Many people make it a New Years resolution to stop smoking and with good reason. Smoking is one of the risk factors for diseases, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, hypertension and lung cancer. It is also linked to heart disease. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Breaking the smoking habit can be a challenge, but with support, discipline and some helpful tips you can achieve a smoke free New Year. Below are 10 tips to get you started.
1. Get A Shot
Some smoking cessation centers offer injections of two types of medications including atropine and scopolamine. The medications are used to decrease the nicotine withdrawal effects by blocking a transmitter in the nervous system. Both medications are FDA approved to treat other conditions, such as sea sickness and digestive conditions. Individuals with certain medical conditions may be excluded for participation in this type of smoking cessation program. As with all medications, it is crucial to first check with your physician.
2. Smoke An Artificial Cigarette
An artificial cigarette is a small, electronic device shaped similarly to a cigarette. The device converts a solution into a mist, which is inhaled. It can help mimic smoking and may help reduce the need to reach for a regular cigarette. The solution comes in different flavors. Electronic cigarettes vary greatly by manufacturer and some also contain varied doses of nicotine.
3. Try Acupuncture
The theory behind acupuncture and smoking cessation is that the insertion of thin needles into specific points in the body helps reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. The exact physiology that occurs is not clear, but researchers believe certain hormones may be released during acupuncture. The hormones released promote feelings of well-being, reduce pain, anxiety and increase circulation. Having needles inserted in your body may not sound fun, but most people find acupuncture painless.
4. Make It Inconvenient To Smoke
As your quit date approaches, take all the ashtrays and lighters out of your house. If you don’t throw cigarettes away, at least hide them in places that are hard to get to, such as cabinets thatare out of reach, and shelves in the garage or in the basement. Making it inconvenient to get to a cigarette may reduce how much you smoke.
5. Join A 12-Step Program Or Other Support Group
Nicotine Anonymous is a 12-step program for people who smoke or use chewing tobacco. Similar to other 12-step programs, meetings are held to teach people ways to break their habit and stick with it. In addition to a formal 12-step program, online and in-person support groups are available through hospitals, community centers and clinics. Developing a support system with others going through the same thing can be very helpful.
6. Use Alternative Smoking Cessation Methods Like Hypnosis Or Laser Therapy
There are times traditional smoking cessation methods don’t work. Although there may not be concrete scientific evidence for alternative smoking cessation methods, such as hypnosis or laser therapy, they may work for some people. For instance, hypnosis is intended to help change an unwanted behavior, such as smoking, through the unconscious mind. Alternative smoking cessation methods may also be used in conjunction with tradition methods, such as medication to improve success.
7. Pop Something Healthy Into Your Mouth
One reason why some ex-smokers gain weight is, they substitute food for smoking. Instead of reaching for something unhealthy to eat, pop seeds, nuts or raw vegetables in your mouth. Plan ahead and have healthy snacks at work, in your car and anywhere else you might reach for a cigarette.
8. Reduce Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms With a Nicotine Inhaler Or Nasal Spray
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms may develop in some people who attempt to quit smoking and include headaches, anxiety and irritability. Nicotine replacement therapy helps reduce withdrawal symptoms. It comes in several forms including an inhaler and nasal spray. Nicotine replacement therapy works by delivering a small dose of nicotine to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. One advantage of using an inhaler or nasal spray is, it works quicker to reduce nicotine cravings than when using a nicotine patch or gum.
9. Decrease Your Cigarette Triggers
Like other habits, smoking may be triggered in part by other activities. Many smokers tend to light up when they have a cup of coffee or an alcoholic drink. Being around other smokers or feeling stressed may also be triggers. Determine what type of situations and activities tend to increase your desire to smoke and do your best to reduce them. Find healthy ways to lower stress, such as exercise and listening to music.
10. Drink A Lot Of Water
Drinking water serves two purposes when you are trying to quit smoking. Every time you want to reach for cigarette reach for a glass of water instead. It gives you something to put in your mouth. Drinking water also helps flush the nicotine out of your system quicker. This may help you get past the nicotine withdrawal stage faster.
Once you quit smoking, making a lifetime commitment to kicking the habit can sometimes be a challenge. Remember why you quit and the health benefits you are gaining. Reward yourself for your dedication. Deal with a slip-up by realizing your human and mistakes happen. If you do slip-up, use it as a chance to recommit to your program. Believe in your ability to be smoke free for the New Year.