Quitting smoking is an important but often difficult decision. Most smokers know the health risks it entails, yet quitting can be challenging, especially when withdrawals hit. One study reveals that adult smokers are actually more likely to smoke frequently and thus find it difficult to stop. Nonetheless, the National Cancer Institute indicates 53.9% of adult smokers attempted to quit in 2020, owing to increasing awareness of its benefits, like a better quality of life and adding years to life expectancy. While quitting is easier said than done, utilizing the right techniques can increase your chances of success. Here are four tips you can explore.
Identify your potential smoking triggers
The first step on your cessation journey should be to identify your triggers. These are what lead you to smoke–like a person, place, feeling, or situation. Consider keeping a journal or using a tracker tool such as BecomeAnEX to log details of your smoking habits. Being aware of these allow you to pinpoint patterns and determine the best ways to rectify them. For example, if you find yourself smoking after meals, try replacing a cigarette with a stick of gum. If you itch for a smoke during social gatherings, actively reroute yourself into something else, like playing a game. Dealing with triggers is not always easy, and sometimes they’re unavoidable. As per Insider, it can be helpful to know that cravings usually only last 2-3 minutes. Understanding this, in addition to recalling your progress and steeling your resolve, can successfully see you through the urge.
Try nicotine replacement therapy products
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) uses nicotine-containing products to manage withdrawals. They include patches, pouches, and gums, each with different strengths, flavors, and reaction times. According to trusted sources like the CDC, NRTs are generally safe and effective. Still, experts caution doing your research when choosing and using NRTs. Case in point, a Drugs.com post on Nicorette gum notes that nicotine overdose can cause issues like headaches, vomiting, and palpitations. That said, Prilla.com’s report on the side effects of ZYN, a tobacco- and smoke-free nicotine pouch, indicates not all sensations are bad. While you should always look to monitor your reaction to NRTs, some effects can just be the nicotine doing what it’s meant to. For instance, a tingling sensation may feel new but it is actually just nicotine entering the bloodstream. To err on the side of safety, you can always consult a healthcare expert.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Studies reveal a healthy lifestyle significantly decreases the risk of premature death among smokers. Although adherence can be tricky, it is completely doable. We at Eggsploitation.com suggest establishing routines you can stick to, such as a fixed bedtime, regular exercise, and a balanced diet. Ensuring you consistently get a good night’s rest lowers tension, while exercise improves your focus and disposition by releasing endorphins which fight the moodiness that comes with cessation. Additionally, drinking lots of water flushes toxins out and makes room for nutrients your body needs. This is imperative as nicotine is an appetite suppressant. As such, load up on Vitamin C and protein-rich food like chicken, fish, and eggs, which stabilize blood sugars and reduce stress. Together, these lifestyle changes will progressively wean you off the nicotine addiction.
Use anti-smoking apps
There’s an app for everything these days, including one to help you quit smoking. A Tobacco Prevention and Cessation study finds that effective cessation apps are interactive, integrate audiovisual elements, and have features based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) ideas. CBT is a psychotherapeutic treatment that allows you to identify and alter harmful thought patterns. Incorporated into apps, it manifests as quit plans and progress trackers. Further, users find apps with community engagement functions valuable to receive tips and support. Indeed, Medical News Today reports that apps such as QuitNow can be effective among those looking to quit as they provide accessible resources and establish an accountability system. These reinforce positive behavior, which is key to progress. Thus, in choosing one, consider the reviews and how likely you’ll use its features.
Quitting smoking can be challenging, but there are ways to beat the habit. With enough time, consistency, and the proper techniques, you can successfully transition to life without the need to smoke.