We all know that smoking is hazardous to our health. From an increased risk of cancer and heart disease to stained teeth and older-looking skin, smoking is associated with countless ill effects and virtually zero benefits. However, no matter how harmful, the habit is notoriously difficult to kick. Nicotine – and, for some people, the act of smoking, itself – is highly addictive, making quitting seem like an impossible feat. But, it can definitely be done. Keep reading for tips on quitting for good!
Nicotine withdrawal can be quite severe. For example, quitting cold turkey is often associated with headaches, irritability, anxiety and other uncomfortable symptoms. Nicotine replacement can curb cravings, and also helps smokers avoid the carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic and other harmful ingredients commonly found in cigarettes. What’s more, there are several types of nicotine replacement therapy, a few of which are listed below.
- Electronic cigarettes. With e-cigs, you can control the amount of nicotine you’re getting, as well as satisfy the oral fixation shared by most smokers. Plus, with brands like Black Note, smokers can pick and choose flavors without exposing themselves to the carcinogens found in cigarettes.
- Nicotine patch. Patches come in various strengths and are designed to supply a steady dose of nicotine to the bloodstream via the skin.
- Nicotine gum. Nicotine gum provides a quick dose of nicotine, and also allows smokers to control the dose they’re getting.
Shake Up Your Routine
Many smokers enjoy their cigarettes during specific times of the day. For instance, many smokers indulge on the drive to work, at lunch, during happy hour or before bed. And since these activities can ramp up the desire to smoke, shaking up your routine might help. If you like to smoke on your morning drive, consider taking public transportation or carpooling with nonsmokers; if you enjoy a cigarette with a cocktail after work, ditch happy hour in favor of a quick workout at the gym. These subtle changes can help rewire your brain, which can help you leave cigarette cravings in the dust, where they belong.
Quitting smoking is one of the healthiest choices you could ever make. While you’re at it, why not make a commitment to improving other areas of health, as well? Healthy lifestyle choices like the following can help you feel better, look better and even live longer!
- Exercise. Smoking can definitely hinder cardio endurance. Now that you’re kicking the habit, consider adding some heart-healthy cardio to your workout routine. Exercise can even help reduce some of the anxiety associated with quitting smoking, so don’t hesitate to break a sweat!
- Diet. Smoking is hard on the body. Help undo some of that damage with a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Load up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, and avoid processed foods, sugars, starches, trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients.
- Meditation. Meditation can be extremely effective in helping you kick bad habits. When you feel the urge to smoke, find a quiet spot to breathe deeply and clear your mind.
Quitting smoking is challenging, indeed. Thankfully, the support of loved ones can help see you through. Don’t be ashamed to ask your partner, friends, family members and coworkers for help and encouragement throughout the quitting process. Support groups can be helpful, too, and can also provide a safe place for sharing thoughts and venting frustrations.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Many smokers have tried to quit, over and over again, without success. If you find yourself lighting up, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just remind yourself of all the reasons you want to quit, and try again when you’re ready.
Quitting smoking now can significantly improve your health and quality of life. And while kicking the habit is decidedly difficult, it is possible. Use the tips provided here to quit smoking, once and for all. Good luck!