There are many ways to quit smoking. Some are pharmacological and others are behavioral.
You can get relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms by taking medication, but you must be prescribed by your doctor. Varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban), are two of the best options.
- Take the pledge to quit.
To stop-smoking successfully, you need to make a commitment. Make a strong, personal reason to quit. This could be protecting your family or lowering your chances of developing lung cancer or heart disease.
You may also want to set up a support system. This could be a group program or a friend or family member who has successfully quit and is willing to help you.
Talk to your doctor if you aren’t ready to quit. They may be able to prescribe medications to help you overcome cravings or withdrawal symptoms. They can also offer encouragement and counseling.
You can cope with cravings by staying active. This can curb nicotine cravings, as well as ease withdrawal symptoms like irritability and weight gain.
Walking your dog, or pulling weeds in a garden can provide you with exercise without the need to light up. You can even try jogging or inline skating.
To help you beat cravings, use an app such as QuitGuide. This free tool will track your smoking and cravings, giving you motivational messages when you need them most.
You should take note of what triggers your cravings and devise strategies to overcome them. This can be especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
You should also consider a reward system. You could, for example, put all the money you spent on cigarettes in a jar. Then you can use it to buy something exciting or fun.
It is possible to improve your health and reduce your family’s chances of developing diseases, respiratory illnesses, or other health problems. It can save time, money, and cause a lot of headaches.
- Create a quit-smoking plan.
You can create a quit-smoking program to help you set expectations, find the support you need, prepare yourself for cravings, practice coping skills and stay motivated. Some people find it helpful to talk with a “coach” who can guide them through the process.
Some people also choose to use hypnosis or acupuncture. Although these methods may not be scientifically proven to be effective, they are popular options for smokers who have tried unsuccessfully to quit using other methods.
Take a look at all the triggers that make you want to smoke and brainstorm ways to stop them. You might notice that you smoke at lunch or during breaks at work. Try to avoid these times and replace them by other activities that don’t involve tobacco.
You can distract yourself from the urge to smoke by going for a walk, doing pushups, or texting your friends. This will give you the chance to calm down, and allow you to think about what’s happening.
Next, write down the reasons you are quitting. These reasons can be motivating, whether you are looking to improve your health, save cash, or keep your family safe.
You can also calculate how much money you could save by not buying cigarettes and other tobacco products. It could save you thousands of dollars each year, depending on where your home is.
It is tempting to spend that extra money on other things. But remember, the benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh these costs. In addition, you might be able to save money on medical care and prescriptions as well as on clothing, furniture and other goods.
- Get a support system.
A support system is a great way to help you quit smoking. It can help you keep on track with your plan and motivate you when things get difficult. It can make you feel more resilient and stronger when things are going well.
Support groups can be as small as a few friends or as large and varied as the entire family. It can even include your local church or community group.
If you don’t already have a support system, it is important to start building one right away. Although it can be difficult to find the right people to support you in your recovery journey, it is possible with a little effort to create a network that will help you long after you have quit smoking.
Support groups can be used by people to meet others who are trying to quit smoking. Some people prefer to have a more personal support system.
A support system may include family members and friends who are also trying quit. For others, it could include a counselor and/or a coach in health.
It can be difficult to find the right support group for your needs. But it is worth it in the end. You can avoid relapse by finding a support group that is supportive and healthy.
Research has shown that support is a key part of quitting smoking. It can make it easier to feel good about yourself and more confident that you can stay sober.
It can also help you deal with cravings or withdrawal symptoms. It can be particularly helpful if your quit-smoking plan is difficult to follow and you have difficulty avoiding triggers.
- Find a way to cope with cravings.
One of the hardest parts of quitting is getting past cravings. They can come on suddenly or last for a short time. Or they may be milder and disappear over time.
Try to distract yourself from the craving until it passes. Talk to someone who is quitting smoking or go for a walk to distract yourself.
Doing good deeds can also help you deal with the frustration that often comes when you have a craving. For example, you might give a friend a ride home, help a co-worker get a project finished, or bring a snack to the office to pass the time.
Even if you use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), you might still have cravings that can be hard to deal with. Using a short-acting NRT, such as a lozenge or gum, or a longer-acting NRT, like a patch, can be helpful for getting past these urges.
If you feel the need to indulge in a craving, it is best to practice the 4Ds. You can delay acting for five minutes, then deepen your breathing, take a deep breath, drink water, and do something else. Although it might take some time to find the right strategy for you, these strategies will help you keep your nicotine cravings under control and prevent your quit-smoking success.
You can also try keeping an oral substitute at hand to pop in your mouth when you’re craving a cigarette, such as carrot or celery sticks, sugar-free gum, or hard candy. You can also keep your body hydrated to make your cravings go away quickly and minimize withdrawal symptoms.
- Stay active.
Being active is one of best ways to quit smoking. It can reduce withdrawal symptoms, ease cravings, and relieve stress. It lowers your risk of developing certain types of cancers and heart disease.
Once you are ready to start, choose an exercise or fitness program you like. You can do a walking program, weight-training classes, or bike rides. If you are new to this activity, start slowly and increase your activity gradually as you gain strength.
It can be hard to stay active, especially if you have been smoking for a long time. Many people feel that they don’t have the time or can’t exercise because of work, family, and school.
It’s important to make it a priority every day to get at least 10 minutes of physical activity, even if it’s only for a few minutes. You could do jumping jacks or stair workouts. Or just walk around your block.
Take advantage of opportunities to be active, such as breaks at work or at home. You can use these short bursts to do quick exercises like squats and lunges, walking between meals, or even walking.
Change how you eat to avoid smoking triggers such as drinking coffee before breakfast or smoking after eating. Try eating 4 to 6 small meals instead of one or two large ones to keep blood sugar levels steady and prevent cravings.
If you’re feeling a craving, deep breathe for a count of three. To distract yourself from the desire to smoke, sip a glass of water.
If you’re still having a craving, talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms. You can also join a support group, or a quit-smoking mentor, to get help with cravings.