Smoking cigarettes, cigars and even using chewing tobacco is extremely adicting. Thats is why most people have such a hard time figuring out how to quit smoking and chewing. Oh you thought you were the only one? Roughly 35 million Americans smoke! And roughly 40% of them have failed to quit smoking permanently at least once. As an “on-and-off” cigarette smoker myself, I know the battle that you fight when trying to kick the habit. But to be frank, the science is working against us. Not only do these tobacco products contain nicotine (which is considered a stimulant drug and is very addicting) but the act of smoking causes an oral fixation. Making it twice as hard. So here we are, scouring the internet for tips to quit smoking… You’ll probably be happy to hear that I’ve done most of the heavy lifting for and compiled 10 ways to stop smoking below. Keep reading to learn what I feel are the top 10 ways to quit smoking and cut those cravings!
10 Tips to Quit Smoking
1. Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (Vapes or CBD?)
When you are trying to stop smoking, it is common to experience symptoms. You are literally quitting a drug, as well as fighting an oral fixation you’ve created in the process. You may experience agitation or depression from nicotine withdrawal, which will almost certainly give you headaches and sap your energy. The craving for “just one drag” is tough and it quickly becomes “just this one”. Nicotine replacement therapy can potentially curb these urges. Studies show that nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches improve your chances of success when quitting smoking. Many people have also found that eating sunflower seeds is a great alternative. Sunflower seeds don’t exactly work for me, (vaping and smoking premium CBD hemp flower has been most effective for me) but you should try the seeds out for a bit and let us know in the comments how they’re working for you.
2. Find Your Reasoning (WHY?!)
You have got to have reason to quit smoking. To get motivated, you need a powerful and honestly personal reason to quit. It may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke or because they hate the smell. Maybe you value your life and want to lower your chance of getting lung cancer, heart disease, or other conditions. In some cases you ay just want to look and feel younger, when you quit smoking your skin will start to tighten up! Choose a reason that is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up.
3. Prepare Yourself (Before Going Cold Turkey)
If it was easy as just tossing your cigarettes out, you would have done so. I said it above, smoking is an addiction. The brain is hooked on nicotine and completely affiliated on the hand to mouth motion involved with smoking. Without it, you’ll go through withdrawal. Prepare yourself advance, find some support. Get your family or friends in on it. It would also be a good idea to ask your doctor about additional methods that will help, such as quit-smoking classes, counseling, medication, hypnosis and maybe an app for quitting smoking like Kwit or the CDC’s quitSTART free quit smoking app. Do these things and you’ll be ready for the day you choose to quit.
4. Clean Your Areas (CLEAN!)
Once you’ve smoked your last cigarette, toss all of your ashtrays, lighters and definitely don’t buy another pack just in case, even when those urges hit! Wash any clothes that smell like smoke, clean your carpets, draperies, and upholstery as well to remove the smells. Use air fresheners to get rid of that “comforting” scent! If you smoked in your car, clean it out, too. Shoot, I won’t lie, you may even be better off selling it to trading it in. You don’t want to see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking, period. It may be a good idea to not spend much, if any time at all, with other smokers. My father always said “if you lay with dogs you catch fleas”.
5. Lean On Your Loved Ones (They Can Help)
Tell your friends, family, a work buddy and any other people that you are close to that you’re trying to quit. They can and probably will encourage you in your quest to quit smoking, especially when you’re tempted to light up. You can also join a support group or talk to a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies. Even a few sessions may help.
6. Just Chill Out (Woosah)
I had to make the Bad Boy reference to woosah, so let me apologize for being cringe. Anyways, one of the main reasons people smoke, is that the nicotine helps them relax. It actually does. As a drug it interacts with your brain and provides instructions to make you feel good while in the act. Once you quit however, you’ll need new ways to unwind. There are many options. You can exercise to blow off steam, tune in to your favorite music, connect with friends, treat yourself to a massage, or make time for a hobby. I would NOT suggest any alcohol of any kind. If you are anything like me, I absolutely require a cigarette when drinking. I may be a good idea to try to avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking as well.
7. Avoid Alcohol & Other Triggers (KEY)
As mentioned above, when you drink it is harder to quit smoking (or chewing for that matter). You lose a bit of your ambition and mental fortitude when under the influence of alcohol. So make it a point to not use any alcohol when you first quit. Likewise, if you often smoke when you drink coffee, switch to tea for a few weeks. If you usually smoke after meals, find something else to do instead, like brushing your teeth, taking a walk, texting a friend, or chewing gum.
8. Keep Trying (Dont Quit Quitting!)
Many people try several times before giving up cigarettes for good, one of those easier said than done kind of things. If you light up, don’t get discouraged and quit quitting! Instead, it’s more conducive to think about what it was that caused the relapse and what led up to it. Was it your emotions or the setting you were in? Or maybe a combination of the two? Take advantage, use this as an opportunity to step up your commitment to quitting and more importantly, to yourself. Once you’ve made the decision to give it another shot, set a “quit date” within the next month, sometimes a goal to achieve is what it takes.
9. Be More Active (Even if You’re in Shape)
In this instance, it does not matter what shape you are in (this means you too), being more active can curb nicotine cravings and ease some nicotine withdrawal symptoms. When you want to reach for a cigarette, put on your inline skates or jogging shoes instead. Even mild exercise helps, such as walking your dog or pulling weeds in the garden. The calories you burn will also ward off weight gain as you quit smoking.
10. Reward Yourself (Create Incentive)
If you are like me, your health is not incentive enough to quit. The short term rewards just seem to outweigh the long term benefit. But that kind of thinking is flawed, and honestly it’s almost insane to justify your actions to yourself. Do not let it be the generic “If I give up cigarettes ill save money”. Honestly, do you really think $20 back in your pocket every week is even close enough incentive to quit? We are adults with bills and real life, $20 doesn’t feed the family a healthy multi course meal these days (Meat proteins, veggies and some kind of grain). But maybe you smoke more than a couple packs a week. If you are a pack a day kind of person, this may actually be incentive enough to work, there are online calculators that figure out how much money you can save by quitting smoking, i will attempt to add one at the end of the article (if you do not see it, i failed). But if you’re like me, just smoking enough to add a few nails into the coffin now and again, then you will need to come up with something really good for an incentive. I honestly have had a very hard time with this part. I live exactly the life I want to live, of course there is always a want for more but what can you do right now you know that will be rewarding? Taking a staycation is a great idea, I took one myself for a couple weeks (close to the point of hiatus) pretty recently and while I didn’t quit smoking permanently yet, I managed to go a few days without cigarettes this weekend. My cravings are down a bit and im smoking noticeably less lately. Rewards not working over the long haul like me? Create a series of rewards like levels or unlocks until you’ve achieved your goal, this is my next plan. Ill update this blog in a few months to let everybody know how it went!
10 Tips to Quit Smoking Wrap-Up
Preparation, replacement therapy, rewards systems and more have all worked for others in the past. Hopefully, by this point, you have either got a few solid ideas to quit or have already taken steps to begin implementing them. Armed with the 10 tips to quit smoking above, you have increased your odds to quit and may even be able to turn the table completely. Maybe now that you have a few extra tools to quit smoking, hopefully you will be be able to cut the habit and stop using tobacco once and for all!