Nicotine is one of the most harmful and most readily available legal drugs in the world. It is addictive and harmful to smokers themselves as well as to passive smokers, especially children of smoking parents. If you'd like to quit smoking but don't know where to start, make a structured plan. Be aware of why you want to quit, prepare for success and carry out your plan with the help of others or with the help of special drugs. Quitting smoking is very difficult, but certainly not impossible.
Method 1 of 4: Deciding to Quit Smoking
Step 1. Try to think for yourself whether you seriously want to quit smoking
Nicotine is highly addictive and to get rid of it you have to be very sure of yourself. Ask yourself if a life without smoking appeals to you more than continuing your life as a smoker. If the answer is yes, make sure you have a good reason to stop. That way, when it gets hard not to smoke, you can be clear to yourself about that all-important reason to quit.
Think about how smoking affects the following aspects of your life: your health, your appearance, your way of life, and your friends and family. Ask yourself whether these aspects of your life would improve if you stopped
Step 2. Decide for yourself why you want to stop
Make a list of all the reasons why you want to quit. That way you will be able to make a clear decision for yourself why you want to stop. If you're tempted to smoke later, you'll probably want to check this list again.
For example, your list might include reasons such as: I want to quit smoking so I can run so I can keep up with my son during soccer practice, to have more energy and to be there when my youngest grandchild gets married, or to save money. save
Step 3. Be aware that you may experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to get rid of your nicotine addiction
Cigarettes distribute the nicotine throughout your body in a very effective way. If you stop smoking, you may experience more frequent binge eating, anxiety, depression, headaches, tension or feelings of restlessness, increased appetite and weight gain, and difficulty concentrating.
Realize that you may not be able to quit smoking overnight. In the United States, about 45 million people use some form of nicotine, and only 5% of users manage to quit on their first try
Method 2 of 4: Make a plan to quit smoking
Step 1. Choose a date to start your plan
By determining a start date for yourself, you give structure to your plan. For example, you can choose an important date such as a birthday or a certain holiday, or you can just choose a date that seems appropriate to you.
Choose a date within now and two weeks. This gives you time to prepare and start off on a calm, stress-free day, which is important because otherwise you would be more likely to start smoking
Step 2. Choose a method
Decide which method you want to use: cold turkey or gradually cut down on smoking. Quitting cold turkey means that you stop smoking completely in one go and from that moment on you don't touch a cigarette anymore. Gradual quitting means that you will smoke less and less until you have stopped completely. If you choose to stop gradually, make a specific agreement with yourself from when and by how much you will reduce your use. This can be done, for example, by simply saying: "I will smoke one less cigarette every two days."
Whichever method you choose, your attempt to quit has a better chance of success if you combine professional guidance with the use of medicines
Step 3. Be prepared for strong urges to smoke
Make a plan in advance for the moments when you really feel the need to start smoking. You can try the hand-to-mouth method, which refers to moving your hand toward your mouth like you do when you smoke. Provide a replacement to meet this need. If you suddenly feel a strong urge to smoke, try healthy snacks or low-calorie snacks such as raisins, popcorn, or salty sticks.
You can also try to suppress your smoking needs by exercising. Go for a walk, clean up the kitchen, or do some yoga. You can also try to suppress your impulses by squeezing a stress ball or chewing gum if the urge to smoke becomes very strong
Method 3 of 4: Carrying out your plan
Step 1. Make the necessary preparations the night before you stop
Wash your sheets and clothes to remove the cigarette smell. It is also best to throw away all ashtrays, cigarettes and lighters. Make sure you sleep well, because if you are well rested, you will have less stress.
Remind yourself of your plan and keep a written copy of it with you at all times, or keep it on your phone. It may also be a good idea to read through the list of reasons why you want to quit
Step 2. Seek support
Your family and friends can offer you extra support during the quitting process. Let them know your goal and ask if they can help you by not smoking in your area and by not offering you cigarettes. You can also ask them to encourage you and remind you of your specific goal if it becomes difficult to resist the temptation.
While stopping, don't forget to live by the day. Remind yourself that this is a process, not something that happens all at once
Step 3. Know what triggers you to start smoking
Many people have the experience that certain situations trigger a need to smoke. For example, you may like to smoke a cigarette with your cup of coffee or tea, or you may always smoke while trying to solve a problem at work. Find out where it might be difficult not to smoke and plan what to do in those specific places. For example, make sure you have an automatic response if someone offers you a cigarette: “No, thanks, but I'd still like a cup of tea” or “No – I'm trying to quit.”
