If you or anyone you know is a smoker, you understand the struggle to quit. Smoking is one of the most common addictions many individuals face, and choosing to say no to a cigarette can be extremely challenging.
Even with the apparent risks and health problems people face, it’s still physically and emotionally complicated to decide to go cold turkey. It’s a habit that many smokers start and end their day with at night. They deal with their stress, emotions, and even happiness through smoking.
Nicotine is just as addictive as cocaine or heroin. Despite its harmful consequences, the addiction is often too powerful to walk away from, and the individual has an emotional and physical dependence on this substance.
Quitting is challenging but not impossible. Many resources are available to help smokers quit and stay on the right track. The health ailments, costs of smoking, and even correlations between tobacco use and life insurance should all be factors towards kicking this bad habit.
Why is smoking so addictive?
Consuming tobacco, either through smoking or chewing, will signal the nicotine receptors in our brains. Through this process, dopamine is released, creating this need to continue using tobacco. Dopamine is the feel-good neurotransmitter, making the body continue feeling this pleasurable experience and creating this addiction.
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If you experienced a loved one or close friends who smoked around you in the past, you’re much more likely to take up smoking than the average American. Many people who had parents who smoked during their childhood started smoking as early as childhood or in their teenage years.
Some experts say the earlier you start this habit, the more addicted and challenging it is to quit. Studies have shown if you start to smoke when you’re a teen, you’re more likely to continue smoking through your adulthood.
Society plays a huge role in smoking as well. The societal pressures, advertising campaigns, and marketing plans target specific segments of society and easily persuade some of our population to turn to cigarette smoking. They make smoking look glamorous, cool, exciting, and even safe.
In more recent years, ads against smoking have increased and started targeting younger audiences.
End Your Smoking Addiction
People use smoking for different reasons in their life. So your first step is figuring out why you smoke. Do you smoke socially? Do you smoke for stress relief, depression, or anxiety issues?
If you want to quit this habit, you’ll need to understand why you turn to smoking cigarettes. Once you pinpoint your why, tackling that issue first and figuring out another outlet will be critical.
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When you overcome the root of your habit and work on those internal battles you are facing, you’ll begin to see clarity and relief. You will find another outlet, whether emotional or socially, and decrease some of the cravings for nicotine and smoking.
Remember that when you start to take steps towards quitting, you’ll need to understand that you’ll probably experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are entirely typical and part of the withdrawal process. Unless you experience severe symptoms, give your body time to adjust to your new lifestyle.
Signs you may experience are:
- Dry mouth
- Slower heart rate
- Tight chest
- Weight gain/increased appetite
Those who quit will agree the symptoms are the most challenging part of dropping the habit of smoking. Many want the headaches, tiredness, and irritability to stop, so they just continue to smoke to cure any symptoms they’re facing.
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Some products on the market can help with slowly bringing your body back to a baseline and away from nicotine addiction. Nicotine replacement products such as patches, lozenges, and gum have proven to be effective in helping those quitting and reducing the number of nuisances they face during their journey of quitting.
Top 8 Tips to Quit Your Smoking Habit
- Make a plan – Come up with your schedule to quit smoking. Try to understand why you smoke, understand healthier alternatives both physically and emotionally, and create a comprehensive list of steps you’ll take.
- Quit date – Select a date you’ll quit smoking and hold yourself accountable to that date. Having a calendar, circling the date, keeping it in an open area, and looking at that approaching date will train your mind about the upcoming assignment.
- Nicotine replacement products – Get some nicotine replacement products to have handy before you start this journey. The last thing you want to happen is you begin to suffer withdrawals and have nothing to fall back on.
- Understand triggers – Make a list of triggers that you are likely to turn to smoking. Whether that’s coffee break time at work or after a large meal, being prepared mentally for these situations and thinking of ways to combat cravings will help you be successful.
- The 4 D’s – Practice the 4 D’s when you feel cravings; Drink water, take Deep breaths, Delay your urge, and Distract yourself.
- Seek a professional – Talk to your medical team, including your dentist, therapist, and pharmacist, about your upcoming quit date and ways to help you succeed.
- Understand the cost – Write down how much your smoking habit costs you, either by day, week, month, or even year. With that money, ask yourself what you’ll do with that extra budget so that you’re able to look forward to having the extra cash in your bank account.
- Meditation and yoga – There are incredible benefits to yoga at the start and continual meditation throughout your day. Being mindful of your emotional well-being and treating yourself to a moment of relaxation will do wonders for your health.
Moving Forward on Your Path to Quit Smoking
This path will not be easy, and it might not be successful the first time around. That’s okay and completely normal. Your brain and dependency on nicotine are intense, sometimes overwhelming your physical and mental strength.
No matter what way you choose to quit, it’s evident that it’s the best decision to make for you and your family. Stick out the uncomfortable feelings. You will challenge your determination and willingness to succeed, but many individuals have done this before you.
Quitting addictive habits like smoking will not only improve your health, it will also help you qualify for better non-smoker auto insurance and life insurance policies.
Stay active, energetic, and avoid being lazy when starting your day. Continue your morning momentum throughout your day to keep your mind distracted, happy, and moving. Before you know it, you’ll be walking by someone smoking, and the mere smell of smoke will likely turn your stomach, and you’ll feel empowered.