The first step to quitting smoking is making a conscious decision that you want to do this. The American Lung Association has revealed that more than 480,000 deaths are caused by active tobacco use and second-hand smoke in the USA. As such, there is more than enough incentive to stop smoking. Quitting this habit does not happen overnight. It is a journey. Not only will you be able to improve your personal health, quitting smoking also helps you to improve the quality of life for those around you. By following the right guidelines, you can kick the nicotine addiction forever. Here are 5 strategies which you can use to quit smoking today.
Prepare for the day when you will quit
After you have decided that you want to quit smoking, the first step should be to set a date by when you will quit. Pick a day which is not too far in the future. However, it should give you enough time to prepare yourself. You can choose to keep smoking as usual and then quit abruptly on that day. You can also gradually reduce your rate of smoking until your quit day. Simply pick the strategy which fits you and stick to it.
A popular way to stop smoking is simply quitting cold turkey with no assistance from complementary pills or therapy. However, only 6% of those who use this strategy quit successfully. This shows that nicotine dependence is actually quite powerful. After you quit smoking, you can experience significant withdrawal symptoms. NRTs can reduce the intensity of these symptoms and make it more bearable to quit smoking. They provide you with a controlled amount of nicotine without exposing you to the harmful chemicals that are usually contained in tobacco. There are 5 approved types of NRTs according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They include:
- Chewing gum
- Skin patches
- Nasal spray
Out of these, the inhaler and nasal spray are only available with a subscription. Make sure that you consult a healthcare professional when you choose to use NRTs. They will help you to gauge the dosage of nicotine which can help you quit altogether. If you experience some side effects, make sure that you consult a physician.
Search for some behavioral support
Smoking creates a physical and emotional dependence on nicotine. This makes it difficult to stay away from cigarette after you have quit. As such, it is advisable to seek support in form of counseling, social support and self-help materials. Once your physical withdrawal symptoms subside, your emotional ones will end too. Combining medication or NRTs with behavioral support has been shown to help you to quit smoking by more than 25%.
Try out some alternative therapies
There are people who found alternative therapies supremely effective for helping them to quit smoking. Some of these alternative therapies include:
- Tobacco strips and sticks
- Magnet therapy
- Herbs and supplements
- Cold laser therapy
- Smoking deterrents
Quitting the habit of smoking usually requires that you have a plan and stay committed to it. Make a personal decision to quit tobacco use. After that, keep it.
With the options above, weigh the right ones for you. After that, you can decide if you would like to use behavioral support, NRTs, medication or a quit-smoking class. By combining two or three of these methods, you can boost your chances of quitting successfully.