How to Quit Smoking: A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Break the Habit
Stopping smoking is a journey, and most people can't quit cold turkey as that typically sets them up for failure.
14:45 18 January 2022
When you're looking to quit smoking, finding the right way of doing it can be challenging as every person is different, and what works for someone else may not work for you. Stopping smoking is a journey, and most people can't quit cold turkey as that typically sets them up for failure. Your cravings may be intense on some days and less on others, but over time you will be able to break the habit of smoking to not only improve your health for yourself but for your loved ones. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about how you can stop smoking. From tools and techniques to ways to avoid triggers and support systems, there are plenty of ways you can quit smoking for good, and we're here to help.
Nicotine Replacement Tools
One of the most popular ways to help with quitting smoking is to use nicotine replacement tools such as nasal sprays, inhalers, patches, gum, lozenges, prescription medicines, and vape devices. With so many options, it may take time to find the one that works best for you, but vape devices are quickly becoming the most popular choice among smokers looking to quit.
Vaping provides users with complete control of how much nicotine they are ingesting as well as the type of hit from the vapour. Some liquids allow you to feel a rough sensation to the back of the throat, which mimics how it feels when you're smoking. Additionally, as well as being able to simulate the feeling of smoking, you can also choose your flavours to make the experience more pleasant while you steadily reduce your nicotine intake. Flavours range from tobacco to mint and cherry to sherbet so that you can always find what suits your personal tastes, even beer flavours.
Try To Avoid Triggers
Regardless of which tool you choose to use, you will face triggers that will tempt you to smoke. These triggers can be anything from a stressful day at work to social outings with friends. Some triggers will require you to have something with you to help ease the temptation; for example, when out with friends, you may be used to sitting in a beer garden smoking at your leisure and keeping your mouth and hands busy with a nicotine replacement tool will help. However, during stressful situations, a nicotine replacement tool may not be enough, which is why it is vital to practice delay techniques to help you to navigate these instances, something we will cover in the next section. Whatever your triggers, there are many ways to cope with them, from nicotine tools to delay techniques and exercise to wellness activities, and as with all our tips, what works for one person may not be suitable for you.
Use Delay Techniques
When dealing with particularly intense cravings, it can be extremely tempting to smoke; however, there is a simple technique you can use to help yourself through these cravings without giving in. It is called the delay technique and doesn't require any special tool to perform. All you need to do is tell yourself that you need to wait a set amount of time before you can give in, such as ten minutes, for example. While you're in this waiting period, do something to distract your mind, and once the time is up, you should find that your cravings have passed. In some cases, especially during your first few weeks, you may need to repeat this technique more than once in a row, but it is a great way to get past triggers where tools don't help.
Keep Your Hands And Mouth Busy
You can often spot people who used to smoke as many pick up the habit of keeping their hands and mouths busy at all times. This trait has often been used in popular films and TV shows as a way to show how difficult it is to quit smoking. However, keeping your mouth and hands busy is an excellent trick to avoid being tempted to pick up a cigarette simply because you miss the physical act of smoking.
Getting past the nicotine addiction is typically easier than breaking the habit of smoking, as it leaves your system relatively quickly. When you use tools to wean yourself off of the compound, you typically find the cravings for the nicotine stops sooner than those for smoking. Find something to do with your hands and mouth; for your hands, you could start a new hobby that uses your hands and gives something else to focus on. When it comes to your mouth, many people prefer gum or vape devices using liquids without a nicotine content to help them stave off the cravings for smoking.
Avoid Having "Just One"
During the early days of quitting smoking, you will often find yourself bargaining with yourself as to why having just one cigarette is acceptable. However, this can set you up for failure, as having a single cigarette while you are trying to quit could push you back on the road to being a smoker. Typically, when we give in to the temptation to have one more smoke, it leads to another as the cravings are doubled. Quitting smoking is hard work, and it is essential for your goal not to give in when you find yourself in this situation. The bargaining you may end up doing with yourself is only a small part of your cravings, and it usually passes after the first few weeks, which is why it's vital that you remain steadfast to your goals in order to achieve success.
Keeping your mouth and hands busy is only one trick that can help you beat the cravings; getting active while you quit smoking can help you keep your mind occupied while also improving your fitness levels. As you get used to exercising by playing sports, going on hikes, hitting the gym, or lifting weights, you will begin to notice the benefits of not smoking, such as having higher energy levels. Additionally, the extra hit of endorphins that you receive when exercising will help to pacify your brain and reduce your cravings overall. With all this in mind, you'll be so busy enjoying life that you may not even notice that it's been weeks since you last experienced cravings, which means you are well on your way to completely breaking the habit.
Incorporate Wellness Into Your Routine
When you embark on making changes in your life, this can drastically impact your mental wellbeing, which, in turn, could lead to failure. Additionally, many wellness tools and techniques are popular among those breaking bad habits as they help to resist cravings as well as reduce stress.
There are many wellness activities you could incorporate into your daily routine to help reduce stress and anxiety from not only quitting smoking but resisting the cravings. For instance, if you have a busy schedule, you could do something as simple as deep breathing exercises, which will help to centre your mind and alleviate stress. However, if that's not your style, you could try one of the many other activities designed to help you relax, such as yoga, meditation, a hot bath, or listening to calming music. You could also take things one step further when practising your wellness activities by using oil burners, candles or incense to help create the ideal atmosphere for relaxation.
Use A Support System
Support systems are not just for stressful times in life, like when you lose a loved one or are experiencing the aftermath of a traumatic event; they can also be there for you during other times. You can use your support system to help keep you on the right path as you try to quit smoking by helping you to take your mind off of your cravings or by doing activities together.
Try something new with family by starting a game night where you can laugh and enjoy each other company, which will help you leave the stress and cravings at the door. You could also have a close friend be available for when you need to talk during times when you are struggling to resist the temptation of smoking. There are many ways your support system can help you beat the habit of smoking, and having them in your corner will give you the added confidence to achieve your goal.
Remember The Benefits
Throughout the process of quitting smoking, it's important to remember the benefits, as this will help you stay on course. There are many benefits to giving up smoking, but the top ones are a reduced cancer risk, improved lung capacity, higher energy levels, increased lung capacity, improved oral health, and better sex life. These are only a few of the benefits you can expect when you stop smoking, and some benefits start within days of quitting. When you find yourself faltering, and you're tempted to smoke, remind yourself of the benefits to help yourself resist the cravings so that you can achieve the goal of breaking the habit of smoking for good.