All smokers, their friends and their relatives could do with some good, down-to-earth ‘quit smoking’ tips. Since the economic downturn and the most recent advances in medical research, millions of smokers are choosing to give up. If you’re one of them, or if someone close is considering quitting, they’re most likely to search the Internet for sound advice. Here’s the top ten best, most commonsensical advice to kick this expensive, damaging habit for good.
1. Pick a Strong, Personal Reason
If you want to quit just because it’s expensive, or people have been nagging you incessantly about how bad it is, you might find that these exterior reasons are not reason enough. So pick your brain for something that’s deeply personal. Perhaps you know someone who has suffered the horrors of lung cancer. Perhaps you’ve been trying to save up for a house or a car – the money saved on cigarettes would definitely help. Whatever your reason, make you sure it’s uniquely you.
2. Cold Turkey Is Doomed to Fail
‘That’s it, from now on I’m a non-smoker,’ the smoker says, and throws away their pack. Without any prior consideration of the consequences, such a drastic approach is doomed to fail, leaving the smoker even less motivated than before. Consider all the situations when you need to smoke. At work, in the car, after a meal, etc.. Think about how you’ll deal with them once you’ve stopped. Try cutting down for a while, to prepare yourself. You are much more apt to succeed with prior preparation.
3. Nicotine Replacement Aids Do Help
Your local drug store definitely stocks nicotine replacement aids, such as nicotine chewing gum, inhalers and patches. Discuss your intention to quit with the pharmacist, your GP, or even call a quitting hotline. Find out what the best method for you might be, and the dosage of nicotine your body requires in the initial stages. Then, as you move along in your quitting effort, reduce your use of replacements, and you’re all clean.
4. Maybe Medicine Will Help
A further type of help for the quitting smoker is medication. There are drugs specifically designed for those who still smoke, which are meant to make smoking less enjoyable. There are also pills to help you cope with anxiety, depression or the nicotine cravings during your withdrawal period.
5. Talk about It
Tell your friends and family that you’ve decided to quit. Make sure they’re prepared for a version of you that’s slightly cranky. Ideally, find a smoker friend who had also been contemplating to quit, and take the step together. Use your close family members as warrants – make them promise they don’t give in to your pleas for ‘just one more cigarette’. Chances are you wouldn’t be able to cope with the thought of disappointing them, and this will make you feel more motivated.
Lots of smokers say they use cigarette to help relieve the pressures of daily life. Find alternative methods to do this. Use the money you’re saving, now that you’ve quit, to splurge a little on yourself. Go to a massage parlor. Have an all inclusive beautification treatment. Go shopping, even. Meditate, listen to music, meet with friends for pleasant outings. Whatever you do, however, make sure you don’t replace cigarettes with calorie-filled snacks…
7. Avoid Triggers
Most smokers tend to up their intake when drinking alcohol or coffee. If you know you won’t be able to hold back, switch to tea for two or three weeks. Try not to go out to smokers’ bars and, if you do, it might be wise to order a can of soda instead of your regular pint of ale.
8. Clean Up Your Act
Once your decision to quit has been made, and is final, throw away any smoking related paraphernalia you might have lying around the house: lighters, ashtrays, cigarette boxes, etc.. Since you don’t want the scent of smoke to linger on, take your carpets to the dry cleaner’s. Air the house and buy strong air-fresheners for all the rooms.
9. Don’t Give Up!
You might have a relapse early on. If this happens within the three weeks, it usually indicates that there still is a physical addiction to nicotine in your system. Whatever you do, take it easy on yourself. It happens to lots of smokers. The strong ones will not let themselves get dragged down in the dumps – they will try, try, try again, until they are eventually cigarette-free.
10. Move, Move, Move
Many smokers choose to remain nicotine addicts because they’re afraid they’ll gain weight once they quit. This especially applies to women. While it’s true that smoking speeds up your metabolism, as your body makes an extra effort to deal with all the toxic chemicals you’re feeding it, it’s nothing a little exercise won’t fix. Apparently, a pack of smokes will burn around 200 calories per day – the equivalent of a brisk one-hour walk.