When the decision is made to finally quit smoking, a lot can come rushing through your mind. It is important to understand what the process of smoking cessation will be like if this is your first time; if it is not your first time, then it is still vital to be prepared for the physical and mental pressure that awaits your decision. In order to successfully kick the habit, preparation is key: this is why we’ve put together a list of 10 simple tips that can help you become a non-smoker beginning today.
Make a True Commitment
Ask any successful current non-smoker how he or she ditched the habit, and you’ll be told that commitment is the most important element in the process. If you are not ready to quit, then your chance for failure is much higher. If you are only halfway interested in quitting, then you probably will not succeed. In order to make it real to you, be sure to tell friends, family members and anyone else who will listen that you are kicking the habit. This will help put some (positive) pressure on your decision.
A spontaneous decision to quit smoking – no matter how dedicated you might be – is less likely to succeed than one that is properly laid out from the beginning. By knowing upfront how to reward yourself when resisting temptation, how to handle the cravings, who to contact for support and how you will remind yourself of all of this consistently, you’ll maximise the chances of success in this attempt. A plan helps you to respond – almost robotically – to the challenges you will certainly face.
If your commitment level to quit nicotine entirely just isn’t there yet, you can still engage in harm reduction today. By switching to e-cigarettes and vaping supplies over traditional tobacco, you will still be able to fulfil practically all of the psychological and physical habits of smoking, albeit with less documented risk. E-cigarette usage is also substantially cheaper than traditional tobacco habits, helping you to better yourself at the same time you better your bottom line.
Make It a Firm Decision
Your brain will inevitably begin to tell you that it is OK to have “just one puff” or “just one cigarette”. These urges often become stronger several days after you have had your last cigarette, and manifest in odd and deceptive ways. Your brain will become your own worst enemy as you make progress, so be sure to have the resolve to remind yourself at every craving, “I will never smoke again”.
Find a Community
Whether it be a support group in your city or an online forum, there are many different forms of support groups and communities out there for smokers who are trying to quit. By communicating with others, reading their experiences and understanding that you are not alone, you can fight against the cravings each and every time they appear. While having real-life support available from friends and family is important, professional support from those who have experienced it is also necessary.
Made it through the first day without a cigarette? Treat yourself! Said no to ten separate cravings? Treat yourself! By setting milestones along with your goals and rewarding yourself for achieving them, you can help your mind remain motivated. For larger milestones, be sure to reward yourself – even if it has been weeks or months since you last had a cigarette.
Find Ways to Wait
Whenever a craving strikes, all you need is time. Nicotine cravings are not consistent affairs; they strike at various times and often last for just a few minutes. If you manage to kill enough time once the craving has arrived, you will be able to make it through a few more hours. By exercising, calling someone, eating something or otherwise keeping your hands busy, you can make it through each individual craving without failing.
Switch Out Habits
Everybody has moments where their nicotine cravings are triggered. It may be stress or it may be a particular daily activity. Altering the behaviour accordingly can help you replace those bad habits with good ones. At first, start small – with food, pick something you truly enjoy eating. As time passes, however, you can substitute elements used for coping with truly healthy and positive ones instead. Above all else, it is about altering the cravings for what you do when a trigger for nicotine occurs.
It’s Two Weeks
Nicotine withdrawal only lasts a couple of days, and is arguably the worst part of smoking cessation. Once you’re through that, you’ll have a pretty bad week of mental side effects, followed by another week of slightly better but still stressful cravings. Understand that for most, making it two weeks without a cigarette is enough time to never look back when possessing basic self-control.
Don’t Give Up
The majority of smokers fail at quitting at least once, and most fail multiple times. Just because you failed once does not mean it is time to give up. Analyse what happened, learn from your mistakes and move on to the next attempt. From each failed attempt, there is a lesson to be learned. As long as you continue fighting, there is no such thing as failure!