Easier for some than others, quitting smoking can be a stressful undertaking for you and those around you, but if you have support from those individuals, as well as a plan and desire to do so, you can. Just as some find it easier to quit than others do, different methods, other than support and a plan, work for different people. There are many options for those who want to quit smoking. A program tailored to your needs and a desire to quit will take you where you want to go.
How Long Does It Take to Quit Smoking? *
That depends on the person but the withdrawal periods are similar as shown here. It takes the body about three days to go into nicotine withdrawal and that is when irritability, restlessness and moodiness set in and continue for about three weeks. People that are heavier smokers won’t necessarily have a longer withdrawal period but it may be more intense. Your desire to quit is an overwhelming qualifier in your ability to quit.
At the two to four week mark, you should see your appetite return, mental clarity should return and fatigue and insomnia should be resolved. Coughing may continue for more than four weeks as your lungs begin to clear. Even after you quit, you may have a desire to smoke long afterwards. Changing your behaviors and seeing yourself as a non-smoker will mean that you are free from the chains of nicotine addiction.
How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey *
Whether you intend to quit cold turkey, use a patch, nicotine gum, or other methods to quit smoking you must have a desire to quit. Otherwise, you are going to frustrate yourself and those around you. Quitting with the goal to become a non-smoker will help you with whichever method you choose to quit. Quitting cold turkey means that you quit without the aid of any type of nicotine replacement. Many have used this method to give up smoking; however, those who were most likely to succeed with this method smoked less than ten cigarettes a day.
Make a list of the reasons that you want to quit and set a quit date. Be sure to tell those that you live with and work with about what you are doing so that they can support you and your decision. Plan to quit when stress in your life is not at a peak point. Don’t try this if you have a big project coming up at work, a final exam or an important social event.
Know your habits, anticipate cravings and prepare for them. Cravings last from five to ten minutes so plan to find a diversion when they hit. Withdrawal symptoms are temporary no matter which method of smoking cessation you use but can be very intense for those who choose to quit cold turkey.
How to Quit Smoking Naturally *
The foods that you eat can make tobacco taste good but other foods can make it taste nasty. Researchers at Duke University polled smokers who said that alcohol, red meat and coffee increase their desire to smoke, while fruits, vegetables and other healthy offerings made them taste bad. “Loading up on fruits and vegetables even before quitting might help cigarettes seem less appealing,” says F. Joseph McClernon, Ph.D., director of Duke’s Health Behavior Neuroscience Research Program.
Sweets may help some people when nicotine cravings hit because they are craving carbohydrates. Many people that have quit replace their cravings with a piece of hard candy, glucose tablets, a mint, or Jujubes, which helps them fight off their cravings. If you use this method, be aware of the calories that you are consuming.
Take it outside and get a move on. Workouts and physical activity can improve your chance to quit smoking. Exercise can help prevent depression that is caused when you quit smoking and triggers changes in brain activity that can help you kick the habit and ban the butt from your life in favor of a healthy lifestyle.
Hypnosis may be very effective to quit smoking cigarettes. It can be very helpful and one session may be all that you need to kick the habit. Like any other method, though, you need to want to quit and have a willingness to quit. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice of medicine, however, has been found to be less effective than nicotine replacement therapy.
Behavioral Therapy to Help you Quit Smoking *
Working with a trained therapist, cognitive behavioral therapy lets you talk about your issues and learn to cope with your feelings. This can be done on an individual basis or in a group setting. When used to quit smoking, behavior therapy addresses a patient’s confidence in their ability to quit smoking, teaches them ways to cope with the stress and withdrawal symptoms of smoking cessation and helps them deal with any ambivalence that they might have toward smoking.
Behavioral therapy can be used by those who are seeking answers about how do I quit smoking used in combination with natural methods to quit smoking combined with nicotine replacement. Sometimes patients are given Zyban to help them quit smoking. The greatest benefit of behavioral therapy is the insights gained by the patient and the confidence that it builds. Combining this with one’s desire to quit smoking can be a benefit to their overall well-being.
How to Help Someone Quit Smoking *
You can help a family member or friend quit smoking by trying to understand what they are going through and offering support. There are things that you can do to help, as well as things that you shouldn’t do, when helping someone who is working on how to quit smoking.
What to do to help:
- Spend time with the one who is quitting at the gym, taking a walk or participating in some other physical activity.
- Give them hard candy, vegetable sticks, gum, or a fresh veggie to chew to satisfy the oral fixation that smoking has on those who are addicted.
- Try to see the smoker’s habit from their point of view. Any habit is hard to break and one that has a chemical addiction attached to it is even harder.
- Clean the smoky smells from the home of the quitter by cleaning carpets, walls, bedding and clothing to remove any lingering smells of smoke.
What not to do:
- Don’t take a quitter’s behavior personally when they are in the throes of nicotine withdrawal, even though they might be grumpy.
- They don’t want advice when quitting; they want support.
- Don’t nag, judge, scold or berate them. They will have rough patches, as will those around them but the symptoms start to diminish after about two weeks so remember that this too shall pass.
The help that someone who is committed to quitting the use of tobacco receives from their nearest family and friends can play a large role in their success. Being aware of what you can do will give you as much satisfaction as the one who quits.
How to Quit Smoking while Pregnant *
Smoking is harmful enough when done to ourselves and can cause cancer, lung disease, heart disease, eye diseases, gum disease and stroke. Did you know that smoking could make it harder to get pregnant to begin with? Not only that, what you do before, during and after the birth of your child can have a significant effect on its health. Your baby depends on your body for its nourishment while in the womb. Whatever you put into it crosses the placenta and is absorbed into the baby’s blood stream. This can cause health problems for your baby that could easily be prevented if you quit smoking.
Smoking while pregnant can cause the placenta to rupture, a serious condition that causes it to separate from the wall of the uterus before birth. Smoking during pregnancy can also cause stillbirths and ectopic pregnancies. This happens when the fertilized egg is implanted outside of the womb and begins to grow where it is not supposed to be. This can be dangerous for the mother.
The most important reason for you to quit if you are pregnant is for the health of the baby but if that isn’t reason enough to convince you to quit, consider this. Women who smoke tend to have babies who weigh less during the pregnancy and at birth. They are also more prone to birth defects such as cleft lip or palate or may be born prematurely. Babies that are born early and at lower birth weights tend to have a higher risk of having serious health risks that include lifelong disabilities, learning problems and intellectual disabilities.
The same methods that are listed above are how to quit smoking if you are pregnant but you should be careful; if you are using quitting aid such as nicotine patches or gum, nasal spray or any other medication, you should do it under the advice of a doctor. Whatever you do to yourself, you are also doing to the baby so in this situation if you have the willpower and support, cold turkey will be best for the baby in the long run. The sooner you quit smoking the healthier you and your child will be.
Be a Quitter! *
If you are intent on quitting smoking, you will find the way that works best for you. These suggestions and methods work. Make a decision to quit, make a plan and set a date. By this time next month, you can say that you are a quitter.