10 Ways To Quit Smoking

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If you are serious about quitting smoking, then this post will give you the tips you need. Take a look below and try and follow the advise as much as you can. Remember, it is not easy to quit that easily, so make sure you are focused and determined to do so throughout your journey.

Here are 10 tips to help you stop smoking.

Tip#1 – Write down the pros and cons

Why is it that you smoke? Is it to relieve stress? Is it because you are addicted and cannot manage without cigarettes?

Either way, you may find that these advantages that you feel are nothing compared to what smoking may do to your health. Bear in mind that smoking can cause lung disease and lung cancer – conditions that are associated with an early mortality. Smoking also causes other forms of cancer, cause heart attacks and strokes, can damage the skin and increase hyperacidity. It is an expensive habit to have.

If you find that the negative aspects of smoking are more than the positive aspects, then it is clear that you have to stop smoking.

Tip#2 – Avoid your triggers

‘Triggers’ are situations or circumstances that will give you a cigarette craving.

Being in the company of smokers is the strongest trigger that will push you to start smoking. Some people have a habit of smoking when driving. Some people find that any stressful situation can trigger smoking.

What can be done about these triggers? Do your best to avoid these situations. If you smoked when you drive, take a taxi or public transport for a while. Avoid being a part of a group where people smoke. Try nicotine replacement therapies (see below) instead of lighting up that cigarette.

Tip#3 – Set a date

If you have decided to stop smoking, then make sure you set a date.

The date does not have to be straight away, but it is wise to set it in the near future so that your enthusiasm and determination to stop does not wean off. You could start in a week or 10 days, but remember that once you start, you must not falter!

Mark your decided date on a calender, and get a loved one or someone who is supporting you to write words of encouragement next to it. This could help you focus and not disappoint them.

Tip#4 – Get rid of smoking related paraphernalia

If you are serious about stopping smoking, throw out you lighters, ashtrays, cigarette butt containers and everything that is related to smoking. Of course, also get rid of your cigarettes as well! Clean out your car and other vehicles as well.

This way you can avoid temptation and stay away from smoking completely.

Tip #5 – Prepare yourself for challenges

Its not easy to give up smoking, so expect some challenges along the way.

If you have smoked for a while, then your ‘smokers cough’ could get worse for a short while. This does not mean you made the wrong decision stopping smoking! It just the way for the body to adapt. Over time, the cough subsides.

An increase in body weight is another aspect of stopping smoking. Again, this is because your appetite increases after stopping smoking. Nothing wrong with that of course – just make sure you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. This will not only keep the weight down, but will also help strengthen your lungs and your heart.

Tip#6 – Use nicotine replacement therapies

These days, nicotine replacement therapies in the form of chewing gums and patches are available. Simply chew on these sticks as and when you feel like it or apply a patch and watch it work it’s wonder the whole day.

While these are available in India, they can be quite expensive. Unless you can afford them, don’t go out hunting for them. Instead try just stopping smoking completely. And yes, always consult your doctor before you try replacement therapies.

We have discussed different kinds of nicotine replacement therapies here.

Tip#7 – Failure is the stepping stone to success

Don’t expect to be one of those people who can just stop smoking one day – it is not an easy task! Take each day as it comes, and wake up with new commitment every day. You will be tempted along the way, and it is not uncommon to falter.

If you do succumb to temptation, do not be disheartened. Just try again until you succeed.

Tip#8 – Take up a hobby

In your younger years, you probably had a hobby that you enjoyed indulging it. Some people love drawing, some collecting coins and stamps and some playing music.

One way of getting over your craving for cigarettes is to re-indulge yourself in that hobby. Every  time you are exposed to a trigger or feel the urge, distract your self in any way you can. Hobbies can be a good distraction.

Tip#9 – Think of what stopping smoking can do for you

Once you stop smoking, the benefits start to kick in almost immediately. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood fall. The circulation of blood through the body and the function of the lungs improves in a few weeks to 3 months. Risk of heart attacks drops by 50% within a year of quitting. Cancer risk drops dramatically in 5 years. The benefits go on.

If you ever feel the urge to smoke, you should always keep these benefits in mind. There are a lot more benefits that you can read here.

Tip#10 – Keep yourself motivated

In our post on 5 steps to a healthy heart, we have talked about what smoking can do to your physical health and bank balance. Sometimes, just thinking of this can be motivation enough. People have saved enough money to go on a family trip to Europe! There are always other ways to motivate yourself, so find what motivates you and remind yourself why you stopped smoking in the fist place.

Will power is all that it takes.

We hope these 10 tips have been useful.

Have you got any tips for our readers? Any personal experiences that helped you to stop smoking? Then why not share it in our comments section below!

Further reading

1. How to quit smoking – http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/how-to-quit-smoking.htm

2. Guide to quitting smoking – http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index


Dr Vivek Baliga B
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