Ways to stop smoking
Nicotine is one of the most harmful and widely available legal drugs in the world. It’s addictive and harmful both to smokers and the people passively exposed to smoke, especially children. If you’d like to give up smoking, but don’t know where to begin, create a structured plan.
Think about if you want to quit smoking. Nicotine is incredibly addictive and it will take determination to quit. Ask yourself if a life without smoking is more appealing than continuing your life as a smoker. If the answer is yes, have a clear reason for wanting to quit. This way, when abstaining becomes difficult you can be clear about your very important reason to quit.
Determine why you want to quit. Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. This will help you become clear about your decision to quit. You’ll want to refer to this list later, if you’re tempted to smoke. Be prepared for nicotine-withdrawal symptoms. Cigarettes are highly effective at delivering nicotine throughout your body. When you stop smoking, you might experience increased cravings, anxiety, depression, headaches, feeling tense or restless, increased appetite and weight gain, and problems concentrating.
Choose a date for when your plan will start. Committing to a start date adds structure to your plan. For example you might choose an important day such as a birthday or holiday, or just pick a date you like.
Pick a method. Decide which method you would want to use, like quitting cold turkey, or slowing/reducing your use. Quitting cold turkey means that you completely stop smoking without looking back. Reducing your use means smoking less and less until you’ve stopped. If you pick reducing your means, be specific about when and by how much you will reduce your use. For example, it might be simple like saying, “I will reduce my use by one cigarette every two days.”
Prepare for cravings. Have a plan in advance for when cravings strike. You might try hand-to-mouth. This describes the action of moving your hand to your mouth for smoking. Have a replacement to fulfill this need. Try snacking on low-calorie snacks, like raisins, popcorn, or pretzels, when this urge comes up.
Ask for support. Your family and friends can be extra support in your cessation journey. Let them know your goal and ask them to help you by not smoking around you or offering you a cigarette.
Be committed to not smoking. Continue your plan even if you have bumps in the road. If you have a relapse and smoke for an entire day, be sure to be gentle and forgiving with yourself. Accept that the day was tough, remind yourself that quitting is a long, hard journey, and get back on your plan the next day.