Deciding to quit smoking is a huge step that can have significant benefits to you throughout your life. However, choosing to stop smoking is only the first step in the battle. It can help to know where to start when you begin your quest for a smoke-free lifestyle. The following tips may prove beneficial to you.
Prepare for The Day
Once you have decided to stop smoking, you must set a date to begin this significant life change. This date should not be so far in the future that you may lose your resolve. However, it should give you enough time to prepare mentally and physically for the battle.
Once your date is set, you will then need to decide whether you will quit cold turkey on a time you place for yourself or gradually decrease the amount you smoke until the quit date you select. Research has demonstrated that the results are similar for both methods, so choose the one that best suits you personally.
Develop a Support Network
Years of smoking will mean you have developed a physical and emotional dependence on nicotine. It will be difficult to stop this habit suddenly. Taking part in counseling, reading self-help material, and support services may be necessary to get you through the pain of fighting off your dependence to nicotine.
Studies have proven that a person who incorporates behavioral support into their stop smoking routine will increase their chances of long-term success by 25 percent. This support can be delivered through group therapy, one on one counseling, by phone, and online. Once again, it is essential to choose the method that works best for you.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you stop smoking, it is likely you will experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings. NRT is excellent in its ability to curb these symptoms. This is done by supplying your body with small doses of nicotine so that you will not feel significant discomfort while weaning yourself off cigarettes.
The five types of NRTs approved for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration are:
- Chewing Gum
- Skin Patches
- Nasal Spray
A recent study compared vaping with other approaches to nicotine replacement. The conclusion is vaping is a viable way for smokers to distance themselves from their unhealthy habit.
The study observed 900 individuals who expressed a desire to stop smoking cigarettes. Half of the study participants began with a vape pen starter kit, and the other participants used other nicotine replacement therapy techniques. All study participants received four weeks of counseling. One year later, exhaled carbon dioxide was measured in each participant to regulate their behavior concerning smoking.
The study concluded that vapers were nearly twice as likely to stop smoking than study participants using other types of nicotine replacement therapy.
Two non-nicotine containing drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to support smokers who want to end the habit. You will need to speak with your health care provider if you think this option presents you with the best chance of beating your smoking addiction because a prescription will be required.
There have been some risks associated with using these drugs, so this should also be discussed with your doctor.
The Bottom Line
Smoking cigarettes can cause a few adverse health consequences and is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths each year. It is difficult to end this bad habit, but it is more than possible with the right mindset and a good plan of action. The five bits of advice above should prove more than enough to place you onto the path of a cigarette-free lifestyle.