Quitting smoking is one the most difficult challenges you will face in your lifetime. We don't mean to exaggerate the situation, but it truly is a daunting task. The addiction is both physical and psychological, but it can be overcome. You will not be alone in the defeat of this addiction, almost 50 million Americans are former smokers, that 1/6 of the entire country.
The reasons to quit smoking are in the hundreds, but the top reasons would be lung cancer, emphysema, and even heart disease. Not to mention the harmful effects of second-hand smoke your friends and family have to succumb to ever time you light up. To top these facts off the tobacco companies even admit that tobacco can be directly linked to death. So why do we smoke?
The task of quitting is daunting, but here is some good advice that could help you kick the habit to the curb, for good.
Mind & Body Connection
The substance that smokers live and die for is nicotine, it has smokers wrapped around its fingers comparative to the same addiction heroin and cocaine have over their victims. The withdrawal symptoms can be dizziness, depression, cramps, nausea, and anxiety.
The minute smokers take a puff the nicotine begins its work by rushing through the bloodstream thus giving them a high, a quick jolt of nostalgia that makes them feel on top of the world. This high is short lived though and the body quickly becomes accustomed to it and needs more. Which is why addicts go from a couple of cigarettes in the beginning all the way to 2 1/2 packs a day as a 'veteran' smoker.
Thats the physical addiction, but the psychological addiction is almost as bad. Smoking almost becomes second nature, comparative to blinking, breathing, and walking. One pack of cigarettes can become 150-225 puffs a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, that is almost 82,125 puffs a year. When you think about it that way you will see how difficult it is to de-program yourself from the addiction.
Our Thoughts on Quitting, and how to do it
Samuel Wright, a smoker for 17 years says "there is no magic remedy, device, charm, or method to quitting smoking. Each smoker has to device a plan and stick to it. Keep the plan to themselves first, until it has worked for a week, then they can talk about it".
This 'method' you choose cannot be common knowledge, because what happens when you share your plan with others? They knock you down and critique it until you are pulling a cigarette out and lighting up with the notion that your addiction will NEVER end.
First and foremost you need to know that everyone tried to quit at least once and failed, in fact the average person quite 8-10 times before actually quitting for good. It is more rare for someone to quit on the first try than the tenth.
Here is our system, left completely open to your modification, write the steps down and answer them
Why are you quitting?
What is the number one reason you why to quit? There are probably tons of reasons, but you only need the biggest reason. Is it your parents, family, children, health, finances?
Change your Mindset
Your not quitting for life, your quitting each day you wake up, it is a race to not smoke until you go to bed that night. Think of it this way and you will not be overwhelmed with it all. Also, quitting does not have to be torture, turn it into a game.
To quit cold Turkey or Taper off?
This is the question you need to answer, and the answer to this question is why it is imperitive not tell anyone that you are quitting because EVERYONE has an opinion about this, and their opinion does not need to be shared with you, because you are the one doing this. So if they are not going to with you at 2:00 a.m. while your freaking out and begging for one cigarette then you don't need their opinion.
There are hundreds of studies about this and we agree with none of them, because each individual is different.
The taper off method is one of the worst criticized methods out there, yet we believe it can be successful is the individual sticks with it. Simply cut out one hour from the beginning of the day. If you start smoking at 8:00 a.m. wait until 9:00 then the next day wait until 10:00 and so on and so forth. So by the end of four weeks you won't be smoking anymore.
The cold turkey method is the most acclaimed method, but the people who rave about it have never been truly addicted. We are not saying it doesn't work, but those who go through with it are the strongest and most driven people. So if you can do it, then set the date and just go for it.
Overwhelm Yourself with a Lifestyle of Non-Smoking
What leads you to lighting up? Well whatever they are get rid of them beforehand. Ashtrays, matches, coffee, etc. Basically avoid every place you ever smoked before and if your doing the taper off method go smoke somewhere you usually don't.
For example, if you go out on your patio to smoke try walking around the yard while smoking and when finished resume your normal activities. If you smoke in your car, stop all together, even if that means pulling over and smoking on the side of the road. Soon you will notice how ridiculous your being and all the areas your smoking in will discourage you even more.
The Three D's
So this method is for those who are finished with the taper off method and still dealing with the urge (because you will) and for those who are going cold turkey.
Delay the urge to light up
Deep breathing, try doing it 25 times before you light up
Drink water while delaying and deep breathing. We found that between breaths take a gulp of water.
The concentration of a deep breath then a gulp of water will most likely make you beat that urge because they only last for 2-3 minutes.
If these three D's don't work you can chew gum (cinnamon flavor), tap a pencil, untie your shoes and tie them again, and anything else you can do to beat it. We found one subscriber who told us that she would go in the bathroom and scream when she just couldn't stand it any longer.
One thing you don't need to do, EAT! Stay away from food while trying to quit, you can even fast while quitting. This will not only give you another goal to focus on it will trigger the body to shed the toxins absorbed while smoking thus reducing the amount of chemical urges you will have within the third anf fourth day.
Record this Journey your on
So we know that quitting is all about determination and distraction, never be bored andnever be idle. So when your not cleaning, tying your shoes over and over again, gardening, reading, screaming, etc. you could record this amazing fight your having with yourself in a diary or a blog.
You can read back on it later on and laugh and even put words of encouragement in it and read for future use.
Don't Reward Yourself to Early
The golden rule is one month, then you can reward yourself. We suggest having a jar and putting the amount you would be spending on cigarettes in it everyday. With that money you can get a massage or go out to a nice dinner.
Some say small rewards for small milestones, but we believe that every month you should reward yourself not on a weekly basis.
Things you DON'T need
You do not need to take medicine, wear a patch, or take any other remedy that gives your body nicotine gradually. Because if you get addicted to the patch or the nicotine gum you will not be truly quitting.
Also, there are pills like Chantix that blocks the receptors in your brain from craving nicotine. These pills work, but the side effects are horrible and if you do not go through the hell of quitting you can potentially pick up smoking easier than when you started.
The best website for trying to quit is www.whyquit.com, they give you facts and all sorts of blogs to read. There is no judgment or ridiculing on this site, it is completely open to all types of people and methods for kicking the habit to the curb.
Here is some advice and suggestions from another article we wrote earlier:
Eat lots of honey, it contains many nutrients that help the body cope with nicotine withdraw and helps the body heal from smoking.
Chew cinnamon gum, make cinnamon tea, basically eat as much cinnamon as possible to help ease withdraw symptoms.
Consuming foods with antioxidants such as grapes, acai, pomegranates, and any other berry fruit will aid the body in ridding itself of the toxins absorbed by smoking.
A wonderful homeopathic remedy is to consume loebilia which imitates the chemical reaction that nicotine causes. You do not want to use any product which contains nicotine, but if you need the feeling this homeopathic product will help.
-When you have a bad craving do 25 sit-ups slowly making sure to count out loud.
-Stay away from coffee, alcohol, soda, a sugar as these products will increase the amount of cravings you will have.
-Start a regular workout routine a month or two before quitting, studies show that starting a new healthy habit will sub-consciously create the desire to truly quit the old habits. Also, in doing this you will almost ensure that the common weight loss many associate with quitting will not affect you.