Quit Smoking: Comparison of Solutions to Quit Smoking Once and For All
Finally decided to stop smoking? That’s great news.
For your health, of course, but also for your wallet. Everyone knows it is not easy. And former smokers will tell you that, but they will also tell you it is achievable and everyone can do it.
First of all, you will need motivation, but not only. You might also need a little bit of help. We’ll give you our best tips so that the last puff you take, will be the last one forever. Put all the chances on your side. You will succeed in the end, that’s for sure!
- 1 Why is it so difficult to quit smoking?
- 2 Quitting Smoking: benefits (well known)
- 3 Preparing to Quit Smoking
- 4 Withdrawal Symptoms
- 5 What quit smoking method to choose?
- 6 Quitting smoking during pregnancy: Our advice
- 7 Does Cutting Down on Cigarettes Really Work?
- 8 To Resume
Why is it so difficult to quit smoking?
Every smoker or former smokers know the real struggle. By the way, why is it so difficult to quit smoking?
The first answer to this question is simple. Tobacco is the most addictive substance, worse than alcohol. No wonder why it is so difficult to quit.
The word addiction denotes the pathological impossibility of doing without a substance even knowing its consequences on health or its portfolio.
From a psychological point of view, when a person smokes, the nicotine that a cigarette contains will go through the blood and quickly reach the brain.
When nicotine reaches the brain, it triggers dopamine to be released. Neurotransmitters will activate the sensation of pleasure and calm.
Unfortunately, after dopamine depletes, these symptoms return, and with it, the urge to smoke. This is the process of Nicotine addiction.
Other reasons also explain the difficulty of quitting smoking:
- Many people smoke because they are anxious or stressed out. When trying to quit, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms often leads smokers back to cigarettes.
- Smoking is also a hand gesture and when trying to quit, it isn’t easy to keep those hands busy. As a matter of habits, the first cigarette in the morning, after each coffee, when partying or with friends, will be hard to break!
Quitting Smoking: benefits (well known)
The benefits of quitting smoking are many and justify the fact that many smokers want to stop. We all know that quitting smoking saves money, but the main benefits are for our health. But we are often far from reality!
- First of all, after 15 years without cigarettes, you will get back with the health of a person who has never smoked. It is, therefore, important to quit as soon as possible. Allergic symptoms, asthma, and chronic bronchitis will become rarer.
- It is also important to know that only 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate will return to normal and after 24 hours the risk of myocardial infarction will be reduced and carbon monoxide will no longer be present in your body.
- Two days after your last cigarette, you will no longer have nicotine in your blood.
- Only two weeks after quitting, your sense of taste will be back.
- After a few months, your breathing will improve, your skin will have brightened, cardiovascular risks will be reduced by half, as well as for mouth cancer or esophagus.
As you can notice, there are huge benefits for your health!
Preparing to Quit Smoking
If some can quit smoking cold turkey, you should know that this is rare. You have to prepare yourself to start on a good basis.
- Motivation is key. You must have the desire to quit. If you are doing it for someone else, chances to succeed are small. You should stop because you want it and have seriously thought about it. You must convince yourself that this is the right time to do so.
- Talk to your loved ones, especially if they smoke. Tell them you are trying to quit but careful; DO NOT think you might disappoint them if you fail on the first try.
- Your friends and family should help you and support you when you are stressed, irritated, during doubts and cravings.
- You can set goals to quit smoking in better conditions, but you will need to stick to them. For example, you can stop gradually or cold turkey, as long as you stick to your decisions.
- You can also set financial goals. Be aware of how much money you will save a week, a month, and what you could do with it.
- Being prepared also consists of accepting professional help, just in case. You could, for example, get informed of available services put in place or join a group of people also trying to quit.
Being prepared when trying to quit, will give you better chances to succeed!
Quitting smoking can cause symptoms which must be known to prepare yourself. These are what we call withdrawal symptoms:
What quit smoking method to choose?
Big question. Several methods have been put in place to help you quit smoking. If some can quit smoking cold turkey, you have to stay realistic as this is very rare. What’s important is to find THE most suitable method for you which will help you in the long run.
