We often underestimate the intensity of nicotine dependence, and it can be hard to see how difficult it is to quit smoking cigarettes. The brain receptors just crave cigarettes. The emotional, mental, and physical dependence one has on smoking can certainly make it challenging to stay away from it. There are so many odds to fight and relapse is just a minor slip away. Here are some effective ways to quit smoking for good:
1. Take support
Smoking changes one’s behavior and to quit the habit, one needs to take behavioral support in the form of group therapy, individual counseling, or support groups. The difference between group and support therapy is that the former is led by an expert who is trained to handle people who are in the process of quitting their addiction and their withdrawal symptoms and relapse (possibilities). The latter is headed by those who have gone through addiction issues themselves and have found successful ways and methods to overcome their addiction. Many people find support therapy far more effective because they interact with someone they could relate to – someone who has gone through the same trauma as themselves.
On the contrary, individualized therapy seems to be quite popular these days because people have understood that everyone is unique and has their reasons to undergo what they undergo. To say it in medical parlance, the trigger factors that cause someone to smoke perennially could be different and it is best to address it individually. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has provided several helpline services to support those who need help. Besides, anonymous groups on alcohol, smoking, and other substance abuse are available to help you sail through this phase of your life.
Thanks to social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we do have innumerable groups that share their personal and inspiring stories on how to overcome such additions.
It is also imperative to note that those who are in the process of quitting have found it far more effective to combine both group/support/individualized therapy with medications prescribed by their doctors. NRT, bupropion, and varenicline together with therapy increase the success rate by 25%.
2. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
NRT’s reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms and gives your body a minimal dose of nicotine only. What do we achieve in this process? The body is essentially spared of exposure to other toxic chemicals found in tobacco.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following five kinds of NRT:
- Chewing gum
- Skin patches;
and on prescription:
- Nasal spray
3. Do an activity
Make a list of goals. Not the serious ones but the ones that you have been wanting to do for a long time but postponed for frivolous reasons. Physical activities like walking, hiking, gardening, baking, volunteering for some activities, etc., are known to gratify oneself and provide a positive frame of mind, thereby reducing the craving for having to smoke a cigarette or slip into the addiction.
Be patient and be consistent with your efforts to quit smoking. Follow these effective ways to quit smoking for good.