Quitting smoking works best when you have abruptly and suddenly given up smoking. When you do it on your own without help or aids, it is called the “cold turkey” method.
Gradually reducing cigarettes or buying fewer cigarettes or buying cigarettes of another brand are some suggested ways to quit smoking. The success rate of such methods is very low and not worth the mention.
When you give up smoking, you are bound to experience certain effects on your body, which will bother you for some time. You have to fight these problems because they are not longlasting.
Once through, the rest then becomes easy and the benefits on your health start accruing short-term and long-term.
This post on the timeline of the benefits after quitting will be very useful to read.
How to Stop Smoking?
Having motivated yourself strongly to quit smoking, you now have to put into practice certain quitting smoking tips, which will carry you through the initial weeks after your last smoke.
Nicotine in the tobacco smoke is what makes tobacco smoking very addictive. It gives you feeling of well-being when you inhale the tobacco smoke. When the nicotine level in the blood falls, you crave for another smoke.
You will face some problems after sudden smoking withdrawal, which is the main stumbling block when you give up smoking.
Smoking cessation becomes difficult because these withdrawal symptoms are more severe during the first week and gradually start to recede. It may take 8 to 12 weeks before you start feeling comfortable.
Stopping smoking on your own can be done without any help. This is called the cold turkey method. Here a very strong willpower is essential. Smoking withdrawal symptoms are intense but the period is short. Smoking cessation with this method is difficult and the success rate is low.
Stopping smoking with help and aids. You could quit smoking with the help of certain aids and help. They include nicotine gums and skin patches, hypnotic therapy, and joining smoking groups. This is explained in the next post.
Tips to Quit Smoking on Your Own: Cold turkey tips
To start with, here are a few things you could do to see the nicotine withdrawal symptoms through.
- Take your family members and friends into confidence and ask for their help in assisting you to quit smoking. This is important because you will feel alone and lonely at times like these and they are the best source of help during such times.
- In a boring situation, find something to keep yourself busy.
- Have a high fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids. This will, over time, take care of your stomach withdrawal symptoms. High fiber diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole wheat cereals and bran.
- If tea and coffee or some such beverage increases your craving for a cigarette, avoid these drinks.
- Do breathing exercises every day. Exercise daily. This will help your lungs adjust to the lack of nicotine. Take brisk walks.
- If hungry, do eat. But stick to low-fat foods.
- If you are gaining weight, learn how you could lose weight. And don’t worry about a little weight gain. It is better of the two evils. (i.e. weight gain v/s smoking).
- Meditation will be a great help to quit smoking as it makes it easier to face the mental and emotional smoke withdrawal symptoms.
- When you get the craving to smoke, divert your attention and do something else from what you were doing. Take deep breaths or start counting backward slowly. Take a fast-paced walk or call up a friend or some such person who is helping you quit smoking. Doing such things will help the craving to fade away. When it reappears, repeat this procedure. Family members are a great source of inspiration at times like these.
- At times when the craving for a smoke arises, you could put a clove in your mouth and keep sucking on it and swallowing the saliva. Alternately, you could use a toothpick after a meal, or sunflower seeds or sugarless gum.
- You will experience headaches, dizziness and increase in appetite after quitting smoking. This is because there is no immediate release of sugar that comes with nicotine. At such times, you could have fresh fruit juices to increase glucose in the body. This will have the desired effect and even curb the craving for a smoke. After a few days, the body starts adjusting and additional glucose will not be required.
- Most of us like to smoke with our drinks. It is, therefore, advisable to quit drinking alcohol. This is because the effects of alcohol are also nothing to shout about. But if this is asking for too much, you could choose a bar which does not permit smoking and drink with friends who do not smoke.
- Once you have quit smoking, the damage caused by smoking start reversing gradually. Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your raised blood pressure and pulse rate begin to drop.
- Avoid friends who smoke. Make new friends who do not smoke.
- Have pictures of smoking depicting the various diseases that smoking causes. You could put these anti-smoking pictures up on your bedroom walls.
- You must jot down these benefits that you reap, once you have quit smoking. These benefits start to accrue as early as 20 minutes after your last smoke and some benefits take years to accrue.
Why quit smoking? Benefits
- You will feel healthier.
- Your looks and skin will have a better appearance.
- Your risks of heart attack, cancer, strokes are reduced. The constant but subconscious fear of a major illness and early death no longer exists.
- Your family and friends are no longer exposed to the dangers of your secondhand smoke.
- You will save a good amount of money, which otherwise you were spending on smoking.
- Having quit smoking, you will have a sense of achievement and a feeling of pride. Your esteem will rise amongst your family and friends.
Keep reminding yourself of these benefits and it will make your resolve to stop smoking even stronger. Quitting smoking becomes easy once you have built up a strong enough willpower by motivating yourself.