Quit smoking means giving yourself the opportunity to live healthier and longer. As we know, smoking causes many diseases and serious health problems. Moreover, smoking can also endanger the health of people around who only inhale the smoke. Therefore, how to quit smoking is the best way to prolong life and improve quality of life, not only for smokers but also for other people.
If you intend to stop this bad habit, there are many ways how to quit smoking effectively. Do not worry if you fail to stop smoking at first try. It could be, the success of how to quit smoking is achieved by combining several ways at once.
18 Best Ways How to Quit Smoking
There are many ways to stop smoking. Which method works for one person might be different for another person. What you need to determine first is how to start.
The important thing to remember, quit smoking is a process that needs to be undertaken gradually and requires determination, commitment, and patience. The following is the best way how to quit smoking easily and effectively.
1. Make a List of Reasons for Quitting Smoking
For most people, stopping smoking becomes one of the big and hard decisions in life. This is because smoking is very addictive and difficult to eliminate. Therefore, you need to write down various reasons why you want to stop smoking. Write it in a book so you can read it again when the spirit starts to fade.
These reasons are certainly different for each person whether it is because of your own health or family. Regardless of the reason, write clearly so that it is well documented. When your enthusiasm begins to fade and temptation comes to attack, reopen your notes as motivation.
2. Make a Plan when to Stop Smoking
When you decide to stop smoking, set an exact date before looking for effective ways. Before determining the date, think carefully first and find the most appropriate time.
We recommend that you choose a date that is not too far from this intention so that you are not tempted to change your mind. Then, according to the American Cancer Society, there are several things that can be prepared in advance, namely:
- Let your friends, family, and coworkers know when you will stop smoking.
- Throw away all the remaining cigarettes that you have plus an ashtray at home.
- Give a substitute for cigarettes whether it is chewing gum, lollipops, or anything that might be an alternative. Besides that, chewing gum benefits are also good for body health.
Every time your desire to return to smoking is very strong, divert this mind. Then, try to find out who is the closest person to you who has successfully stopped smoking. Share this difficulty with him and ask for his advice.
3. Anticipate Smoking-Prone Times
Smoking is more than a physical addiction to nicotine. However, this habit also includes psychological addiction. Therefore, you must be aware that there are certain times and triggers where you must smoke.
Well, your task now is to anticipate this. Write in a book about anything that makes you really want to smoke. Then, on each trigger, also include solutions that you need to do.
Usually, several factors that trigger for cigarette cravings such as:
- When drinking coffee
- After eating
- When under pressure
- Drink alcohol
- When gathering with friends
To overcome a variety of triggers, here are ways to help stop smoking:
- If you are accustomed to smoking in the morning with a cup of coffee, try rearranging your coffee drinking schedule into the office for example. That way, you do not have a chance to smoke.
- If you are used to smoking while driving, try taking a different route. This can help keep your mind busy so you do not have time to smoke.
- If you are used to smoking after eating, immediately get up from sitting then brush your teeth or go for a walk and keep yourself busy so that the urge to smoke goes away.
Do not give yourself a chance to smoke again if you do not want to go too far. Restore your determination by remembering your goal to stop smoking. Reread the note that contains the reason you want to stop smoking.
4. Keep Busy with Various Activities
The first two weeks will determine your success when you stop smoking for the future. If in the first two weeks you succeed in not smoking, the chances of succeeding in the future are also higher. Therefore, strengthen your determination in the first two weeks for this program to succeed. To support success, busy yourself with a variety of fun activities.
You can participate in various social activities, work out at the fitness center, bike, or hang out with friends. Whatever the activity, make sure you enjoy it so that the desire to smoke slowly can be reduced. Do not be alone too often and think about how hard it is to not smoke. This empty space gives you the chance to smoke again.
5. Think About the Benefits
There are many benefits from quitting smoking such as:
- Have a healthier body. Quitting smoking means lowering blood pressure, decreasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
- Your family and children around you avoid the dangers of passive smoking.
- There are more funds that were used to buy cigarettes.
- Brighter and clearer skin.
6. Involve Family and Close Friends
Let your family and friends know that you are in the process of quitting smoking. The support of others can play a role in helping you to do it. They will remind you and help keep the situation more conducive. So, the goal is more easily achieved.
7. Managing Stress
Stress or being under pressure can be one of the reasons someone chooses to smoke because, after smoking, someone feels relaxed. So that this does not happen, it is good to do various fun activities instead.
Try several ways to relieve tension such as listening to music, massage, or yoga. In addition, at the beginning of the trial period to stop smoking, as much as possible avoid stressful situations.
Do not forget that you should also get enough rest. This is because stress is vulnerable to attack when someone sleeps less than 7 hours a day. You also need to eat healthy foods so that the body gets enough nutrition.
Foods that contain excess sugar should be avoided because it can trigger stress. When stress comes, try to take a deep breath slowly. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Repeat 5 times or until the burden of your mind begins to decrease.
8. Avoid Gathering with Smokers
Avoid the risk factors or habits that can make you smoke again. A person’s strong determination to stop smoking can sometimes collapse just by hanging out with friends who smoke. This temptation will be very real and difficult to resist even though you may have done a variety of ways to stop smoking.
If you are easily tempted, as much as possible do not always hang out with your friends who smoke. Even if the event is very important, stay away from when your colleagues start smoking.
You can reason to go to the toilet or want to meet other colleagues. You can also refuse gently when offered a cigarette and tell him that you have stopped smoking. That way, your colleague is expected to understand and will not offer it again next time.
9. Cleaning the House
Do not forget to clean the house from the scent of cigarettes and everything that can make you smoke again. You can wash the clothes, sheets, carpets, or curtains that contain the scent of it. Then, use the air freshener to help eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke.
