All smokers know about the dangers of smoking. However, that doesn’t make quitting tobacco an easy task. It is impossible to quit smoking in a single day or overnight, but it is not something that can’t be done. You have to make a few changes in your lifestyle and behaviour pattern. Above all, you should be ready to face the withdrawal symptoms that occur after cutting nicotine.
Smoking is an addiction as your brain gets hooked to it. You may feel withdrawal symptoms like headache, anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression, etc. The longer you smoked, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms. The number of cigarettes you smoked also counts. Are you ready to quit and face the consequences? If so, here are some useful tips.
Find a solid reason to quit: Why do you want to quit? Find the answer to this question. Is it because of your health, or is it because you want to protect your family, friends, and colleagues from getting exposed to secondhand smoke or do you want to save the money you spend on tobacco? Find a reason that is strong enough to motivate you to quit.
Avoid triggers: What are the situations that trigger your craving for tobacco? Is it going to parties with friends, stress or boredom? Or a sip of coffee? Maybe driving or right after sex or meals? Identify the trigger and avoid it. When you identify the triggers correctly, you can start thinking of alternate plans to handle these situations.
Try an oral substitute: Whenever you feel the craving for tobacco, try an oral substitute like chewing gum or mint or lollipop or carrot or nuts or hard candy or celery sticks. This will distract you.
Manage your stress: Stress is an important trigger that has to be dealt with. When you feel stressed, calm yourselves with a warm bath or deep breathing techniques or meditation or listen to your favourite music. You can take a brisk walk or go for other physical activities like pushups, skipping, or swimming. Try a new hobby. Read a book.
Reward yourself: If you have been smoking too many cigarettes, you may find it difficult to quit altogether. You can set goals and reward yourself whenever you reach them. Save the money you normally spend on tobacco in a piggy bank. Use it to buy something you like.
Therapies to quit smoking:
Nicotine replacement therapy - Going for this therapy helps to ease the withdrawal symptoms. The therapy provides a low level of nicotine. It is available in the form of patches, gums, inhalers, and sprays. It is better to get the advice of a doctor on the dose and duration.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy - This therapy involves counselling and talking to help people get out of their bad habits. This helps not only to abstain from tobacco but also to manage stress and mood changes that occur when you quit smoking.
Hypnotherapy - Clinical hypnosis has proven to be successful in helping quit smoking. The patients are asked to imagine the unpleasant results of smoking when they are in a trance. It helps to weaken cravings and focus on the desire to quit.
Get support: Get support from your family or friends to help you to resist your craving for tobacco. You can join an online support program where you can talk to or chat with others who want to quit or people who have quit successfully. You can install an app for quitting smoking.
Don’t stick to one single method. A combination of a few techniques will be better. If none of these techniques work for you, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. Doctors will prescribe medications to help you quit tobacco and recommend a combination of few therapies that will work for you.
Text: Raddhika Devi