Kick Your Smoking Habit for Good!
by Sara Stringer
Practiced by 1.1 billion people in the world, smoking is one of the most unhealthy yet addicting habits there is. Each year, tobacco smoking claims the lives of 5.4 million people a year, with numbers increasing in developing countries. The World Health Organization has even claimed cigarette smoking to be the leading cause of preventable death (lung cancer, stroke, heart attacks, emphysema, etc.)
Like most chemical substances, tobacco can be horribly addicting and difficult to quit. However, with determination and support, hundreds of thousands of people have been able to ditch this nasty habit and have thus been reaping the benefits of a clean, healthy life.
If you’re struggling with cigarette smoking, here are a few suggestions that can lead you to a better, cleaner path of living.
Rule number 1 of quitting: Don’t try to quit smoking alone. Although it is entirely possible to quit alone, the success rate is a mere 7%. There are cessation (quitting) programs available for those who need both therapy and replacement drugs that make quitting a lot easier. Some insurance cover cessation programs, but if they don’t, try joining support groups or getting a sponsor.
Understand Your Triggers
Addictive behaviors are often induced by triggers. One of the best things someone who is trying to quit can do is identify what causes them to smoke, such as situations, feelings, activities or even people. Quitting has a lot to do with managing feelings, some of which include depression, anxiety, loneliness, stress or fear. If you understand these triggers, you’ll be able to find a way to counter them.
A few examples of counters many people have used to overcome triggers are exercising, relaxation techniques, meditation and breathing exercises.
Coping With Symptoms and Managing Cravings
Usually, with any drug, the lack of certain chemicals in your body causes your body to react in uncomfortable ways. For nicotine, the primary ingredient in Tobacco, symptoms often occur quickly after quitting (Thirty minutes to an hour after your last cigarette). A few withdrawal symptoms for nicotine include irritability, anxiety, increased appetite, restlessness, insomnia, tremors, headaches, fatigue, depression or decreased heart rate.
These symptoms are not as severe as stronger, illegal drugs and can therefore be remedied through exercise, drinking fluids or resting. However, if symptoms increase, there are a few nicotine replacement drugs available to make quitting easier.
Managing cigarette cravings is a little more difficult that overcoming nicotine withdrawal symptoms since you can’t avoid cravings entirely. Always remember that cravings always pass, so resist the temptation to light up.
You can manage these cravings by distracting yourself, reminding yourself why you quit, getting yourself out of tempting situations (smoking lounges) or just by rewarding yourself for resisting the urge. New technology now offers people alternative to cigarettes, thus suppressing cravings. Before beginning their smoke quitting journeys, most people buy e cigarette to help manage these cravings from the get-go.
Quitting can be hard. Without an understanding of your addiction, proper support or knowledge on how to manage or cope with symptoms and cravings can be nearly impossible. Following these suggestions will not only increase your success rate, but will help lead you to a cleaner, healthier life.
About the Author
Sara Stringer is freelance writer who enjoys writing about natural health alternatives. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.