Quitting smoking has been a popular New Year's resolution for years. Studies show that more than 70% of smokers say they want to quit, but not all succeed. Part of this is not being properly prepared to quit smoking. Whether you want to know how to quit smoking cold turkey or how to quit smoking more slowly, we're here to help. Get your 2023 quit smoking goal off on the right foot with these handy tips.
For more health tips, check outand .
Creating a plan is a great way to start the nicotine cessation process. This plan begins by analyzing your habits and determining what works best for you.
Check your current smoking habits
Once you've decided to quit smoking, it's best to make a plan to stick with it. It starts with analyzing smoking habits and determining how to change them.
- Pay attention to the number of cigarettes you smoke: Before reducing your consumption, it is important to understand the number of cigarettes you smoke. It can be more than you think. Calculate how many cigarettes you smoke every day and you can see this number.
- Identify Reasons for Smoking: There are definitely reasons for smoking or using tobacco, and the next step in your journey is to understand them. It's probably a year-old habit for no reason, but think about why you started it in the first place and now you're hooked on it all day. Every time you want to smoke, write down why you are doing it.
- Think about why you want to quit: if you have a reason to quit, you can stick with it. Whether it's for your health, your kids, or any other reason, learn why you want to quit beyond quitting. While quitting is a good place to start, having something to come up with during the hardest part of the journey can help you when you are about to quit.
Learn how smoking affects your body
Smoking and tobacco use in general can have very negative effects on your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Smoking increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases the risk of tuberculosis, certain illnesses and diseases tuberculosis eye problems immune system, including arthritis All of these physical ailments can also lead to psychological problems, with the added stress of illness.
Research has also shown that smoking at night can be a direct cause of insomnia, and poor sleep can lead tolike obesity and heart disease. The CDC emphasizes how harmful even secondhand smoke is. Secondhand smoke kills about 400 children every year.
Set a goal
Goals can help you stay motivated, but apart from a big goal, set small goals that you can achieve along the way. Maybe you start quitting smoking every day. Promise not to smoke on weekends for a month. At the end of the month, do yourself a favor and move on to the next goal. This seems more manageable than quitting smoking suddenly (although this approach works for some people).
Try nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (like a nicotine patch or gum) can help reduce nicotine cravings. These low doses of nicotine have been shown in numerous studies to be a positive way to quit smoking. If you're considering nicotine replacement therapy, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about which product is right for you.
Consider prescription pills
You can also talk to your doctor about prescription medications to help you quit. Chantix and Zyban are two popular over-the-counter medications that you can discuss with your doctor. Pfizer shared research on the effectiveness of Chantix, and several studies showed that more than 40% of participants quit smoking while taking the drug.
Create a support system
Surrounding yourself with people you can count on when you're going through tough times can help you succeed and can also keep you motivated. If you want to give up, these people will help you move on.
- Tell friends and family about your goals: Share your goals with people close to you, people who will support you, but ignore those who don't. Tell them your goals and how they can help you. If you don't want to smoke in your area, say so. If you want to encourage them, tell them. If you want to be their silent supporter, lexpress.
- Build your community: It is also important to find people who are or have been on the same path as you, because they will understand you better than anyone else. Online communities and face-to-face communities like Nicotine Anonymous and Smokers Anonymous can be helpful.
- Get professional help: You can also contact your doctor or therapist for advice and support on how to quit smoking. They may provide you with additional resources or valid medical reasons for quitting. They can also help you see the positive effects you'll feel on your physical and mental health as you smoke less, which can help you stay motivated.
Plan for side effects
Most people who quit smoking experience withdrawal symptoms. According to the CDC, quitting smoking can make you feel angry, anxious, hungry, depressed, and sad. They may also have trouble sleeping and weight gain. These are all general, but you can talk to your doctor about which one is right for you.
The CDC also recommends exercise to manage feelings of anxiety and worry. Exercising gets your heart rate up and increases endorphins, which can boost your mood. It's also a way to turn negative side effects into something positive.
Celebrate your victory
While it's good to celebrate your big goals, it's just as important to celebrate the small ones along the way. Treat yourself to something good on the first day you quit smoking completely. Treat again after a week. Treat yourself to a delicious meal or an ice cream. Go to the spa for a day or buy that pair of shoes you've always wanted to buy. Create a reward bank to give yourself when you start so you know exactly what you're getting into.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goal.