Exercising can help reduce and divert the desire for nicotine. If you want to smoke, immediately wear your sports shoes and start doing sports activities such as running, just walking, or swimming. You can join a fitness club that contains people who live a healthy lifestyle.
11. Healthy Diet
How to quit smoking by eating a healthy diet is also important. As long as you are used to smoking, you may feel less appetite because of the effects of nicotine. When stop smoking, implementing a healthy diet can be a step to nourish the body as well as a reminder to live a healthy lifestyle.
Hypnosis is believed to change the behavior. Hypnosis is a method carried out by suggesting someone and carried out by specialized practitioners. When hypnotized, you feel more relaxed, more concentrate and willing to listen to the advice to quit smoking. Although its effectiveness is difficult to examine, some people claim to have felt the benefits.
The use of acupuncture is usually applied to the ear. Although this alternative therapy has not been proven to be scientifically effective, there is no harm in trying it according to the instructions of a licensed therapist.
14. Nicotine-Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine is a substance in cigarettes that makes someone feel addicted. Stopping the nicotine intake generally makes a smoker feel frustrated. So, many of them fail to quit. Nicotine replacement therapy can help relieve frustration or withdrawal symptoms. It works by releasing low levels of nicotine continuously to the blood vessels.
The nicotine used does not contain tar, carbon monoxide, and other harmful chemicals such as those found in cigarettes. This procedure helps to reduce the body’s desire to return smoking when the body begins to feel the loss of nicotine intake.
Nicotine replacement therapy consists of several types, namely:
- Patch. The nicotine patch is a type of therapy that uses a kind of patch to be applied to certain areas of the skin. This patch helps supply nicotine which will be absorbed directly by the skin.
- Lozenges or candy. Nicotine in the form of lozenges or candy will usually be absorbed by the mouth directly so that the effect can be felt. Therefore, before and when taking this type of nicotine, you are not advised to eat or drink for about 15 minutes because, food and drinks can affect the absorption of nicotine.
- Nasal inhalers and sprays. Nasal inhalers and sprays are among the fastest-growing therapeutic methods. However, because the effects tend to be fast, the risk for addiction is quite high. Both inhalers and nasal sprays both require a doctor’s prescription to be safe to use.
Nicotine replacement therapy is a way to stop smoking that requires a doctor’s supervision. The doctor will adjust the nicotine dose given so as not to give bad effects on your body.
15. Behavior Therapy
Behavioral therapy is one effective way that is often recommended to stop smoking. Smoking and nicotine addiction are strongly related to behavior or habits.
This therapy is a form of counseling that helps you to focus on stopping smoking strategies. To maximize success, this therapy can be combined with nicotine replacement therapy and or drugs. This therapy is also can help overcome mental health and behavioral problems such as stress or depression.
Behavioral therapy will be carried out by experts to find the most appropriate way to stop smoking. First of all, you will be invited to find the trigger and make a series of solutions.
If the method above has not been successful, you can take medical steps. The doctor can prescribe medicines that can help reduce the desire to smoke by influencing chemical processes in the brain. This drug makes smoking no longer satisfying.
The following is a list of medications that can be used:
Zyban (Wellbutrin, bupropion)
Zyban (Wellbutrin, bupropion) is an antidepressant that helps reduce the desire to take nicotine and stop smoking. In the brain, this drug works by affecting the substances that cause a person to consume nicotine.
Zyban works most effectively if it starts 1 to 2 weeks before you stop smoking. Usually, the doctor will give a dose of 150 mg tablets one to two times a day. This drug can also be continued consumption for 8 to 12 weeks after stopping smoking.
Drugs that are included in the Zyban class have various side effects such as:
- Dry mouth
- Hard to sleep
- Get angry quickly
- Headache or vertigo
This medicine should not be taken for those of you who have had the following conditions:
Usually, combining nicotine replacement therapy with Zyban drugs will be more effective than just using one of them. This is because both drugs can complement each other’s functions.
Zyban works by reducing the desire for chemicals in the brain. While nicotine replacement therapy works gradually to pull your body from nicotine addiction. However, the use of both drugs directly can increase your blood pressure. Therefore, the doctor will continue to monitor the pressure during the treatment process.
Chantix (Champix, Varenicline)
Varenicline is a prescription drug that can reduce the desire to smoke. Chantix works by stimulating the nicotine receptors in the brain and giving effect as if you were smoking. However, at the same time, this drug also reduces the pleasure that can be obtained when smoking.
Chantix usually needs to be consumed a week before you stop smoking. Unfortunately, this drug has side effects that cannot be underestimated. Chantix can increase the risk of depression, thoughts of suicide, and attempted suicide. That is why the use of Chantix must be under a doctor’s prescription and supervision.
17. Continue to Motivate Yourself
The strongest motivation comes from yourself. Therefore, learn to suggest yourself with a variety of positive sentences so that you are no longer tempted to go back to smoking. Usually, the desire to smoke only lasts about 10 to 20 minutes. Therefore, you can divert this desire one of them by talking to yourself.
You can motivate yourself for example by talking to yourself that smoking only costs money. Then calculate the money spent on smoking in a month. Sometimes, money becomes the main motivator that can help stop the urge to smoke. In addition, you also motivate yourself to stay afloat because of family reasons for example. Whatever the reason, strengthen yourself from the various temptations that attack.
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18. Keep Trying and Do not Give up Easily
Quitting smoking is not easy for heavy smokers. Repeatedly failing to quit smoking is a common condition. Failing once does not mean impossible to stop cigarettes. In fact, many people finally can stop forever after trying several times.
Even though it is hard to stop smoking, you just do not give up easily. You need to prepare a reserve of enthusiasm so that motivation continues to exist and burn in the chest. Nothing is impossible as long as you want to try and sacrifice a little. If other people can, why cannot you?