Quitting smoking is one of those things that many people attempt, but few have success with on a long term basis the first time. Theories abound about why it is so hard to quit, but most scientists are in agreement that the most important part of quitting is to stop using tobacco products altogether while building habits that support handling stress. Easier said than done as nicotine is addictive, and most tobacco products have added chemicals to boost their addictive power even further.
Nicotine replacement therapies have proven quite successful, and the surprise newcomer to these therapies is the humble e-cigarette. A recent study revealed that those who used e-cigs had a 60% rate of long-term success in quitting. Like other smoking replacements, e-cigs won’t work for everyone – but they are an affordable alternative to the more expensive nicotine replacement therapies you should explore.
If you want quit for good – learn why you smoke in the first place!
The first step to quitting smoking and quitting for good is to understand why you smoke. This is done by looking at two different aspects of smoking. The first is your pattern of smoking – do you smoke when you are stressed? Bored? Tired? Or even at social events? For many people, alcohol is a huge trigger that leads to over-smoking or smoking outside of your regular pattern of smoking. The next thing you need to look at is the information on how smoking works in the body.
Educate yourself about the effects it has on your physical body but spend more time looking into the impact that tobacco and the act of smoking have on the brain. This helps you understand the chemical process that gets triggered by nicotine in the brain in regards to the release of hormones in our reward centers. Many people also find that they relate to the effect of nicotine on their dopamine levels and receptors.
It is now known that nicotine can act as a powerful anti-anxiety and antidepressant agent. It also has a profound effect on calming the symptoms of schizophrenia. You want to understand your smoking habit to learn the role it plays in your life that helps you function.
For a bad habit, nicotine can be helping you
For all the bad things that tobacco products can be doing to your body, the nicotine may be helping your body deal with stress, anxiety and certain types of mental illness. This is a reality you have to embrace as it helps you understand why just quitting smoking in the past may not have lasted very long.
E-cigs may help, as can other therapies
If your pattern leads you to believe that you are using tobacco products to help deal with stop smoking with e-cigs stress and anxiety, you may find great success in using e-cigarettes over nicotine replacement products. Vaporized nicotine is not used as a medication for the very conditions outlined above, but it gives you the freedom and control to change your personal and social habits around smoking to build up your coping skills. Unlike nicotine replacement patches and gums, the one thing that an e-cig offers that they don’t is an experience like smoking. That isn’t just about the taste, action and vapor – it has to do with body posturing and “taking a smoke break” habit it allows you to continue.
What many smokers miss when they examine their habit is the importance of the act of taking a smoke break. That break – which usually involves getting up and leaving whatever is causing the stress and anxiety, plays a role in what you are getting out of smoking. With the e-cig, you are still taking breaks but you are managing the nicotine going into your body and letting go of the harmful effects of tobacco products.
Once you make the break with the act of smoking, it’s time to make changes!
Once you have physically detoxified from the tobacco and additives by using an electronic cigarette, you can begin to explore replacing the e-cig break with another activity. You may want to explore support therapies to help you deal with the changes in your emotional state during this time. The mood swings associated with quitting smoking are greatly reduced with the use of e-cigs, this is due to the level of nicotine in them and that you are preserving the breaks and actions associated with smoking.
Once you have fully detoxed, it’s time to start changing those actions too. A therapist, life coach, or even a personal trainer can be great assets during this time. Even just grabbing a few friends to make a walking club during your normal smoking times can be enough to begin changing your habits and allow you to start to use an E-cig less and less.