It’s no news that tobacco use is harmful to our body, and that quitting this habit is no joy ride. In 2017, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated of 34.3 million adults were smokers in the country. The addiction is such that it becomes an involuntary habit and part of the lifestyle. While the health risks of smoking are well known, quitting this habit needs more determination and will than anticipated. Herein, we look at some ways to follow through the decision to quit this addiction.
Nicotine replacement therapy
The nicotine in tobacco is what keeps the addiction alive in consumers. It has the tendency to make one physically dependent; hence, a cut-off from it altogether can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms. Once you start on your journey to quit smoking, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) acts as your crutch to keep you steady on this road. NRT gives you nicotine in the form of gum, patches, sprays, inhalers or lozenges that can take care of the body’s physical craving for it.
One can start using NRT as soon as they quit smoking. Apart from this, there is a need to have some other psychological therapies that will help one fight the urge to pick up a cigarette.
Joining a support group
Consider behavioral therapy that will help one stay on this journey. Smoking tobacco becomes not just a physical dependence but an emotional one too, and it’s important that one addresses this process in a holistic manner. Geting professional help from a counselor, joining a support group, speaking to family and friends, and reading some self-help books are few methods one try to kick the habit.
It is often advised that a mix of NRT and behavioral therapy can be the route of quitting smoking.
Apart from NRTs, there are some pills which do not have nicotine in them but help in curbing the nicotine craving in the body. Since these medications help get rid of an addiction, they cannot simply be bought over the counter. One will need to speak to their doctor to prescribe these medications, so having a conversation with a healthcare provider is important.
Avoiding alcohol and other triggers
A habit is difficult to break as it becomes part of your daily life and routine. So, making sure one know their triggers for when they want to smoke and actively choose to avoid smoking in those circumstances is of great help. If drinking alcohol makes one crave a cigarette, then limiting the intake in the first initial phase of your journey is important. Those craving a cigarette as soon as they wake up can try distracting themselves and pick up and activity that they can focus on; yoga, for instance. One must recognize their pattern and make a conscious effort to break that pattern to ensure it don’t hinder the journey.
All this is easier said than done, of course, but having a more holistic approach to the decision to quit is what will keep one afloat. It is often noted that it takes more than 10 tries for a smoker to quit this habit eventually. So, maybe one can challenge themselves to be the exception? Stay strong and stay focused!