Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things that anyone can do. While most people acknowledge the addictive properties of cigarette itself, many people do not consider the addictive properties of actually smoking the cigarette. I quit smoking over six years ago after numerous failed attempts. I found that I had to address all of issues involved in my smoking habit. This is the method that I used to quit smoking.
First is nicotine replacement. This is the elephant in the room, how to get off the physically addictive substance that enters your body while smoking. There are several methods to use on this. In fact, this is the easiest issue to consider. Many people used nicotine gum, I preferred the patch because I could “up” the dose when I really wanted a cigarette. The patch sets on the skin and introduces a small amount of nicotine into the small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. When one lightly slaps the skin it turns red because the smaller blood vessels rise closer to the surface of the skin. More blood vessels equal a large dose of nicotine to help smooth out the cravings.
Second involves replacing the taste difference that occurs during and after smoking. Smoking a cigarette does not taste good, but it is a taste change. Many people are addicted to the taste change as much as they are the nicotine. This is why people eat more when they stop smoking. To combat this issue, I used sugarfree candies and mints. The calorie intake was minimized and the need for a taste change was satiated.
Both of these tips were really straight forward, but here is where we move into the more unconventional tips. Third is to continue to take smoke breaks. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but the break part of a smoke break is healthy. Get away from what you are doing. Take a short walk with a little deep breathing. This will reduce your stress level and allow you to refocus on the task when you return.
Finally, carry a prop. When I quit smoking, I carried a small precision screwdriver with me. When I went for a “smoke” break, I would hit the patch that I was wearing about ten times, put a piece of sugar-free candy in my mouth, and take a short walk while holding my screwdriver as I always held my cigarette. When one stops smoking, he or she is not just dealing with the nicotine addiction, although that is a definite issue, but he or she is dealing with several different habitual behaviors that must be slowly corrected. As one steps down the nicotine in the patch, he or she can begin to eliminate other parts of the habit, such as the prop or the change in taste. Over time, a person becomes healthier and changes behavior in a gradual manner.
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