How many times have you given your self the promise that you will quit smoking by tomorrow? To be reading this most probably you are still counting. Usually we make the promise to quit smoking when we are out of breath, when we walk up the stairs, whenever it hurts the neck, whenever we compare the strengths and our physical condition with non-smokers and we find out that we are insufficient, and when we do our New Year resolutions.
To clarify, and to avoid misunderstandings, quitting smoking is a personal choice. No one can convince someone to stop smoking better than him self. This article is not for making an anti-smoking campaign; there is not need for that, everybody around the world knows the harmful effects of smoking. This article is for providing some easy to follow and useful tips that can help someone who decided to quit smoking how to achieve it.
Smoking is an addiction. Experts agree that the decision to quit smoking is taken from the smoker when he really feels the desire for change. When the smoker feels threatened by the habit of smoking for both him and the others around him and when he believes that the de-materialisation from nicotine will bring significant benefits to him; and also when he feels capable of coping with change.
So if you have taken your decisions, the following article will help you how to quit smoking. If you do not feel confident that you want to quit smoking, you can always keep it for future use.
20 Tips on How to quit smoking
1. Publicise your decision to quit smoking
Let your friends and family know your decision to quit smoking. Get practical support, delegating to a person close to you the difficult task of reminding you of your target and benefits in your health whenever you feel a strong desire for a cigarette. Also, very important, ask from friends and family not to smoke in front of you and not to leave cigarettes around you.
2. Set a target date
Set a target date over a period of 2-3 weeks from the time you have taken the decision, which you will begin, the effort to quit smoking. Make sure that this period does not coincide with difficulties and stressful conditions as in this case will be easier for you to be carried away. Try to gradually reduce the quantity of cigarettes you smoke in the coming weeks until the target date.
3. Create a schedule
Set a specific timetable, which will not be very tight or too short in duration. Allow for possible “errors”, estimate the likelihood of serious desire for smoking and do not be disappointed if you do not accomplish it in the first three days. Keep trying. Few are those who succeed with their first try.
4. Start Easy
Record under what conditions you smoke (boredom, anxiety, companionship, loneliness, television, cards, coffee, etc.)
Rate your desire from 0 to 5, with “mechanical smoking” to the “absolutely necessary”.
Locate phases during which you smoke mechanically, without particularly want to, and make an effort to begin to gradually quit smoking into those relatively indifferent phases. This way you will make a good start and also increase your confidence to continue till you mange to quit smoking completely.
5. Avoid your smoking habits and drinks
Avoid the top reasons causing your desire for smoking such as coffee, alcohol, night outs, arguing etc. Try to consume a lot of dairy products, fruits and vegetables, as the taste has been shown in surveys that reduce both the desire to smoke and also it affects in a negative way the taste of a cigarette if you cannot fight the temptation.
Also avoid habits that in you mind are combined with smoking such as television, reading magazines or surfing the internet.
6. Keep you self busy
Especially in the early days try to keep your self busy with things you like, try not to leave time to yourself to think how much would you like to smoke. Also, try to divert your irritation in intense activity, for example by making some sports, walking or cycling.
7. Sleep more
Try to sleep more than you usually do. Your body and spirit becomes more exhausted from the effort to stop smoking and needs more rest. Moreover, the hours you sleep are hours that you are not thinking about how you would like a cigarette.
8. Drink more water
Try to drink more water. Water helps in eliminating toxins that have accumulated in your body from smoking more quickly, while reducing your desire to smoke.
9. Visit no-smoking places
Try to spend as many hours of the day in places where smoking is not allowed, such as libraries and museums. If you take a break for coffee sit with your friends in the non-smoking section.
10. Keep your hands busy
Keep your hands busy. It is proven that one of the reasons that people keep smoking is because they have associated smoking with a habit they do with their hands. Keep in your hand everything else than a cigarette; hold a pen, a piece of paper, anything that can trick your self, which is used to make the mechanical movements of smoking.
11. Avoid smoking ‘after food temptation’
Most people tend to smoke immediately after food. Stand up immediately from the table you just eat go brush your teeth or go for a walk, try not to get into the temptation of smoking.
12. Don’t fall into the “one cigarette trap”
Try to resist the temptation to “one” cigarette. It is for sure that once you smoke one cigarette you will ruin your attempts to quit smoking, as other cigarettes will follow.
Even if you do fall in the trap, do not be very strict yourself. Try not to make the same mistake again and always have in your mind that this was a temporary misstep in your attempt to quit smoking for good.
13. Try using nicotine substitutes
If you feel that your lack of nicotine creates irritation, or if in the first few days you did not managed to stop smoking, despite your efforts, try using nicotine substitutes or chewing nicotine gum. This will help you to get rid of the habit of looking for cigarettes and will eventually help you to quit smoking.
14. Try acupuncture
Acupuncture is a natural method of nicotine dependency treatment, painless and safe. With one to five visits it reduces the intensity of symptoms such as psychological pressure, anxiety, depression, tension and the feelings of emptiness caused by the use of a long-term drug like nicotine. Surveys also have shown that acupuncture increases the need for affirmative action, creates vitality and fertility and helps the mind to think clearly and to check its desires.
15. Reward yourself for you hard efforts
Reward yourself for each day without a cigarette. A good idea in this direction is to use the money savings from not smoking to buy something or make a trip.
16. Watch you diet
Consider consulting a dietician and follow a nutrition program for the first few months since the majority of smokers gain some extra pounds because they tend to eat more as a replacement action for not smoking.
17. Think positive
Do not think quitting smoking is as a sacrifice in which you lose a pleasure for the general and vague “good health”, but as a short exchange of joy with others, much bigger.
18. Accept your weakness
Reconcile with your weaknesses and do not to dispose yourself because you feel dependent on tobacco. If smoking had nothing positive, no one would smoke. The issue is to gradually be able to put on the scale the negatives of smoking and to let the scale turn in favour of quitting smoking.
19. Smoke consciously
Smoke consciously, that is, as any other activity you do, when you smoke say: “now I will smoke a cigarette.” In this way it will help you slowly disconnect the cigarette from other parallel activities, such as driving, surfing the net or speaking on the telephone. Conscious smoking in the long run helps address the issues with “mechanical smoking.”
20. Quit Smoking – Starting from now
You’ve read our ‘quit smoking guide’ and you also have the will to do it, why not start your efforts from now. Set your target date and follow the steps above. Quitting smoking can only do good for you and your health. It’s you choice…