Top 5 Tips for Quitting Smoking
Table of Contents
How to Quit Smoking?
There are many reasons why someone would want to quit smoking. Nicotine is a very addictive substance, and smoking can affect someone’s life in many ways. Smoking is bad for your health and expenses, and it can be disruptive to your daily life. However, due to the addictive nature of tobacco and nicotine products, quitting smoking is not easy. Some tips you can follow to quit smoking include to:
- Work on improving self-control
- Use nicotine alternatives to help you
- Get active and look to more positive outlets
- Eat healthily and focus on your overall health
- Reward yourself as you surpass milestones and hit your goals
Following these tips can help make it easier to stop smoking. This article will show you the importance of quitting and give you additional details on how to apply these tips.
Why is Quitting so Hard?
When you smoke or vape, you are consuming nicotine which is an extremely addictive substance. Smoking cigarettes or using things like vape pens is habit-forming. As you continue to smoke, your body will form a physical and psychological dependence on it. This dependence will result in physical cravings and make you feel like you cannot function normally without smoking, making it very difficult to quit.
Common Smoking Triggers and Cravings
When you stop consuming tobacco or vape products, you will experience cravings and triggers to smoke again. Common triggers and cravings that you may experience include:
Feeling urges to smoke at times when you used to (upon waking up, before bed, on a work break, when you’re bored, etc.)
Certain venues may trigger the urge to smoke or vape (at a bar, parties, celebrating an event, etc.)
Seeing someone else smoke
Spending time with friends who smoke
Craving the taste of a cigarette
Smelling cigarette smoke
Needing to do something with your hands
Handling cigarettes, vape products, or lighters
Feeling restless 1
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?
Generally, nicotine leaves your blood within one to three days, and it will not be detectable in your urine after three to four days of stopping tobacco or vape products. However, withdrawal symptoms and cravings when you stop smoking will last longer than this time frame.2
How Long Does It Take to Quit Smoking?
When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal symptoms will usually become the most intense after about three days of initially stopping and continue for about two weeks. These couple of weeks are the most difficult period when you try to quit smoking. Most people report that all the symptoms are gone after about three months from when they stopped.3
When you quit smoking cold turkey, it can be a challenging process that requires a lot of restraint. Quitting cold turkey means that you cut off all nicotine consumption when you quit, rather than using nicotine patches or other alternatives to help you ease off it. While this process can be difficult, the main advantage is that it can make the process of quitting faster compared to slowly backing off your consumption of nicotine products. Quitting this way is not easy, but if you maintain willpower, it can be very beneficial.4
Risk Factors of Smoking
There are serious risk factors of smoking tobacco or vape products, and there are many long-term health ramifications caused by smoking that can affect someone’s life negatively. Common risk factors of smoking are:
- 70% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking
- Smoking also causes cancer in other parts of the body
- It causes heart problems (heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and damaged blood vessels)
- It lowers the immune system
- It makes you susceptible to problems associated with lung damage (COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia)
- It can worsen conditions such as asthma, respiratory tract infections, and the common cold.5
Related Problems of SmokingOther related problems include that smoking:
- Can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant
- Reduces fertility in men
- Can lead to birth defects
- Can affect bone health
- Affects the health of your teeth and gums, at times leading to tooth loss
- Can affect your eyes (cataracts, macular degeneration, damage to the retinas)
- Increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30-40%
- Makes you more prone to arthritis
What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking?
When you suddenly stop smoking, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Common withdrawal symptoms may include:
Mental fog or trouble concentrating
Strong cravings for tobacco or nicotine products
When you stop smoking, certain medications may be used to help ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings, potentially preventing relapse and making the process of quitting easier. Common medications that may be prescribed are Varenicline and Bupropion SR.6
If you do not want to use medications, there are also some alternative therapies you can turn to that help make the process of quitting easier. Alternative therapies like yoga and meditation use breathing and relaxation techniques that will reduce stress and ease the mind and body during this difficult time.
Tips to Quit Smoking
If you are trying to quit smoking, you can use the following five tips to make the process easier.
When you stop smoking you will experience a lot of stress on the mind and body. During this time, practicing techniques that boost self-control can help. When you’re feeling stressed, focus on where that stress is coming from, relax, and take some deep breaths. Take time to visualize success and focus on your goals. Turn to positive activities like exercise to help you build self-control. You can always find someone to talk to about the process, and you do not have to go through it alone.7
Nicotine replacement therapy can be an effective method to slowly reduce and eventually stop nicotine consumption. Some common nicotine alternatives you can use are prescription nicotine in a nasal spray or inhaler, over-the-counter nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges. You can also use prescription medications like Varenicline and Bupropion SR that ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings.8
Staying active can be a good way to help you stop smoking. Get involved in fitness or other health and wellness activities. These activities will give you a positive outlet that you can focus on rather than consuming tobacco or vape products. Focusing on health and fitness can give you a structured program to follow while reducing the withdrawal symptoms on the mind and body.
Healthy eating can help give you more energy and keep you focused on overall health and well-being. A good diet can help provide you with the willpower to keep going even when quitting feels tough.
When you quit smoking, set goals and milestones for yourself. Pick a reward for yourself when you reach those milestones. Having something positive to look forward to can help motivate you to keep going.