For people who are long-term smokers, smoking is a habit and an addiction. Quitting can be difficult, but it’s not impossible; you just have to get into the right mindset. Stop thinking of quitting smoking as a challenge and embrace the idea of a newer, healthier you. There are plenty of methods to help people quit smoking, and one or more methods may work better for them than others. If you’re desperate to quit smoking, but aren’t sure how to take the plunge or are unsure of if you even can give them up, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Going Cold Turkey
This is arguably one of the most difficult methods of stopping smoking. Pick a time and date that you plan to quit, and stick to it. Don’t put it off by saying you’ll have ‘just one more cigarette’; that will make it harder for you. Don’t think of it as a loss and panic towards your quitting date by chain smoking. Try thinking about all of the benefits of quitting, such as increased energy, a better sense of smell and taste, and a lower risk of cancer and lung disease. Every time you think about buying another pack of cigarettes, put the money you would usually spend aside. You may just save enough for that gym membership you’ve always wanted or for the holiday of a lifetime.
Vaping is a popular and effective method of smoking cessation. A lot of people who want to quit smoking try vape kits. Rather than buying the e-cigarette, e-liquid refills, and a charger separately, a vape kit will have everything a person needs to ease them off smoking. There are plenty of vape pens on the market and they come in many different shapes and sizes. One reason people looking to quit smoking like them, is because they can get ‘cigalikes’, which are vape pens that resemble cigarettes.
E-cigarettes and vape pens are simple to use and contain various doses of nicotine, which can help with cravings as you come off cigarettes. You can start with an appropriate amount of nicotine for you, and slowly lower your nicotine intake by getting refills will lower levels of nicotine until you stop relying on nicotine completely.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can come in several different forms, such as patches, nasal sprays, gum, lozenges, and inhalers. NRT allows a quitting smoker to get low doses of nicotine without the need to smoke tobacco. Nicotine replacement therapy can lower the effects of withdrawal and can reduce nicotine cravings. Using a combination of NRT products can improve your chances of quitting smoking for good. Nicotine replacement therapy is sometimes combined with counselling for better quitting results.
Counselling and Getting Additional Support
Talking to a specialist and recognizing your addiction can help you on your way to quitting smoking. One-on-one counselling can help you to understand your dependence on nicotine and your addiction behaviour. During counselling sessions, you can discuss your plans for smoking cessation, and the physical and emotional problems related to your smoking. These counselling sessions can be minutes long or last for approximately an hour. Along with face-to-face counselling, telephone counselling is also available.
As well as individual sessions, there are also group therapy sessions and support groups, such as Nicotine Anonymous (NicA). During these sessions, you will have the support of an entire group of like-minded individuals with a desire to quit smoking. When combined with other methods, individual counselling and/or group support can effectively help most individuals cease smoking.
If you want to stop smoking, do your research and weigh up the pros and cons of each smoking cessation method to determine the right one(s) for you. Certain treatments can be bought over the counter or may require a prescription from your GP. Giving up smoking isn’t easy, but with the right attitude, the help of family and friends, and constant reminders of why you’re choosing to quit, you can do it. Remember, second-hand smoke is harmful to other people and can trigger health conditions such asthma attacks, ear infections and heart disease.
Image Credits: Petar Starčević