If you are a regular cigarette smoker and want to quit your habit for good, you need to recognize that nicotine is an addictive substance. While breaking the habit will not be an easy task, it can be accomplished with determination and perseverance. Get the support you may need and learn how to control your urge for cigarettes. Here are 5 helpful tips you may find effective.
What motivates you to quit smoking? First and foremost should be the realization that cigarette smoking is extremely bad for your health. The risks have been proven. Wanting to be healthy and enjoy life with your loved ones is reason enough to motivate you to quit.
If this isn't reason enough, think of how secondhand smoke affects others around you. Also, think of the negative effects tobacco has on your physical appearance. Tobacco causes tooth discoloration and (yellow stains) and bad breath. It may also contribute to premature wrinkles and poor skin tone due to the oxygen deprivation that cigarettes are know to cause.
There are many reasons to to quit smoking, so make your list and get motivated. This is a key aspect to helping you quit.
2. See Your Physician For Advice and Treatment
As you attempt your smoking cessation efforts, your doctor can help. He or she will check your lung capacity, and possible order a chest x-ray. Your physician can also detect a condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Knowing if your lungs have been damaged is important.
As you attempt to quit smoking, your doctor may prescribe certain medications you may need. Equally important, your doctor can offer advice on the right way to kick your habit. For instance, your doctor may recommend nicotine replacement therapy. In some cases, patients do better this way than quitting "cold turkey", and your doctor should help you make this decision.
Nicotine patches, gum or lozenges are some of the options that may be used. By receiving a small amount of nicotine, your body can adjust as you lessen the amount gradually. Once your cravings become less frequent, quitting for good will be the goal.
In addition to the above mentioned methods, your doctor may recommend you to a counselor or therapist. Behavioral therapy counseling may help you quit. In addition, joint a support group for smokers wishing to kick the habit.
3. Avoid Being Around Others Who Smoke
Being around other who smoke in your presence not only puts you at risk for the dangers of second hand smoke, it may increase your urge to begin smoking again. Explain your situation to your friends and ask for their support and understanding.
4. Begin Writing a "Smoker's Journal"
Buy yourself a diary or journal of some kind. Keep track of when you get the urge to smoke, and write down the time, date and any other pertinent information.
Did you get that craving after eating dinner? If so, consider having an after dinner mint or a healthy dessert instead of reaching for that cigarette. Did the urge for a smoke occur while you were bored? Counteract that effect by keeping your hands occupied with a hobby such as writing, gardening or sculpting.
Keeping a journal can help you in other ways, too. When you have accomplished a goal, jot it down in the book. It may give you the inspiration and encouragement to keep up the good work.
5. Reward Yourself For a Job Well Done
Every time you succeed at refusing to give in to your nicotine urges, reward yourself. Buy that new pair of shoes you've been eyeing, or that electronic device that has been calling your name. The self- recognition of a job well done is important. It helps encourage you to meet your goals for life.
Lastly, remember you are not alone in your battle. Lean on family and friends, and consult your physician with concerns or questions.