
- 24 x 7 dedicated helpline where all your queries will be answered and concerns will be effectively addressed.
- Blogs, newsletters and other publications from these agencies are full of information on all relevant topics including new inventions to make quit smoking hassle-free.
- Well-qualified and trained counsellors are available who can provide one-to-one as well as group counselling services.
- Easy to use mobile apps for quitting smoking are offered. Downloading these apps on your smart phones can help you craft a customized quitting plan. They are equipped with calendars, savings calculator and calorie calculator.
Involve family and friends
Get your kith and kin aboard and have them hand-hold you through the process. You will be surprised to find out the level of commitment and sincerity your spouse, parents and kids can evince in order to make you inhale life.
- Spend time with them and listen to them patiently as they demonstrate how smoking blinds you from the goodness of family and personal life.
- Friends and well-wishers can insulate you from the smoking crowd that might surround you and weaken your resistance.
- Your family can help you become a role model for the younger generation. You will find quitting smoking easier if you are reminded that your kid is under the danger of becoming a prospective smoker in school or college, by upholding you as an example.
It can be deduced that many smokers are smoking, not out of will, but because they are not left with any other choice.
Nicotine is highly addictive and is capable of pushing people back into the vicious cycle of smoking.
To break this cycle, quitters must never give up and ensure that with every failure their resilience becomes stronger.
Quit smoking methods become easy if they understand that the chemistry of brain is more powerful than self-induced nicotine addiction.