Quitting smoking is a life-changing decision but as all major ones, it isn’t easy to see through. a lot of smokers have good intentions but habit and dependence on nicotine make it very hard for them to not take up a cigarette again. Therefore, quitting the butt is only half the battle won. The other, tough half, comes in not taking up smoking again and quitting it completely, for the rest of your life. Having a proper support system helps tremendously throughout this process and to give you some extra aid, here are a few effective methods for smoking cessation.
Following these steps constantly over a period of time can do you a world of good.
Nicotine replacement therapy
Though going cold turkey or quitting smoking without NRTs and medications are popular, only 6% of people achieve it. Nicotine dependence is very powerful and is extremely hard to give up. Incorporating NRTs that give you equal doses of nicotine without tobacco is extremely useful. There’s a strong possibility of one being able to quit smoking with nicotine replacement therapy. However, combining behavioral therapy makes the combination the best among effective methods for smoking cessation. The method aims at ending your addiction completely and not just quit using tobacco.
NRT is very effective in combating cravings and withdrawal symptoms that can hinder your efforts to quit smoking. It also protects you from consuming harmful chemicals often found in tobacco. Nicotine replacement therapy includes the following:
- Chewing gums
- Skin patches
- Nasal sprays and inhalers
It’s advisable to discuss NRTs with a healthcare professional before incorporating them. You may experience dizziness, nausea, weakness, increased or irregular heartbeat, or skin issues while using this method. Keeping your doctor informed about it helps you seek timely advice and treatment in adverse cases.
Behavioral support or behavioral therapy
The physical and psychological dependence on smoking are powerful barriers to avoid nicotine after the quit day. A series of expert counseling services can be effective methods for smoking cessation. Your counselor can discuss proven methods with you and offer effective advice with self-help materials to tackle cravings. Once you see remarkable improvements in physical symptoms, the emotional ones too undergo improvements. You can incorporate written information or attend group therapy. You can also choose individual counseling sessions to get deep insights into the methods and benefits of quitting smoking.
While self-help materials help increase quit rates, one-to-one counseling sessions are the most effective methods for smoking cessation. Check the following support services provided by the National Cancer Institute to stop smoking:
- Live help via online chat
- Signing up at smokefree websites
- Smokefree text messaging services
- Local and state quit lines
There are support groups like Nicotine Anonymous that provide the 12-step process of Alcoholics Anonymous to tobacco addiction.
There are a host of alternative therapies useful to help quit smoking. Though there is no evidence they can actively improve one’s physical, mental, or emotional state post-quitting, they still are effective methods for smoking cessation. These are:
- Tobacco strips and sticks
- Nicotine drinks, lollipops, straws, and lip balms
- Magnet therapy
- Cold laser therapy
- Smoking deterrents
- Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation
- Herbs and supplements
- Electronic cigarettes
Among these, E-cigarettes are not completely risk-free and are considered potentially harmful as conventional cigarettes. Check with your physician before using E-cigarettes.