Smoking is a bad habit. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Well, there are cigarette butts…
If you’re thinking of butting out for good, you’re making the right choice! Smoking cessation can happen and it will take hard work, strength, and discipline. However, the ultimate reward is worth it. Are you ready for better breathing, extended life and overall great oral health? If so, here’s how to quit smoking.
Time to quit: Four possibilities
Before you get ahead of yourself, it’s important to note that the methods below are suggestions. There is no one-size-fits-all full-proof technique that details how to quit smoking. The four methods described below do not come with a guarantee but they can be useful tools to help you kick that bad habit.
- Cold turkey: How to quit smoking using the cold turkey method is simple in theory but the hardest to pull off. Cold turkey means that you do not make use of outside help or smoking cessation aids. This method can be quite stressful for the first few weeks; however, if you can stick with it, you should be looking at smooth sailing ahead.
- Nicotine replacement: This involves replacing cigarettes with nicotine gum, inhalers, sprays, lozenges and patches. You will still be getting a dose of nicotine but it will not contain tobacco. If you are looking at how to quit smoking using nicotine replacement devices, you will eventually need to give up nicotine. Some of the nicotine replacement products are also addictive, it’s best to use them in moderation then slowly wean yourself off them.
- Behavioural therapy: By working with a therapist, counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist you can determine your triggers (i.e., what makes you want to smoke) and create a plan to endure the cravings they produce. It may be impossible to avoid your triggers all together but the goal of behavioural therapy is to equip you with the necessary tools to be able to look a trigger in the eye (so to speak) and say, “You don’t make me want to smoke anymore!”.
- Medication: There are prescription drugs available that help control cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur during smoking cessation. How to quit smoking with medication involves visiting your primary care physician and asking which drug they think will work best for your situation.
Many people try different methods to quit smoking until they find the one that clicks. Cold turkey may work for you or a combination of nicotine replacement products and behavioural therapy may do the trick. The important thing is that you’re doing your best to quit smoking.
Smoking cessation: Major benefits ahead!
Once you determine how to quit smoking, think of the benefits. Soon after quitting, your body will begin to recover from the negative effects of nicotine and the additives found in cigarettes. Your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature will normalize and return to healthier levels. In addition, you’ll breathe easier because the poisonous carbon monoxide levels in your blood will drop allowing your blood to carry more oxygen. Finally, think about all the money you’ll save. You’ll have oxygen-rich blood and extra cash. It’s a win/win!
What to do if you start smoking again?
Smoking cessation isn’t easy and relapsing is normal. The best thing to do is to try, try, try and try again.