I have at least one friend calling me up everyday saying “You know what; I’m going to quit smoking right about NOW!” And I only reply with a “Yeah, okay…” Making the decision to quit smoking is easy but actually quitting is easier said than done. If you have decided to quit smoking, it is important to know why. Let me explain; when a smoker decides to quit, it’s important that he/she has a good reason backing it. Because if your reason to quit is trivial then there are chances you’ll go back to it.
Also read: Tips to quit smoking
Tips to quit smoking:
Be motivated: Maybe you want to protect your family from second-hand or passive smoke, maybe the thought of lung cancer frightens you, or maybe you’d like to look and feel a lot younger. Choose a reason that is strong enough to keep you motivated and firm on your decision to kick the butt.
Don’t go all out at once: Or should I say don’t go cold turkey… Although it seems simple to toss your pack of cigarettes and declare you’ve quit, it’s definitely not easy. Ask the people who tried doing that (several times). You must know that nicotine is highly addictive and sudden absence may result in withdrawal symptoms.
Also read: What a non-smoker feels about smokers
Consider alternatives: Nicotine withdrawal may make you frustrated, depressed, restless, or irritable, and the craving for “just one drag” may be overwhelming. Try alternatives like nicotine patches or sugar-free nicotine chewing gum.
Nicotine-replacement therapy: Nicotine-replacement therapy can help reduce cravings and temptations. Consult your family physician for advice on the matter.
Prescription pills: If your addiction was more than serious, you may have to seek expert help. Consult your physician and ask if you can use prescription pills but let your doctor decide if it’s healthy for you.
Have company: Quitting smoking and hanging out with friends who still smoke is not the way to do it. Instead, seek help from family or a friend who has also quit or plans to quit. Their encouragement will make a huge difference.
Also read: Bollywood divas who smoke
Relax: Don’t stress out over this. Go for a relaxing massage or spa and try to calm your mind. This way, you’ll find your body reacting much better to the withdrawal.
Change your behavior: At times even our body is used to holding a cigarette in our hands and that also increases temptation. Try holding a pen or pencil the way you would hold a cigarette. This way you can fool the body. And focus on fooling your mind as well by practising deep breathing exercises.
Avoid alcohol: Alcohol is one of the most common triggers for craving a smoke. And the combination of smoking and drinking increases the chances of getting mouth cancer by 38 times! So avoid drinking even socially. Your morning coffee may also be a trigger, so switch to green tea for a few days.
E-cigarettes: You may consider smoking e-cigarettes if you can’t cope up with the withdrawal symptoms. But these too contain nicotine, so know your limits and keep it minimal.
Get moving: Physical activity reduces nicotine cravings. So take your dog for a run or hit the gym. Do what works for you, but be regular.
Eat fruits and raw vegetables: Eating fruits and raw vegetables like carrots and beets makes cigarettes taste terrible. So eat these healthy snacks to get better results.
Consider the rewards: Once you quit smoking, it lowers your blood pressure and pulse after only 20 minutes of kicking the butt. Other benefits include the carbon monoxide level in your blood returning to normal, reduced risk of a heart attack, better functioning of the lungs and overall decreased risk of coronary heart diseases, stroke, lung cancer, mouth cancer and other types of cancer.