Why is Quitting So Hard?
We all know the health risks of smoking, but that doesn’t make it easier to quit. Whether you are an occasional teenage smoker or a lifelong cigarette smoker, quitting smoking can be really difficult.
Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. Nicotine in cigarettes provides a temporary and exciting effect. Eliminating that regular dose of nicotine causes your body to experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Thanks to the “feel good” effect of nicotine in the brain, you can turn to cigarettes as a quick and reliable way to improve your perspective, relieve stress and relax. Smoking can also be a way to deal with depression, anxiety or even boredom. Quitting smoking means finding different and healthier ways to deal with these feelings.
Start your stop smoking plan with START
S = Set a quit date.
Choose a date within the next two weeks, so you’ve enough time to prepare yourself without losing your motivation to quit. If you have mainly smoked at the workplace, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.
T = Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.
Let your friends and family about your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop it. Look for a quit buddy near’s you who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other to get it through the rough times.
A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you will face while quitting Smok.
Most people who begin smoking again and again within the first three months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings.
R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your office home and car.
Throw away all of your cigarettes and ashtray, lighters, and matches. Wash your clothes, wash your room and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Wash your home, Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture.
T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit smoking.
Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal symptoms. If you can’t see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy, including nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum.
Manage cigarette cravings
While avoiding the triggers of smoking will help reduce the need for smoking, it is probably not possible to completely avoid the craving for cigarettes. Fortunately, cravings do not last long, usually around 5 to 10 minutes. If you are tempted to light, remember that the desire will soon pass and try to wait. It helps to be prepared in advance by having strategies to deal with cravings.
Distract yourself. Wash the dishes, turn on the television, take a shower or call a friend. The activity does not matter as long as you stop smoking.
Remember why you stopped. Focus on your reasons for quitting smoking, including health benefits (for example, reducing the risk of heart disease and lung cancer), looking better, saving money and increasing self-esteem.
Get out of a tempting situation. Where you are or what you are doing can cause desire. In that case, a change of scenery can make the difference.
Reward yourself. Strengthen your victories. Whenever you wish, give yourself a reward for staying motivated.
Coping with cigarette cravings in the moment
Find an oral substitute: keep other things in your mouth to fill when craving arrives. Try mints, carrot or celery sticks, chewing gum or sunflower seeds. Or suck on a drinking straw.
Keep your mind occupied: read a book or magazine, listen to the music you love, play a crossword or Sudoku game or play an online game.
Keep your hands busy: squeezing balls, pencils or paper clips are good substitutes to satisfy the need for tactile stimulation.
Brushing your teeth: the feeling of washing and cleaning can help eliminate the craving for cigarettes.
Drink water: drink a glass of water slowly. Not only will it help pass the desire, but staying hydrated helps minimize nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Light something else: instead of lighting a cigarette, light a candle or some incense.
Get active: take a walk, jump or push up, try some yoga exercises or run around the block.
Try to relax: do something that calms you, like taking a hot bath, meditating, reading a book or practicing deep breathing exercises.
Go to a place where smoking is not allowed: enter a public building, a store, a mall, a coffee shop or a movie theater.
Tips for parents of teen smokers
Try to avoid threats and ultimatums. Find out why your child smokes; They could be accepted by a group of colleagues or want your attention. Talk about the changes that can be made in your life to help you stop smoking.
Be patient and understanding while the child goes through the smoking cessation process.
Set a good example for your children by not smoking. Parents who smoke are more likely to have children who smoke.
Find out if your kids have friends who smoke. Talk to your children about refusing a cigarette.
Explain health risks as well as unpleasant physical aspects of smoking (such as halitosis, teeth and discolored nails).
Establish a non-smoking policy in your home. Do not allow anyone to smoke at home at any time.