- The Really Bad Stuff
- What Is the Best Way to Quit Smoking?
- Quit “Cold Turkey”
- Make a Quit Date
- Buy Fewer Cigarettes
- Behavioral Conditioning
- Nicotine Substitution
- Put the Money Saved in a Jar
- Use Candy or Healthy Snacks
- Hold Something Similar in Your Fingers
- Immediately Change the Situation When Craving
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that six million people die each year globally from the effects of smoking. Over the past decades, smoking has killed more people than Hitler did. Hitler forced people into gas chambers to kill them with poisonous gas; when a person is smoking, they are inhaling toxic poisons, intentionally killing themselves. It happens slowly, so it is not as quick of a death as going into a gas chamber. In fact, a person gets really sick first, suffers for a long time, and then dies.
The Really Bad Stuff *
Here are some of the facts from the CDC:
- Smokers die about ten years earlier than non-smokers do.
- Over 16 million Americans have a smoking-related disease. Every day, 1,500 die.
- Outside the U.S., increases in smoking globally will raise these deaths to 8 million per year.
This information is not a guilt trip to push people to stop smoking. It is simply the truth. Even though stopping smoking is extremely difficult, the motivation to do this is for a person to save her or his own life. People who smoke are paying tobacco companies for a product that kills them. As noted by Quit Smoking Support, cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 43 known to cause cancer, and 400 more that are toxins. Paying for cigarettes is like voluntarily paying a murderer to slowly kill you. Think of how hard anyone would try to escape a killer and then have the same amount of determination to stop smoking. Millions have quit smoking. Everyone can do it!
What Is the Best Way to Quit Smoking? *
Luckily, there are now many ways to stop smoking. There is no one best way to quit smoking. The best way to quit smoking is the way that works for that particular person. The focus here is on tobacco, nevertheless many of these methods are also the best way to quit smoking weed. Some techniques work better for different people. The idea is to discover what works and keep trying as many of these alternative approaches as possible. Try as many times as necessary until the achievement of success. Then breathe in deeply, enjoy the better taste of foods again, and never ever again touch cigarettes or use tobacco products.
Here are some of the best ways to quit smoking:
- Quit “cold turkey”
- Make a quit date
- Buy fewer cigarettes
- Behavioral Conditioning
- Nicotine substitution
- Put the money saved in a jar
- Use candy or healthy snacks
- Hold something similar in your fingers
- Immediately change the situation when craving
Let us now explore each of these methods in detail to make it easier for you to choose the best one for a particular person’s challenges and lifestyle. Please note: use one or more if necessary in combination or in succession to make sure of 100% success.
Quit “Cold Turkey” *
Why Quit reported on a 2013 Gallup Poll, which asked former smokers how they were able to quit and what they did. The “cold turkey” method is just to stop all at once without using any nicotine supplements or other drugs. Quitting cold turkey was by far the most successful with 48% saying they had used this method. When these successful former smokers decided it was time to quit, they stopped. In the same poll, 8% said they used willpower, which also works with the cold turkey method to enhance success. More than half of the former smokers succeeded by just quitting and toughing it out, until the cravings had no more power over them.
The physical addiction to nicotine is what makes people want to smoke. A psychological component also makes it hard to stop. WebMD noted that Heath Dingwell, PhD, who wrote the book “12 Ways to Stop Smoking” said, for most people the physical addiction disappears in a couple of days to a week. The psychological part is the most difficult. The best way to quit smoking cold turkey is using extreme willpower. The willpower becomes so strong to withstand the physical addiction and to overcome the psychological attraction. People finally are not going to continue the harm they do to themselves. They stop making excuses and take control of themselves by quitting smoking.
Make a Quit Date *
Reader’s Digest suggests that smokers make lists of what they like about smoking, when the cravings occur, and why quitting will be difficult. Then, prepare a list of the benefits of not smoking and a list of what to do when cravings occur. Then make a quit date. Write it down. Sign it and have a witness sign it. This is a personal contract. An individual makes this with herself or himself. When the quit day arrives, spend the first part of the day throwing away everything related to smoking. Throw it away in a trashcan on the other side of town, so there is no craving to retrieve it. Then, do something very relaxing in a smoke-free environment, like going to a spa or taking a sauna at the gym. Reward yourself on the quit date, by taking the day off from work to relax completely in a smoke-free environment.
