Quit Smoking 101
The best ways to quit smoking all involve the same four critical elements – support, reasons, lifestyle changes, and nicotine replacement therapies. The only one that will be custom to you is the last. Finding out which of the nicotine replacement options work for you may be a matter of trial and error. The first three elements are the same for everything. You can’t quit just using a nicotine replacement therapy along. Think about how smoking affects every aspect of your life. It makes sense then that the best ways to quit smoking are also going to address all the major areas of your life too. Here is an overview of the 4 elements of quitting smoking.
Element #1 – Support
Making sure that the people around you known that you are quitting is essential. Make sure you know who you can talk to when you get a craving. You don’t want it to be the friend who is going to tell you how their 600 pack a day smoking father went cold turkey and never picked up again. You want the friend who is going to understand and listen to you. You should also use all the quitting smoking apps and online smoking cessation sites for support too. They can offer you support 24/7, so you never have to give in to cravings.
Element #2 – Reasons
Make a list – a very long list – of all the reasons you want to stop smoking. You may have heard that you have only to decide to stop for yourself, but that isn’t very effective for most people. Identify friends, family, pets, employees – anyone you can think of that is affected by your smoking and who will benefit from your stopping. In the middle of a craving it may be hard to believe that you are worth the effort, so have a last of other people who are.
Element #3 – Lifestyle Changes
Drink more fluids, eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise more are essential to staying quit. They also all help to speed up the detoxification process when you first stop smoking. You also want to look at your social activities and find things to do that don’t involve people, places or things that you used to always smoke around. At least for the first year, you need to stack the deck in your favor to make sure you stay quit.
Element #4 – The nicotine replacement therapy
There are many different nicotine replacement therapy options for you to try. Not everything will work for everyone. Make sure you find out more about each of these, so you understand the pros and cons of each choice. If you do try one, and it doesn’t work, try another until you find what does.
Nicotine Polacrilex – This is the nicotine replacement drug used in the over the counter lozenges, gums, and patches. It allows for a controlled amount of nicotine to be delivered to your system over several hours. The bonus to this is that it is discreet, and many people have had success with these therapies. The downside is it is expensive, and many people have reactions to the drug that are worse than smoking.
Prescription medications – There are several prescription medications that can be used as ways to quit smoking. Zyban and Wellbutrin are two of the best known. Again, they work for some people but not others. One problem with these medications is they do come with side effects and may also interfere with any other kind of medication you may be taking.
Acupuncture – This is a popular alternative method of quitting smoking, but there isn’t much evidence that it works. What there is evidence of is that acupuncture can help to reduce anxiety and stress in some people. That can help you deal with cravings.
Hypnosis – Some forms of hypnosis are very effective with helping people quit smoking. Most of the hypnosis styles for quitting do require that you make time for several weeks to follow a strict regimen of listening to the recordings. Hypnosis can also be very expensive.
E-cigs – Although E-cigs aren’t considered a nicotine replacement therapy, they are a valuable nicotine alternative and are gaining more and more support in the health community as potentially one of the best ways to quit smoking. They are inexpensive, and reactions to the vapor are virtually unknown. One of the reasons that they are so effective is they promote control over nicotine intake while reducing exposure to dangerous and addictive additives. E-liquids are available in various nicotine levels so you can use them to wean yourself off the nicotine entirely.
The golden rule is – try everything till you quit!
The best ways to quit smoking are all of the above. Read through the pros and cons of each, educate yourself about how nicotine works in the body and then come up with a plan to quit. Try them all until you find the one that works best for you. Remember that it can take several tries before you finally quit, but each attempt gets you closer to the one that will keep.