You must choose the way to smoking cessation according to your habits and level of dependence. Here are the main methods:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
It is one of the most used and recommended solutions by doctors. Although working successfully for some, others will relapse as soon as they stop this method.
The principle is simple: it gives your body nicotine to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Gradually, the dose of nicotine is reduced. Depending on how much you smoke, the treatment can last from 3 months to 6 months.
The price might seem expensive but is cheaper than a pack of cigarettes (which keeps on increasing through the years). You can get discounted patches if prescribed by your doctor.
Among the main nicotine replacements available, there are:
Patches that you stick to your skin and delivers a small, constant amount of nicotine through your skin into your bloodstream. You can find Day patch (16hr patch) and Day and Night patch (24hr patch).
You must choose the patch according to how much you used to smoke. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist for information.
The patch is easy to use. It must be applied on a clean, dry, and relatively hairless part of the body. In general, we recommend putting it between the neck and the waist. On the upper arm or chest for example. The patch should be changed daily and applied on a different location each time.
When trying to quit smoking is too difficult, your doctor can prescribe drugs which will act on the central nervous system to help reduce cravings.
Zyban is one of the most prescribed drugs. Its active ingredient Bupropion hydrochloride is well known for its ability to help patients quit smoking.
Chantix is also one of the most prescribed drugs. This prescription-only medication helps with its active ingredient to reduce symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal.
Many people have been able to quit smoking with acupuncture. Though a subject to debate; It can be very helpful but is not a solution if you are not motivated.
Acupuncture is not a miracle method but an asset that must necessarily be accompanied by the desire to quit smoking. The Department of Health & Human Resources believes that this method has not proven its effectiveness for smoking cessation and goes further explaining that the results obtained are no different from those of a placebo.
Again, the Department of Health & Human Resources says the effects on smoking cessation have not been demonstrated. However, homeopathy can be a boost that some people need but isn’t in any case sufficient for heavy smokers.
Quitting smoking during pregnancy: Our advice
Smoking during pregnancy puts both you and your unborn baby at risk; Ectopic pregnancies, spontaneous abortions and various abnormalities during pregnancy: premature child, growth failure, premature rupture of membranes, etc.
Many women think that different methods such as patches are not allowed during pregnancy. But they are wrong. Nicotine Patches and inhalers are allowed in the USA during pregnancy.
By smoking a cigarette, you will absorb more than 4,000 harmful substances, some of which are very harmful to the fetus. A nicotine replacement will bring a single substance: nicotine in a much less aggressive form.
In any case, you should consult your health care provider who will advise you on the best method to stop smoking during pregnancy.
Does Cutting Down on Cigarettes Really Work?
Some people just can’t quit overnight. Nowadays, there are several progressive methods to help you reach your final goal: quit smoking for good.
Quit smoking gradually can make the difference and is the key to success. Although you need to put some efforts, such as setting the date of your last cigarette.
Choose to smoke only cigarettes that are the most important to you during the day. You can replace the others by chewing gums instead. This period can last for 3 weeks.
Then eliminate the most important cigarettes one by one. This must last 3 weeks and will have to stop with one last cigarette.
Quitting is difficult, but possible. Although you need motivation, that isn’t always enough. Patches, gums, drugs are there to help you.
Even if you fail, you must learn from your mistakes and try again. Do not hesitate to get help and you will, at last, succeed!
The first advice is to avoid risky situations, especially at the beginning.
- If for you, coffee is linked to smoking a cigarette, reduce your consumptions to avoid temptation.
- Avoid parties or nights out as well. But only the first few days, as you must have a social life and support while trying to quit.
- Try to stay motivated in these situations as it isn’t worth ruining your progress for just one cigarette.
When withdrawal symptoms hit, know that it usually doesn’t last more than 8 minutes.
- You must keep yourself busy while it lasts. Whether you play on your phone, listen to music, go for a walk, or chew something, you must find a way to forget your cravings.
Cigarette cravings are quite normal, but with time, they will reduce. Meanwhile, you must set up strategies. Be thankful for every difficulty you’ve overcome and days you’ve spent without smoking! Often make a list of things that made you want to quit smoking.