How to Quit Smoking - 5 Practical Tips
According to the CDC's statistics, direct smoking claims over 480,000 lives every year, including 41,000 reported deaths from secondary exposure to smoking. Reports all suggest that heavy smokers die ten years earlier, putting a damper to their lifespan.
Every quitting guide you come across on smoking will tell you to go cold turkey or check yourself into rehab, but they are not always practical.
So, we thought of listing out a few practical tips that can help you shed out this life-threatening habit from your life for good.
1. Opt for a Less Harmful Alternative
If you have been smoking for years now, likely, you won't find immediate results, especially if you decide to go cold turkey. Quitting is a gradual process that requires a lot of conviction and determination.
One of the best tobacco-free options is nicotine patches. It is a type of Nicotine replacement therapies that helps you ease your dependence on cigarettes and switch to much healthier alternatives.
The FDA has approved nicotine patches since 1991. It was later available as an over the counter drug from 1996, supported by CDC.
2. Follow What Swedes Do
It might come off as a little confusing, but Sweden has one of the lowest tobacco consumption across Europe. Aside from the fact that Sweden doesn't have accessible corner shops selling cigarettes, the residents around are also quite conscious about the consumption of the same.
Sweden is also known for snus production in the country, another name for the inhaled tobacco powder, which the citizens take pride in. It is readily available, and the individuals prefer this over the more harmful cigarettes, hence having fewer smokers than the rest of Europe.
3. Lean on Your Close Ones
The majority of people try to quit smoking for themselves and their families. If you are one of them, you can reach out to your loved ones and tell them you are trying to quit this habit.
Getting constant support and help from your loved ones can effectively help you improve your chances of quitting.
Joining support groups or talking to a counselor is also an effective way to get yourself to the road of recovery from this habit.
4. Avoid Other Triggers
When you are trying to quit an already addictive habit, you will likely feel more drawn towards other addictions like alcohol and recreational drugs. It is where you need to prepare yourself.
Even caffeine high risers like coffee can negatively impact your recovery and make you too jittery, especially when you have withdrawals. So, try and switch to herbal teas for the time being.
5. Try Being Active
Last on the list of tips is being active. You don't necessarily have to go out of your way to indulge in weight training. You can take your dog out for a walk or go out on an evening stroll by yourself.
Being active helps curb the nicotine cravings, helping keep you on track. Physical activities also help reduce the risks of weight gain that many quitters experience during their journey. Remember, there are many altenatives to tobacco to help you relax like snus and vaping (which is also a great way to save money compared to buying cigarettes), and is rising in popularity, especially amongst students.
Quitting smoking is never an easy and linear process. If you have started once and gone back to smoking, stop putting yourself down instead of trying again. It is not about how many times you give in to your desires; it is the number of times you fight back your cravings that matter in the end.