It is common knowledge that smoking significantly increases one’s risk of developing serious health concerns such as heart and cardiovascular diseases, various forms of cancer, high blood pressure and respiratory problems. Many people who engage in the habit realize stopping could result in their leading a longer, healthier existence. Numerous others have tried to kick the addiction. However, smoking is a difficult vice to break. The following brief article offers suggestions on the steps individuals determined to stop smoking can take in an effort to accomplish this task.
Establish A Reason To Quit
For many, the prospect of improved health and longevity are motivation enough. There are others, however, who might require added incentive. Individuals for whom such circumstances apply may wish to consider creating a list highlighting all the reasons ending their addiction would be beneficial. Incentives can be emotionally charged, such as a person’s desire to live long enough to see his or her children and grandchildren grow. Others might apply practicality, such as coming to the realization that smoking is expensive and quitting will save them a great deal of money over the long haul.
Find A Distraction
Idle time is the last thing anyone hoping to break a smoking addiction needs to have. If the minds and time of prospective quitters remain unchallenged and unoccupied, respectively, the chance to fall back into bad habits increases many fold. Therefore, it is strongly recommended such individuals find some type of activity designed to not only kill spare time, but help curb the edginess often associated with nicotine withdrawal and keep their thought processes off cigarettes. The hobby one chooses can and should be any undertaking he or she enjoys. These can include, but are certainly not limited to exercising, reading, cooking and gardening.
The increased appetite and subsequent weight gain experienced by many who have quit smoking is an unwelcome manifestation that causes some people to resume their smoking habit. In most instances, however, the increased pounds are most often the result of poor dietary choices. Consuming a greater quantity of food does not have to result in weight gain. Potential ex-smokers can use increased hunger as the impetus to eat more nutritious products such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods are not only healthy, but low in fat and calorie contents.
Obtain The Support Of Friends, Family Or Trained Counselors
Those close to someone committed to ending his or her addiction can provide a solid support system. A group of sympathetic backers can offer encouragement and provide inspiration, especially during stressful times that might drive the prospective quitter to relapse. Support can also be found through a technique referred to as behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy participants work with trained counselors to establish strategies designed to prevent them from smoking.
Identify Alternate Relaxation Techniques
The soothing effects nicotine produces are well-known and often among the reasons people start and continue to smoke. Prospective quitters might achieve greater success by identifying other methods of relaxation. Calmness may be found by engaging in activities such as listening to music, venturing outdoors to enjoy nature, watching a favorite movie or television program, in addition to more traditional relaxation techniques like massage, yoga or tai-chi.
Individuals for whom the aforementioned tips do not result in a cessation of their smoking habit might require the assistance of medications and/or more medically-supervised therapies. These include:
Prospective quitters may wish to consult with their doctors about the possibility of being prescribed specific medications. Certain drugs are designed to lessen a smoker’s craving for nicotine while others ease nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
The cessation of smoking can result in a number of untoward, perhaps even dangerous manifestations like restlessness, headaches, concentration difficulties and depression.
Potential ex-smokers for whom such symptoms are severe may not be able to kick the habit “cold-turkey.” In these individuals, nicotine replacement might be the therapy of choice because it enables them to gradually eliminate nicotine from their bodies.
Nicotine replacement products like patches, gums and lozenges enable potential ex-smokers to ingest small doses of nicotine as they gradually cease their smoking habits. It is important to note that some of these products are available only through a doctor’s prescription. In addition, replacement therapies may elicit side effects and pose potential health risks. It is recommended that those interested in this form of therapy consult with their physicians and weigh the pros and cons.