Smoking is an epidemic that's affecting many people across the globe. It's now an international medical crisis since it’s one of the leading causes of death, both young and old have suffered alike. Not to scare you, but the question of many is to choose between smoking and death.
Now that you're reading this, perhaps you've finally decided to put an end to smoking. Whether you stopped smoking for your family members, friends, or yourself, it’s always a good decision to let go of that toxic cigarette.
However, in deciding to stop, a critical note for you to remember is the fact that it's never going to be easy and it's also going to be a drastic change in your life. You have to start making small changes here and there. However, the key is to resist the temptation to light up a cigarette butt. So, before you’ll completely stop smoking, it’s important to do it gradually.
The goal of this article is to help you minimize smoking, so that one day, you can completely put a stop to it. While this may be difficult at first, minimizing smoking is one of the fail-proof ways that enable a person to have a fitter and healthier body. When you start to see the positive changes, that’s when you realize that all the effort to stop really is worth it.
That said, if you want to cut back on smoking cigarettes, here are some of the best tips for you to apply:
1. Think Positive
This is one of the very first, and the most important, tips for you to bear in mind. Always think positive and don't be too hard on yourself. This is an important mindset for you to bear in mind since it’ll keep you going. On the days that it may seem hard for you not to give in back to cravings, always stay positive.
If you may have tried to quit before and you weren't successful, don't let that bother you anymore. This time, know and believe that things are going to be a lot different.
2. Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy
You don't have to be alone on this journey. If there's anyone that can give you that most enormous help, it's a medical professional. Through medical advancements, there's now such a thing as nicotine replacement therapy. As its name suggests, its goal is to replace whatever longing you may have for nicotine with something healthier for your body.
Some of the options that your doctor might give you include:
- Prescription non-nicotine medicines
- Prescription nicotine in a nasal spray
- Over-the-counter nicotine patches, gums, or lozenges
These are all very helpful in overcoming cravings. They're also very safe to use, even in longer durations.
3. Keep Your Mouth Busy
Chewing is one of the easiest and most effective ways for anyone to combat a tobacco craving. The key is to give your mouth something to do if you suddenly have the urge to smoke.
You can let your mouth munch on the following, for instance:
- Sunflower seeds or other peanuts
- Sugarless gum, hard candy, gummy bears
- Celery, carrots, and other vegetables that you like
Another common option done by many people trying to quit smoking is to start vaping. As they let go of a cigarette, they resort to a vape. Then, they eventually quit. While many may still be on the fence about the effectivity of vaping in relation to quitting smoking, there may also be others who have been successful with it. You just have to ensure that you don’t end up being too reliant on your e-cigarette that you also forget to quit.
If vaping is your choice to minimise smoking, here are some of the best vape deals for 2019.
4. Consider Diet Changes
With this, you may need the help of a nutritionist. It also pays to make changes in your diet. If it’s already part of your habit to light up a cigarette after dinner, this could be because of your food choices. There are particular food that makes cigarettes seem more satisfying. This includes meat, particularly steaks and burgers.
Other better options instead are cheese, fruits, and vegetables. These all make the cigarette taste terrible. So, after you've eaten them, if you have a plan to smoke, you won't even like the sensation of a cigarette anymore.
Apart from the food, certain beverages tend to make you smoke more. Examples of drinks that make cigarettes taste better include:
- Fizzy drinks
Rather than the drinks mentioned above, try drinking water or juice as an alternative.
5. Change Up Your Routines
It can also be the case that your routine is contributing more to your tendencies to smoke. Usually, it's the case that people like to light up a cigarette after meals. Especially so when they're idle. The key, therefore, is to switch up your routine to have little to no idle time after meals.
For instance, do the dishes right away, clean up, or go to bed. This takes away the chances of you smoking when you don't have to.
6. Start Exercising
When you start to withdraw from smoking, your body will also begin to feel withdrawal symptoms. Some of these include irritability, anxiety, and even weight gain. Especially for those who choose candies as an alternative to smoking cravings, you have to be very careful about sugar consumption.
To ease your body off the withdrawal symptoms, you have to start exercising as well. Physical activity can help distract you from your tobacco cravings. It's even effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of your cravings. The key is to stay busy that you no longer have the time to think about smoking. Once you start exercising, your mind inherently starts to have a healthier mindset. This means that anything that’ll make you feel unhealthy starts to become a negative thing for you.
Your exercises don't necessarily have to be heavy immediately. You can start with simple ones, like the following:
- Doing more active chores in your house
- Running up and down the stairs in your apartment complex
- Going out for a walk or a jog
7. Identify Your Triggers and Make A Plan To Avoid Them
Smokers have different triggers; there's no one-size-fits-all approach for everyone. You have to find the one that's most applicable to you. Each craving can last for usually five minutes. So, you have five minutes to endure before you can say that you've successfully evaded the craving.
The common urges to smoke include:
- Sipping coffee
- Going to parties or bars
- When you're feeling stressed
So, for instance, if you got invited to a party over the weekend, you have to make a five-minute plan for you to stay busy and fight the urge to crave during the first five minutes that you see others smoking.
8. Practice Stress Management Techniques
For many smokers, they start to light a cigarette when they're under a lot of stress and pressure. The inability to relax well after a long day creates a tendency to smoke. This has become their choice of stress-relief. If this is you, you can change this by practicing relaxation techniques.
The best relaxation technique is also very subjective and personal – this depends on what makes you feel relaxed. Examples of these, include:
- Taking a walk with friends
- Shopping (although this also isn't to encourage going into debt to shop) or window shopping
- Light exercises that also promote relaxation, such as yoga
- Having a massage
- Listening to calming and relaxing music
9. Meet New Friends Who Don't Smoke
This piece of advice doesn't mean that you should ditch your old friends. It just means surrounding yourself more in the presence of friends who don't smoke, especially at your most vulnerable times. You can even make the decision together with your other smoker friends to stop. That way, you don't have to be alone. It's harder when you're the only one who decided to stop, and everyone else is still smoking. But, if no one else wants to quit just now, this doesn't
As you make an effort to have a healthier life, surround yourself also with new peers who don't smoke. That way, you get busy spending time with them that you forget the temptations of the smoking group. Plus, they may even be able to help you positively in cases when you suddenly have the urge to smoke.
10. Create Your List Of Reasons To Quit
Smokers have their reasons why they want to quit. These reasons are entirely personal. It may sound like a very fleeting thing to do, but it helps you envision the success of stopping when you continuously remember the reasons behind why you want to do so.
For example, if you're a parent, it might be your children. You want to live long enough to see them grow. You also don't want your kids to inhale second-hand smoke from you, which is just as dangerous. You may even want to include photos of your children. When the temptation starts to kick in again, you only have to bring out the pictures of your kids, then, you're back on track.
11. Let People Know
This last step is also crucial to highlight. You're not alone in this journey. You shouldn't keep it a secret. Once you've decided to quit smoking, tell your family and friends. The amount of support that you can get from these people is going to be encouraging for you. Especially on the days that the temptation is so strong, your family and friends can also help you snap back to your goal. The family will also check up on you regularly.
Choose the people whom you know are going to be very helpful for you; you're on this journey together.
When your cravings start to kick in again, remember that you're never at the mercy of your cravings. Your mind has a significant role to play in trying to counter these cravings.
If you've started to minimize, you don't need to fall back in the trap of chain-smoking again. With these small lifestyle changes, you're one step closer towards finally putting a permanent stop to using tobacco.
Now, you can finally bid smoking goodbye and have a brand new, healthier you.