Avoid stress. Stress can be a pitfall when trying to quit smoking. Try techniques like deep breathing, exercise, and taking time out to manage your stress
Step 4. Stick to your smoking cessation plan
Continue with your plan even if you encounter obstacles along the way. If you ever have a relapse and smoke all day, be kind and forgiving to yourself. Accept that it was a difficult day, remind yourself that quitting is a long and difficult process, and continue with your plan the next day.
Try to avoid relapses as much as possible. But if it does happen, pick up your intention to quit smoking as soon as possible. Learn from the experience and try to handle such situations better in the future
Method 4 of 4: Using aids to quit smoking
Step 1. Consider using e-cigarettes, aka electronic cigarettes, or nicotine filters
Recent studies suggest that using electronic cigarettes while trying to quit may help you reduce or quit smoking altogether. Other studies recommend caution when using e-cigarettes because they contain varying amounts of nicotine and still release the same chemicals found in cigarettes, and those chemicals can make you smoke again.
Step 2. Seek professional help
A combination of behavioral therapy and drug treatment may increase your chances of being able to quit. If you've tried to quit on your own before and it just doesn't work, think about getting professional help. Your doctor can tell you more about possible drug treatments.
A therapist can also help you through the quitting process. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you change your thoughts and attitudes about smoking. A therapist can also teach you certain techniques to better cope with withdrawal symptoms or new ways of thinking about quitting
Step 3. Take Bupropion
This drug itself does not contain nicotine, but it does help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Bupropion can increase your chances of stopping by 69%. It is best to start taking bupropion 1 or two weeks before you plan to stop. Usually one or two pills with a dose of 150 mg per day are prescribed.
Bupropion causes the following side effects, among others: a dry mouth, sleeping problems, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, digestive disorders and headache
Step 4. Use Chantix
This medicine blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain, making smoking less pleasant. It also reduces withdrawal symptoms. You should start taking Chantix a week before you stop taking it. Take Chantix for 12 weeks and always with food. Possible side effects include: headache, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, strange dreams, gas and changes in your taste. But it could double your chances of quitting.
The doctor supervising you will ask you to gradually increase your dose. For example, on the first, second, and third day, you take one 0.5 mg pill. Then, on days four through seven, you take a 0.5 mg pill twice a day. Then you should take one 1 mg tablet twice a day
Step 5. Try a nicotine replacement
Nicotine replacements include all types of patches, chewing gum, tablets, nasal sprays, inhalers or lozenges for under your tongue that contain nicotine and deliver nicotine to your body. Nicotine replacement drugs are available without a prescription and their use can reduce sudden cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Using a nicotine replacement drug can increase your chances of successfully quitting by up to 60 percent.
Side effects of nicotine replacement drugs include: nightmares, insomnia and skin irritation when using patches; a sore mouth, difficulty breathing, getting hiccups and pain in your cheekbones when you chew gum; an irritated mouth and throat from using nicotine inhalers; an irritated throat and hiccups from the use of nicotine tablets; and an irritated throat and nose and a runny nose when using nasal spray
- Start a new hobby so that you are distracted and not tempted to smoke.
- Try a simple self-suggestion like, "I don't smoke. I can't smoke. I'm not going to smoke," and as you say it, think about something else you can do.
- Try to stay away from people who smoke and avoid situations that remind you of smoking.
- Drink less coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine. When you stop smoking, your body processes caffeine twice as efficiently, which can cause sleepless nights until you reduce caffeine intake.
- If you do give in again, don't immediately think it will never be wax, but see your attempt as an exercise that will help you be better prepared the next time you try to quit smoking.
- Find out if you might also be psychologically addicted to smoking. This is the case for most people who have smoked for a long time. If you have ever stopped smoking for three days or more and then started smoking again, you are most likely psychologically dependent on smoking. Gather information about programs aimed at breaking psychological/behavioural addiction to smoking that are specifically designed to remove triggers and other impulses to start smoking.
- Using any kind of drugs to quit smoking can be dangerous. Before you decide to try such a medicine, always ask your doctor for advice.
- If you're thinking of quitting smoking using a nicotine replacement drug, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, or sprays or inhalers, be warned, as those drugs are also addictive.