Quitting smoking on your own without help requires tremendous willpower, which comes with a very high sense of motivation. The success rate of stopping smoking in such a fashion on your own is 2% to 5%. This implies it isn’t easy.
This is because there are compulsive reasons why people smoke. Secondly, when you stop, you experience certain withdrawal symptoms, which make life very uncomfortable. But, you can cope with them. They stay for a short time.
The extent of damage smoking causes to your health depends on the number of cigarettes smoked every day and the number of years you have smoked. There is a post that describes these smoking effects and the timeline. However, when you quit smoking, these damages to your health start reversing over time and most of them go away.
Certain stop smoking aids are available to help you quit. These resources if adopted religiously will increase your success rate.
It is important that you have understood fully why you should quit smoking. The earlier in life you take up the resolve to give up on the cigarette, the more are the health benefits and longer the lifespan you gain.
You also harm your family members and colleagues by sharing your tobacco smoke with them. When they inhale your secondhand smoke (smoke you exhale), it harms them in the same way as if they have smoked.
Explained below are certain methods that offer various options, which will make it easier to quit the cigarette for good.
Aids that help you to quit smoking
How do these aids help?
- They prepare you mentally and emotionally
- Help to reduce the smoking withdrawal symptoms, and
- Curb the crave for a smoke
1. Quit smoking programs
Stop smoking programs also referred to as smoking cessation programs are support groups to help you quit the cigarette. An example of one such program is nicotine anonymous. This is a program, which gears you up mentally, offers inspiration, and motivates you to stop smoking. Here are the facts:
- Such stop smoking programs are led by professionals.
- They may either be held as classes or may involve group discussions.
- Such programs may also consist of either one-on-one counseling or group counseling with a professional. These types of programs offer the best results.
- They primarily aim at educating the smoker on the effects of smoking and how to cope with problems that occur after quitting smoking.
- Each of these sessions lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes and four such sessions are conducted over a period of two weeks.
- Nicotine Anonymous (NicA) offers scope for face to face discussions and applies the 12 step program of Alcoholic Anonymous to help the person quit smoking.
- Remember, there are no shortcuts and there is no instant success in quitting smoking with these help programs. They take time but are useful and effective.
- With no help from such programs, 95% of the smokers fail to quit smoking.
2. How quit smoking with support groups help?
When you decide to give up smoking for good, you are going to require all the support, encouragement and motivation. Support groups do just that.
When you join a support group to help you quit, you are increasing your chances to succeed in this difficult endeavor.
Support groups consist of members sharing the same experience as yours. You express your feelings and experiences with people who totally understand them.
The feedback of the other members gives you a new confidence and helps you to cope with your every smoke-free day. It teaches you ways you never knew to deal with your smoking withdrawal symptoms.
3. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
It is the addictive urge to smoke that makes quitting very difficult. Among the ingredients in tobacco, nicotine is the ingredient that makes you addicted to smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy helps you using this very fact.
After inhaling the cigarette smoke, nicotine reaches the brain in 10 seconds and causes the release of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters.
This release gives the smoker a feeling of wellbeing and brings him in a good mood.
After his smoke, when the nicotine levels in the blood fall after a time interval, he again reaches out for the cigarette.
Nicotine aids keep the level of nicotine in the blood up to kill the urge of smoking. The smoker is then protected from the ill-effects of inhaling the cigarette smoke and its innumerable toxic contents (carbon monoxide, tar, and more).
Furthermore, these aids also prevent him from suffering withdrawal symptoms making it easier for him to avoid the cigarette.
Nicotine aids, such as nicotine patches and gums, are available in the form of nicotine replacements.
Nicotine patches to quit smoking are applied over the skin. These patches contain nicotine, which is gradually absorbed through the skin into the blood. Similarly, nicotine gums and lozenges are also available.
The use of nicotine replacements is then gradually reduced over time.
4. Non-nicotine medication
This is one of the stop smoking aids, which does not contain nicotine but offers help by reducing the withdrawal symptoms and the urge for nicotine. They are meant for short-term use. Examples include Zyban and Chantix.
Another aid that will help you to quit smoking is hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is a very effective and its success rate is pretty high (66%). You should be very determined though, to follow up regularly.