The calendar and the pack of cigarettes on your table seem to be at odds once again. You’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking, but just like in times past, it seems you can’t break off your long-standing affair with cigarettes. You’ve tried one or two hacks, but you can’t sustain the effort. In the end, you reach for a stick after trying to quit so many times. It seems like bad habits die hard.
If you’re going through this, you are not alone. Many smokers find it difficult to stop and end up relapsing. Even worse, they may even go from taking an occasional puff to becoming a heavy smoker.
People often fail to quit because they do not understand that smoking is both a habit and an addiction. Nicotine found in cigarettes produces a momentary high that helps them cope with stressful situations. Smoking is also ingrained as a daily routine for many—after meals, with friends, or while you’re on the way home.
Although these two factors make quitting difficult, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here are some tips to keep you committed to breaking the smoking habit this year:
People often fail to quit because they do not understand that smoking is both a habit and an addiction. Here are some tips to help you break the smoking habit.
Establish A Quit Plan
Just like other aspects of your life, deciding to stop smoking requires a plan. A personal quit plan addresses your specific needs and habits. It also allows you to determine which hacks are effective so you can get past the withdrawal stage and prevent relapse.
A personal quit plan sets a definite date when you end smoking. You can decide right now or give yourself a few days or a week to adjust to your goal. The plan also includes the steps you’ll take so you can manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Informing friends and family about your decision is also part of the quit plan. Their support can motivate you to push through with your goal no matter what.
The quit plan also includes getting rid of cigarettes, lighters, and other smoking-related products from your home. Clean out your home to get rid of cigarette smell and do the same to your car. Out of sight, out of mind could be the key to quitting.
Find An Oral Substitute
You can also kick the habit by finding a suitable alternative. If you find yourself instinctively reaching for a stick, try disposable vape pens from retailers such as CBD Glossary instead. Vape pens have the exact slim figure of a cigarette minus the tar and nicotine.
You can also replace smoking with healthier habits, such as snacking on nuts or chewing a cocktail stick. You can even chew gum or chocolate or try a piece of fruit instead.
Break Patterns and Avoid Triggers
Breaking the habit requires you to identify patterns and triggers of smoking. Logging all these into a craving journal can help you recognize and avoid them.
If you find yourself craving a puff after a cup of coffee or a meal, try drinking a glass of water or brushing your teeth. Keeping hydrated lessens withdrawal symptoms while a minty fresh breath goes a long way.
You can resist the urge to smoke by keeping your hands busy with stress balls, pencils, or paper clips while you’re at work. If smoking calms your nerves, try lighting a candle or incense, as it has the same effect. Alternatively, you can try other self-care efforts such as avoiding alcohol or getting active to curb the craving.
You can also arrange office breaks with non-smokers to lessen the urge at work. Try visiting public buildings, malls, coffee shops, or movie theaters that prohibit smoking to further your self-control. If you find yourself in a rather tempting situation, you should leave.
Install A Quit Smoking App
If you’re the savvy type and prefer a digital approach to quitting, download a quit smoking app to help you in your journey. These apps have varying modes to suit your needs so that you can stop at your own pace. Most apps highlight the health benefits you gain from quitting, while others calculate potential savings when you stop smoking.
Aside from being your quitting buddy, these apps also connect you to online support communities and may even ask you for your insight and participation in scientific studies to help other smokers quit successfully.
Managing withdrawal symptoms is often the most challenging part of the process that some may need medical help. Doctors can prescribe nicotine gums, lozenges, inhalers, or sprays to gradually overcome dependence. Bupropion and varenicline can also ease symptoms, as these drugs do not contain nicotine. Take note that these drugs only bring short-term relief, and you may need to consult your doctor or use other coping strategies to quit smoking.
Quitting smoking can be challenging since you’re battling with nicotine and other addictive habits. Using the techniques mentioned above could provide you with all the right reasons to quit and strengthen your resolve to finally lay down the cigarette and extinguish the desire to pick another in its place.
Have you or a loved one quit smoking?
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