Buy Fewer Cigarettes *
This is the slower, “cut-down” method. Stop buying cartons of cigarettes. Then, stop buying packages of cigarettes, and then only buy single cigarettes at a time. When a person has to get up and go to the convenience store to buy a single cigarette every time they desire a smoke, the inconvenience of the whole process and the insanity becomes obvious. They have a chance to think about alternatives on the way to the store. Success comes with this method when the effort of not buying a cigarette changes to buying something tasty instead, like ice cream.
Science Daily reported on a study done in 2007, which showed that hypnosis was highly effective in helping some people stop smoking. There is a debate among researchers about how hypnosis works and even if it does work, as noted in a story that ran in The Atlantic. It works for some and not for others. The ones who usually fail are the ones doing the hypnosis to please some other person, not for herself or himself. It cannot do any harm and it might work, so it is worth a try.
Like hypnosis, with some people, acupuncture has amazing results. For those who succeed with both of these methods there is the feeling that the craving suddenly disappears. The Cleveland Clinic says that acupuncture reduces cravings, when points in the ears receive the treatment. Acupressure, which is using pressure from fingertips or by “ear buds” that are tiny balls placed in the ear, continues to give relief from cravings at home.
Behavioral Conditioning *
Behavioral Conditioning is also Operant Conditioning as noted by Simply Psychology. B.F. Skinner invented it. This method causes a new association, which is an unpleasant association with the act of cigarette smoking. It works by wearing a rubber band around the wrist. When the urge to smoke comes up, stretch the rubber band, and let it snap back to the wrist. Immediately get up and do something else. It is also important to stop using or doing things associated with smoking. If, for example, having a smoke with a cup of coffee is the routine, skip the coffee, and have some soothing herbal tea instead.
Meditation done alone or in groups calms the mind to reduce the craving sensation and focus more on breathing. The mind does not know the difference between imagined smoking and real smoking. Some have found relief by getting good at imagining they are smoking instead of actually smoking while doing meditation. This helps reduce the psychological addiction by replacing an imagined thought for the action of smoking and calming oneself at the same time.
Nicotine Substitution *
Nicotine pills, nicotine-laced chewing gum, nicotine patches, or e-cigarettes replace the addictive nicotine, which is what causes the physical withdrawal symptoms. This method allows the person to deal with the psychological issues first. They can get rid of cigarettes, stop the habitual tobacco smoking routines, and not have to deal with nicotine withdrawal at the same time. Once tobacco is out of their lives, the next goal becomes slowly reducing the nicotine intake, until there is no further need for it. Public Health England released a report stating that e-cigarettes are 95% less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes. When used properly, e-cigarettes help smokers quit, because they mimic all the actions of smoking and feel very similar to smoking.
Put the Money Saved in a Jar *
Using a big glass jar, frequently seen, put all the money previously wasted on cigarettes. This is a great way to show visually, one of the many benefits of stopping smoking. Then use the money to buy something nice as a reward for quitting.
Use Candy or Healthy Snacks *
The idea with this method is, every time the urge to smoke arises put something else in the mouth. Candy, such as a lollipop works well, or one may choose a healthier snack like chewing on carrots. This helps deal with oral fixation, which is a part of the underlying psychological issues for some people.
Hold Something Similar in Your Fingers *
This method can help in addition to using candy or snacks. The idea is to hold something, like a pencil, between the fingers instead of a cigarette. One can get packages of cut carrots, hold one carrot in the fingers, and when the urge comes up to smoke, chew on the carrots instead.
Immediately Change the Situation When Craving *
Examples of this method are taking a shower, going for a walk, listening to music, and dancing. Start exercising, like running or jogging. Develop a good emotional state with things like Yoga or martial arts practice. Stay in smoke-free environments as much as possible.
There is not a smoker who cannot stop smoking. There are so many ways now to help. Stopping smoking sooner means to suffer less, and live longer, having a more happy fulfilling life.