Smokers are likely to die young is the usual label on any cigarette pack, but that doesn’t stop thousands of people from smoking daily to their detriment. An interesting fact soured from the American Lungs Association links smoking to over 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, yet that still doesn’t seem to deter smokers.
However, for those who are willing to quit or have at some point tried to stop smoking, it is not always easy. Willing to quit is the first step, but what then follows after the will? There are numerous health benefits attached to quitting smoking ranging from longevity to relationship stability and rationality.
Quitting smoking can be trying, but here are basic steps that may help you quit:
Prepare Your Mind To Quit Smoking
Deciding to quit is the first step to quitting, but it’s only half the job done. Once you have decided to quit smoking, set a quit date, like a deadline for your quitting, to program your mind to hold on until that date, and even beyond. However, it is advisable to pick a day that is not too far in the future (so you don’t change your mind along the way), but also gives you enough time to prepare. Choose your quit date and prepare yourself to stop smoking altogether on that day. Having chosen your quitting day, choose the way in which you intend to quit. It can be to quit abruptly before your quitting day, or continue smoking right up until your quit date and then quit gradually, or reduce your cigarette intake slowly until your quit date and then stop. However, research that compares quitting abruptly and reducing smoking found that neither produced greater successful quit rates over the other, so it is always best to choose the method that suits you.
The American Cancer Society provides these tips for preparing for your quitting day:
Use NRTs (Nicotine Related Therapies)
Braving the odds to quit smoking without the aid of NRT, medication, or therapy is a great way to give up smoking. But only about 6 percent of these quit attempts are successful. This points to the fact that it is usually easy and common placed to underestimate how powerful nicotine dependence is. But with the help of NRTs, you can fight the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking that may threaten your quit attempt. They are basically designed to wean your body off cigarettes and supply you with a regulated dose of nicotine while saving you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.
Try Non-Nicotine Medications
Bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Chantix) are the two approved non-nicotine drugs to help smokers quit. They also help the body reduce the desire to smoke and reduce withdrawal symptoms as well. Talk to your healthcare provider about it before trying, because you will need the appropriate prescription of these drugs. Bupropion acts on chemicals in the brain that play vital roles in nicotine craving and reduces cravings and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Varenicline, on the other hand, hinders the nicotine receptors in the brain, which results in reducing the pleasure produced from tobacco use and decreases nicotine withdrawal symptoms. They’re efficient and can be used to hasten the quitting process.
Seek Behavioral Support
Smoking comes with emotional and physical dependency attached in such a way that makes quitting difficult. And to quit, you need to break off the dependency, but that can hardly ever be done alone. Going for counseling and being accountable to your family and friends about your quitting go a long way to strain the smoking dependency, thus aiding your successful quitting. Note that as your physical symptoms get better over time, so will your emotional ones. You could also consider self-help materials to help you quit.
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