Even now in these days of greater awareness and understanding about the effects of smoking and the range of treatments and medications and techniques available for those looking to quit smoking, quitting is certainly no easy task. Fortunately, though, many before you have been able to successfully quit smoking, despite the incredible addictiveness of nicotine, which, it has been suggested, is even more addictive than heroin. We at Australia Vapor know the challenges you’ll face and we’ve provided a help guide to lean on as you kick the habit. The first thing for those looking to quit smoking is to make a plan, which will give you motivation, focus and a point of reference for what will likely be a tough test. Of course, some people have what it takes to simply quit smoking cold turkey, which is fine if you can handle it. However, there are plenty of options for those looking to take a more gradual route.
Find Your Smoker’s “Type”
Before you start to flesh out your quit plan, it can be a good idea to identify exactly what type of smoker you are and when you tend to reach for your cigarettes, as this will help you to narrow down the kinds of therapies and treatment options that might best suit you.
For example, you might ask yourself about the situations in which you tend to smoke, such as after eating or in social settings with friends. Do you smoke a lot, or is your habit lighter, therefore meaning that nicotine patches might be a viable option? Do you tend to smoke when you are stressed? Are there specific places, activities and people that you associate with reaching for your cigarettes? Once you have answered these questions, you should have a much better idea of how you can go about tackling quitting smoking. Before you actually begin your quit smoking drive, it is also a good idea to make a note of your “smoking triggers”, those things, including places, people, feelings and people that have you reaching for your cigarettes. To this end, you can keep record the date and time of your cravings and the feelings, experiences and situations associated with them. So, when you have an urge to smoke, make a note of the time and what you were doing, who you were with, your emotions and how strong was your craving on a 1-10 scale.
Sidestep Triggers to Quit Smoking
As we’ve talked about previously, your smoking triggers can be people, places and situations that result in you reaching for a packet of cigarettes. Common triggers include alcohol, which many people associate with smoking. As a result it can be a good idea to drink non-alcoholic drinks instead, to break the taste association between your regular tipple and a cigarette. You might also think about going only to venues which prohibit smoking.
Of course, other smokers can be a big problem for those looking to quit, especially as their friends and family members might also be smokers, making it harder to keep to the resolve of quitting smoking when surrounded by so much temptation. IT’s not reasonable to stop seeing all of your friends and family, so instead let them know in advance that you plan to quit and ask for their support, so that, hopefully, they don’t smoke in front of you. At work, which can be another trigger point for smokers at certain times, try not to take all of your breaks with an all-smoking group.
If you have a tendency to smoke after a meal, try to replace that post-prandial cigarette with something healthy, such as some fruit or a healthy dessert.
Coping with Cravings
Once you’ve made the decision to quit smoking and have put your plan into action, you will be faced with some challenges and perhaps chief among them will be cigarette cravings, which will test your resolve. When you are hit with these cravings, you can make sure that you have a stock of other oral substitutes, which you can pop into your mouth when you feel like putting a cigarette in there. You might consider stocking up on sugar-free gum, seeds nuts and celery sticks.
It’s a good idea too to keep your mind occupied, so that you aren’t continuously thinking about smoking, which can exacerbate cravings and intensify the desire to smoke. Try reading books and magazines or do a crossword to stay occupied. Creative writing or art might be a good idea as well, as this will keep both your mind and hands busy.
Brushing your teeth can also relieve cravings by keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Slowly drinking a glass of cold, filtered water can also help, as it will ensure that you stay hydrated, which will help to reduce the feelings of withdraw and help the momentary craving to pass.
If you can start a light exercise routine, this can also really help with cravings, giving your body something else to do, rather than crave nicotine. Some smokers also report that their desire for a cigarette reduces when they are more physically active.
Relaxation is also an excellent way to manage the stress associated with cravings. Try taking a yoga or meditation class and practice regular deep breathing whenever you feel a cigarette craving coming on. Make it a new routine to do this and visualize your goal of quitting and what it will look and feel like once you have quit smoking. This will help with motivation as well.
Medications That Can Help
Your doctor of pharmacist can recommend courses of treatments that can help you to quit smoking. Nicotine patches and gum can be very effective, as can non-nicotine medicines, such as zyban. Remember, that medicines such as zyban are typically recommended for short-term use only. E-cigs are also becoming very popular for those looking to quit smoking, and they contain liquid (sometimes containing nicotine, sometimes not), which turns into vapour which the user exhales instead of the smoke they would usually do in the course of smoking. E-cigarettes by companies such as Vapour Empire can be a valuable addition in your amoury of tools to help you to quit smoking.