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Smoking is one of the biggest preventable health hazards in the United States today. According to reports, more than 40 million people in the country are smokers, despite the widespread knowledge about its disadvantages.
Cigarettes contain the active ingredient nicotine, which is highly addictive and can have many negative effects on the body. They increase the risk of certain types of cancers (especially lung cancer) and respiratory diseases, contribute to metabolic disorders such as diabetes, and lead to cardiovascular diseases, among others. (1)
The good news is your body can start healing itself almost as soon as your stop smoking, so it is never too late to quit. However, most smokers face a very long and difficult journey when they make the decision to quit.
This article will present a list of tips to help you get through the withdrawal phase. (2)
Tips to Quit Smoking
Here are a few effective tips to help you quit smoking:
Tip 1: Stay motivated
One easy way to do this is by writing down all the reasons that make you want to quit. (3) Read them every time you feel the urge to smoke. It could be wanting to get healthier, having kids, living longer, etc.
Tip 2: Seek medical assistance
Some people may find it hard to quit on their own and require medical assistance.
Talk to your doctor about trying nicotine replacement therapy: soothing your nicotine addiction with the help of skin patches, chewing gum, etc., that contain nicotine. This can help you gradually overcome and quit smoking. (6)
Tip 3: Set a target
According to several studies, setting a date you plan to quit, or a “quit date,” can be very helpful in the quitting process.
Tip 4: Identify the triggers
Different people have different reasons for smoking. Some may have started it due to peer influence, to burn out excess stress, etc.
Trials have reported alcohol use to also promote the use of other drugs that may also include cigarettes. (11)
Tip 5: Clear your belongings
Clear out your belongings and home of all the things that make you want to smoke. Toss away your old lighters, ashtrays, and cigarette boxes.
Tip 6: Practice yoga and meditation
Research shows that meditation techniques such as yoga can help you relax and decrease your withdrawal symptoms when you decide to quit smoking. (12)
Tip 7: Try alternative therapies
Some research studies suggest that alternative therapies such as acupuncture may help you quit smoking.
Tip 8: Provide encouragement
If any of your friends or family members have started the journey of quitting cigarettes, be as supportive of them as you can. It is important to remember that this is already difficult for them and they do not need extra judgment and harsh behavior.
Tip 9: Don’t get disheartened
When you quit smoking after being addicted for a long time, you may experience some relapses initially. Do not get disheartened by these. Try your best to forget about them and start your quitting process anew. (19)(20)
Can Smoking Be Stopped?
Smoking is similar to any other substance addiction. You may feel strong withdrawal symptoms, irritation, nervousness, etc., in the first few weeks after quitting, but many people have reported improvement after the first month.
It is definitely possible to completely quit smoking, even if you relapse now and then initially. (21)
Any addiction is hard to overcome and can take a long time or multiple tries. However, it is not impossible and has been done by many people.
Keep your end goals in sight, stay motivated, and seek professional help if you find it difficult to quit by yourself. (22)