‘Smoking is injurious to health’, is something we are all aware of. However, we cannot quit smoking and this is the reason how cigarette industries are making tons of profit. No matter how much you smoke, the bottom-line is tobacco does nothing good for your health. Smoking not only damages the health of one who consumes but also affects the people around. By smoking, you are not only putting your health at risk but also others. Smoking affects your lung badly and many people might be unaware of the fact that smoking damages the entire body from central nervous system to cardiovascular system.
Despite knowing that smoking is injurious to health, why the world has not yet become free of smoking? There might be various reasons including the one that people do not care about their own health or others. However, the large chunk of people who regret getting indulged into smoking either because of the curiosity or because of the friend circle. These people badly want to quit smoking but still cannot get rid of their habit. So, for those who are wondering about ‘How can I quit smoking?’ here are more than ten ways to quit smoking and lead a healthy life. The good thing about these ways is that they are absolutely very effective.
How Can I Quit Smoking?
- Make an honest list of all the things you dislike and like about smoking
It is never too late to start to quit smoking but let me tell you that once you start smoking, it is hard to defeat cravings but not impossible. Start off by making an honest list of all the things you like about smoking. This might sound casual but it works wonders. First of all, you need to draw a line and write the things you like and dislike about smoking. The things you dislike might include smoking harming your own health and interfering your work and family life. Be open enough to take feedbacks from your friends and families and they are the major source of motivation to quit smoking. When the negative side outweighs the positive side of smoking, you are on the right track of quitting the smoking.
- Make another list of why quitting won’t be easy
The list of why you must quit smoking might go long enough to discourage you. At times you might become so frustrated that you would feel like taking a puff and let go of all the agony that you are having in the way of quitting smoking. Do not give up! Quitting smoking and letting go of something that you have already been accustomed to is not an easy task. Next to each entry, list one or more options for overcoming that challenge.
For example, “Nicotine is an addictive drug.” Your option might be: “Try a nicotine replacement alternative.” Another reason might be: “Smoking helps me deal with stress.” Your option might be: “Take five-minute walks instead.” We understand the task might be daunting but the end result is promising. The more you become determined to quit smoking the more solutions you would come up with and your thought like ‘How can I quit smoking’ would transform to I do not smoke. For effective results, write a “quit date contract” that includes your signature and that of a supportive witness.
- Write all your reasons for quitting on an index card
This especially is emotionally motivating. In an index card, you can write all your reasons for quitting on an index card. For instance, you can write my daughter, my wife, my girlfriend, my children etc and these relationships and the love towards them are very motivating not to touch a cigarette again.
- Once you are set to quit smoking, stop buying cartons of cigarettes
Most of the time, quitting smoking does not happen in a flash, it is slow and steady. However, once you are set to quit smoking, stop buying cartons of cigarettes. Instead, only buy a pack at a time, and only carry two or three with you at a time This will gradually reduce your smoking habit as when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. You might have intense cravings but you will not have an immediate choice of smoking. Gradually, fewer cigarettes start satisfying you until you won’t be smoking anymore.
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- Keep a list of when you smoke for a week before quitting
Now, this is a way of keeping a check upon how much have you improved so far. More precisely, you start noting what you’re doing at the time and how bad the craving is to see if specific times of the day or activities increase your cravings. This sounds like a diary and it helps to track your progress and helps to avoid or induce your specific activities.
- Prepare a list of things to do when a craving hits
Are you thinking ‘How can I quit smoking?’, then you need to learn what to do when the cruel cravings hits. For this, there are many suggestions that you can tame your mind with when you are having a craving. Hoverer, there is no short cut for this and there is no guarantee that same suggestion would work for all people after all humans are different.
You can try out various suggestions given and try to stick with the one that works better for you. Suggestions include: clean out a cupboard or closet, have sex, chew a piece of gum, wash your face, brush your teeth, take a nap, get a cup of coffee or tea, practice your deep breathing, light a candle, take a walk, drink a glass of water, kiss your partner or child, throw the ball for the dog, play a game, wash the car etc.
- Quit when you’re in a good mood
This might sound weird but mood plays a vital role here when it comes to quitting smoking. It has been found that you are less likely to be successful in quitting smoking when you are sad and depressed or stressed. Hence, you are highly likely to be successful in quitting smoking when you are happy and in good mood. Also, at that time you will have enough reason not to smoke. To be clear, to be successful in quitting smoking, you need to throw all the stuff that reminds you of smoking. Some of them include leftover cigarettes, matches, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette holders etc.
- Put all the money you’re saving on cigarettes in a large glass jar
All of us know that smoking drains down not only your health but also your pocket. So, if you are thinking ‘How can I quit smoking?’, then you are on the right track. This very way of put all the money you’re saving on cigarettes in a large glass jar might sound childish but this works. After you see a collection of money in that jar that would have been forgone for buying cigarettes that do nothing good for your health, you will realize how much you waste. With this realization, you will gradually stop smoking. Instead of smoking, you will be buying something better with that money.
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- Switch to decaf until you’ve been cigarette-free for two months
This is yet another way as too much caffeine while quitting can cause the jitters. The challenge of quitting would be daunting but when you feel like giving up, you think of the difficult things you have done to quit the habit. You can also think of what bad the smoking has caused to you or will cause upon you. This will be motivational.
- Find a healthy snack food you can carry with you
‘How can I quit smoking?’ The question is small and difficult at the same time. However, the solutions to this are sometimes quite easy as finding a healthy snack food you can carry with you. Instead of smoking, try something healthy and tasty for example try sunflower seeds, sugar-free lollipops, or gum, or carrot or celery sticks if you’re concerned about weight gain. You can carry varieties of nuts as well. This way, you’re using your hands and your mouth, getting the same physical and oral sensations you get from smoking.
- Switch to a cup of herbal tea whenever you usually had a cigarette
Cigarettes break has become a common thing but instead, you can play games at that time, talk to friends and co- workers. Transform that break to a herbal tea break. This is how it works well for your health. Brewing the tea and slowing sipping it as it cools will provide the same stress relief as a hit of nicotine. Or you can simply carry cinnamon-flavored toothpicks and suck on one when the craving for cigarettes hit. Also, you can have a piece of fruit or take a short stroll or make a phone call whenever you usually have a cigarette after a short break.
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- Create a smoke-free zone
Not only government, you can also create a smoke- free zone. For example forbid anyone to use tobacco in your car, home, or even while sitting next to you in an eating station. Make actual “No Smoking” signs and hang them around your house and in your car. However, you need to remember that it is not only for others it applies to you too. As the radius of the no smoking zone increases, you will gradually stop smoking.
- To minimize cravings, change your routine
Changing a mere routine helps a lot when it comes to quitting smoking. You can change a place of taking a breakfast, change your chair, and take a new route to the office. If you have a habit of having a cigarette after a work, then now go home early; spend time with your family.
There are many other ways to quit smoking apart from this stuff, but the main thing that matters is your own determination. Do not give up; it is never too late to start over. Share your plan of quitting smoking with your friend and families, they will help you too. You are a precious soul; do not wear it out by smoking and turning it into ashes. Step up and quit smoking.