How To Quit Smoking
Cigarette smoking can be responsible for a host of medical conditions, including cancer and lung disease. Smokers are generally advised to quit smoking in order to improve health and prevent chronic disease. But the nicotine addiction can be one of the hardest to break.
1. Focus On The Many Good Reasons To Quit Smoking
There are dozens of good reasons to quit smoking. Most smokers want to quit smoking to save money, improve their health, and avoid the risk of chronic, deadly and painful diseases like cancer. Quitting smoking can improve strength and vitality, increase lung capacity, lower blood pressure, and even slow the signs of aging.
Smokers may be well advised to carry a list of their own reasons for wanting to quit. They might include some of the benefits of quitting smoking and some of the consequences of not quitting on this list. Re-reading this list in moments of weakness can help smokers maintain their resolve to quit.
2. Quit Cold Turkey
Research suggests that giving up cigarettes gradually doesn’t do much good, since smokers who smoke less than usual wind up smoking more slowly and absorbing the same amount of nicotine from fewer cigarettes. In any case, quitting cold turkey can help smokers maintain a sense of decisiveness and resolve.
3. Destroy The Evidence Of Smoking
Quitting smoking is naturally more difficult for smokers who keep cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters and other accoutrements of smoking around after they quit. Throw all of these items away. Discarding cigarettes and smoking accessories makes it harder to cave in to the urge to smoke when cravings are strongest, and it gives smokers the psychological boost of knowing that they have quit.
4. Be Patient With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can include headaches, nausea, irritability and cravings for nicotine. Physical symptoms of withdrawal are typically at their worst during the first 24 hours after quitting. Symptoms begin to ease after the first 24 hours. Physical withdrawal symptoms have usually passed by day three or four, though they may last as long as 14 days.
The psychological addiction to cigarettes, unfortunately, is much more powerful and may last for months, or even years, after quitting. Don’t despair. As time goes by, the urge to smoke loses its power and becomes easier to ignore even when it does occasionally reappear.
5. Don’t Make Quitting Harder than It Needs To Be
During the first few weeks after quitting, the fledgling non-smoker may do well to avoid those situations that encourage smoking. Alcohol should be avoided, since it can intensify nicotine cravings and weaken resolve. Those who are accustomed to smoking with tea or coffee, for instance, may want to avoid drinking those beverages during the first few weeks after quitting smoking. Changes in routine make it easier to ignore the psychological urges to smoke.
6. Giving Up Cigarettes Isn’t Easy
Giving up cigarettes can be one of the most difficult challenges smokers face their entire lives. Many smokers attempt to give up smoking more than once, only to fail over and over again. Don’t be discouraged by failure. The next attempt might be the one that sticks.
Alexandra Ross is a healthy lifestyle writer, who shares tips and information from blogger Nick Gjorgoski, from Alte Hausmittel.