Frankly, it’s not easy to quit smoking. Many smokers – after having realized how very harmful smoking is to health – have attempted to quit smoking several times but they relapsed.
However, according to recent research findings, every year 1.3 million people in the U.S. alone quit smoking – forever, and not to relapse anymore. This is proof that quitting smoking, though difficult, is possible. Yes, possible!
Have you been finding it very hard to quit smoking even after realizing how dangerous it is? You too can quit smoking successfully just as many others have done – and no, you won’t go back to it again. Here are 11 powerful tips to help you quit smoking forever.
1. Develop a positive mindset
Your strong determination to quit smoking will only be borne out of an equally strong belief that you can really quit. Of course, you’ll never achieve what you always felt you won’t.
So, in order to quit smoking successfully, you must be optimistic; you must believe strongly that quitting is possible. To help you develop this positive mindset, read about the stories of people who have successfully quit smoking.
Here are links to stories of ex-smokers that will inspire and motivate you:
2. Find strong reasons why you should quit
Having strong reasons to quit smoking will help you achieve your aim. Sit back and consider the various health risks smoking exposes you to; you certainly don’t want to suffer from cancer, stroke, hypertension, infertility, etc. Why not then flee from all these by quitting?
Or, consider how your smoking is affecting your beloved family; when they inhale the smoke you puff out, they’re exposed to the same risks. Why not quit, at least for their sake?
Apart from health-related reasons, there are many more reasons why you should quit smoking, and you’ll get up to a hundred of them on the following pages:
3. Abstain from all temptations
If you think you can quit smoking successfully without doing away with tempting factors, you’re a joker! If merely seeing people smoke turns on the urge in you, stay away from places where you’ll see smokers. So, you’ll have to stay away from the clubs – for now at least.
One reason why most people relapse after quitting smoking is that they remain in the company of smoker friends. So, if you hang out with friends that smoke, it’s time to start avoiding them. Yes, your health is most important, and since they’ll only help you ruin it, it’s better you avoid them.
Also, rid your home and workplace of all “smoking memorabilia”, such as ashtrays and lighters. Furthermore, wash any clothes, blinds, etc. that smell like cigarettes, as the smell may be another temptation.
4. Be realistic
Though some ex-smokers quit successfully by stopping all at once. While this is a very good approach, it’s very, very difficult. In fact, most people who tried this “cold turkey” approach failed.
So, it’s better you make things easier for yourself. Remember, smoking is an addiction, and your brain is already used to daily doses of nicotine; it’ll certainly fight back if you suddenly try to deprive it of its “food”.
However, the cold turkey approach is worth giving a shot. In fact, you should try it first. It will certainly work for you if you’re very strongly determined to quit. But if you find it hard to cope with – which is the case, usually – take gradual steps down the ladder. You know what I mean?
If going “cold turkey” doesn’t work for you, don’t insist on making it work. You’ll fail.
5. Don’t be a “solo player”
You need more than personal determination to quit smoking successfully. And being all alone won’t help you, because loneliness can trigger the urge to smoke. Involve others so that they’ll help you attain your goal.
Tell your friends and family that you’re trying to quit and that they should encourage you. Don’t just tell them; always be around them so that they’ll help you. And with all enthusiasm, they’ll monitor you and ensure that you don’t relapse.
Also, don’t stop reading motivating stories of ex-smokers; you need to keep rekindling your determination so that you’ll keep you going strong. You may want to see a counselor or join an online support group for more motivation.
6. Don’t quit while dieting
Trying to quit smoking when you’re on a weight loss diet will be too harsh; your body will “protest” this extreme deprivation. So, eat well to avoid hunger, which also triggers the urge to smoke.
However, eat much fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. These foods, apart from keeping your weight stable, make cigarettes taste terrible – according to a Duke University research.
7. Manage stress with exercise, etc.
Stress triggers the urge to smoke. So, when you’re trying to stop smoking, avoid stressful situations – especially during the first few weeks of quitting. But peradventure you go through a stressful day, relieve stress with mild exercise, take a shower, and rest.
8. Avoid alcohol
Because alcohol increases the body’s craving for nicotine, you must avoid it to avoid relapsing. Every time you feel the urge to take alcohol, such as after a meal or after being stressed, distract your brain by doing other things instead, like chewing gum, taking candy, or brushing your teeth.
9. Be mobile
When you remain on a spot for long without moving various thoughts cross your mind, right? Yes, that’s natural. And because you were once a smoker, the thought of lighting up a cigarette comes too. The longer you remain immobile, the more frequently this thought comes. To avoid giving in, don’t remain a fixed position for long hours. Be more physical; walk around and play around.
10. If you relapse, never retire
After quitting for a while, you may relapse – yes, this may even happen more than once. Whenever this happens, find out why you relapsed, and reapply every these tips. If you don’t give up, you’ll quit successfully, eventually.
11. You’ll need some medications
Because your body will fight back for the nicotine deprivation, you’re likely to show certain withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression, restlessness, etc. These symptoms may force you to relapse as they’ll increase your craving for nicotine.
However, certain prescription medications, such as Varenicline and Bupropion, suppress the withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke. They also make smoking less satisfying; if you smoke after taking them, you won’t derive the usual pleasure from it. Note that these medications must be prescribed by a physician and are not available as OTC drugs. So, to get them you’ll have to consult a physician.
In addition, nicotine replacement therapies, usually available OTC, can greatly increase your chances of quitting successfully. These include nicotine patches, nicotine gums, lozenges, inhalers and nasal sprays.
Now you that you’ve discovered these great tips, take action immediately, and you’ll be on your way to quitting smoking forever. Once again, make a strong resolve to quit, and take action now. In the coming months, feel free to send me your “how I quit smoking” story and I’ll be more than eager to post it on this blog – to encourage many more others.
I’m sure you found this post helpful. Spread word about this post by sharing it. You’ll help many other smokers quit.
Now, your turn…
Do you think there are other helpful tips not mentioned in the article? Or do you disagree with some of the points raised? Kindly express your mind in the comments section.