“There is no harm in smoking one! I’m frustrated, I need to light one, I’ll quit tomorrow.”
You keep saying these things to yourself daily, but is there any end to the reasons that you give yourself for smoking cigarettes?
Starting at an early age, society puts a bad reputation on smokers. It’s just because of their habit of smoking, often there is a judgment on their persona as well. But is this all worth for a few drags of your favorite cigarette?
“Smoking is injurious to health!” It is even written on the cigarette packs. But very few people focus on this serious warning. The anti-smoking advertisement shown before a movie in theaters is also often neglected. Smoking might not be banned, but it is as harmful as drugs, thus called an ‘ADDICTION’.
Illusions about the smoking trap:
- Smokers enjoy smoking
- Smokers choose to smoke
- Smoking relieves boredom, stress, aids concentration, and gives relaxation
- Smoking is a habit
- Once a smoker always a smoker
- It takes willpower to quit
- Telling smokers that smoking kills helps them quit
- Nicotine substitutes help smokers quit
If you are someone who finds himself drowning in guilt after smoking, and are planning to quit smoking for good, here we are sharing some helpful tips on how to quit cigarette smoking.
Beating addiction one day at a time: Tips to quit
Set a quitting date: Choose a date within the next two weeks, so you have ample time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekends, so you’ll get a few days to adjust to the change.
Get support: You don’t have to rely completely on willpower alone to quit smoking. Inform your family and friends that you are planning to quit smoking. Tell them that you will need their support and encouragement through the process of quitting it. You can even look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. This way, you can help each other get through tough times.
Plan for the challenges you believe you will face while quitting: It is a common belief that smokers who are in the ‘no smoking’ phase, start smoking again within the first three months of the quitting period. If you are actually looking to quit smoking for good, plan ahead for the challenges you will face, such as nicotine withdrawal and smoking cravings. You must resist the urge to start smoking again, and you can only do so with a concrete plan if you feel you are about to give up.
Remove cigarettes from your home, car, workplace, etc.: If things won’t remind you of smoking, you will feel distant from it. One way to achieve that is: Throw away all of your cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, and matchboxes. Wash/clean your clothes, drapes, carpets, car seats. Freshen up anything that smells like cigarettes.
Keep yourself busy: Keeping yourself busy is a great way to stay smoke free during your quitting days. Being busy will help you keep your mind off smoking and distract you from cigarette cravings. Think about trying some of these activities:
- Regular exercises
- Get out of the house for a walk
- When the craving hits, chew gum or hard candy
- Keep your hands busy with a pen or toothpick, or play games on your phone
- Drink lots of water
- Take deep breaths to relax
- Go to a movie to distract your mind
- Spend time with non-smoking friends and family
- Go to dinner at a restaurant with no smoking zones
Avoid smoking triggers: Triggers can be people, places, things, and situations that set an urge to smoke. Try to avoid these smoking triggers. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of some common smoking triggers:
- Throw away all your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays, if you haven’t already
- Avoid caffeine as it can make you feel jittery. Try drinking water instead
- Avoid meeting friends who encourage you to smoke
- Go to places where smoking isn’t allowed
- Get plenty of rest and eat healthily. Being tired can trigger you to smoke
- Change your routine to avoid the things you might associate with smoking
Don’t believe you’ll have ‘just one’: Never believe your mind when it says to have just one cigarette. You might be tempted to have just one fag or drag to satisfy your tobacco craving. But don’t fool yourself into believing that it is just one, it’s a chain. Having just one can easily lead to another— and you may end up smoking again and again.
Reward Yourself After Every Milestone: Since you are saving all the money that used to be burned on smoking, you can do a lot with that. While you are on your smokefree days, every day might feel like a struggle, but you should see the positive sides of quitting and reward yourself for that. If you have a sweet tooth, you can treat yourself to your favourite dessert at the end of the day, every once in a while.
Avoid people who encourage you to smoke: As mentioned above to avoid ‘smoking triggers’, you must avoid those people who encourage you to smoke, be it at work, or outside work, or even close friends.
Remind yourself of the end benefits: Write down or say out loud the end benefits of quitting smoking. These might include:
- Feeling better
- Getting healthier
- Sparing your loved ones from passive smoke
- Saving money
We understand that quitting smoking is difficult, and is associated with the stigma ‘once a smoker, always a smoker’, but try to see ahead of it. Try not to think of quitting smoking as forever. Pay attention to today and from next day the time will add up. Turn days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years! Constantly remind yourself of the benefits of quitting and your cravings will start fading with time. Stay healthy and stay safe!