Smoking contains an addictive substance called nicotine that causes a smoker to be physically dependent to it. Your body gets used to having nicotine in it that once you decide to quit and stop smoking that cigarette, your body will react to the absence of nicotine causing you to experience the so-called withdrawal symptoms. To help you deal with the nicotine withdrawal symptoms, you can opt to use nicotine replacement therapy or prescription drugs such as varenicline or bupropion.
But aside from the physical dependence, smokers also have to deal with the mental and emotional aspects of smoking when they decide to quit. This is because with the months or years smoking, one has made it a habit. Smoking has become a part of regular routine and it has been associated with other daily activities as well. For example, you might have gotten used to smoking during your break time at work or you might have developed the habit of having a smoking break right after you eat your meal. And because you have acquired smoking as a habit, it is often difficult to “let go” of this habit once you decide to quit smoking. Fortunately, there are ways to kick the habit off.
Here are some ways you can kick the smoking habit:
1. Develop new, healthier habits
One way to be successful in quitting the smoking habit it to make a new habit—healthier habits. Instead of lighting a cigarette after you eat your meal or during your office break time, why not opt for a short walk outside. Munch on some sliced carrots or some slices of your favourite fruit instead of putting that cigarette into your mouth.
2. Get into sports
Getting into sports not only is a way of making yourself busy (so that you’ll not smoke); it will also make you healthier. Sports such as jogging, swimming, tennis, etc. will help you get into shape and give you time to relax and enjoy and as well as socialize with friends (and make new ones).
3. Seek support
If you think you can’t quit on your own or have trouble quitting, don’t stop. Instead, seek help from friends and family or join a support group.
4. Avoid situations that cause you to smoke
Some situations can “trigger” you to smoke. If stress is your trigger for smoking, avoid stress or learn other ways to cope with stress. Doing yoga, reading a book or watching a good movie can help you relax and distract you from smoking. Write down the “trigger” situations and how you plan to avoid or cope with them.
5. Stay away from people who smoke
While you are on the process of quitting, it is best to stay away from people who smoke or from places you know there would be lots of people smoking.
6. Avoid drinking alcohol
7. Find your motivation
Every time you are tempted to smoking, remind yourself of the reason why you quit and your motivation for quitting. Is it your children or your family? Is it because you want to have a baby? Is it for your health? Writing down and reminding yourself of the benefits of quitting smoking and your motivation for quitting can help you stay quit.
8. Ask someone else to always remind you not to smoke
Tell your friends and family about your plan to quit or that you are already making ways to stop smoking for good. Ask them to tell you and remind you every time you feel like smoking that smoking is not good for you and to motivate you to stay quit.
9. Reward yourself
Rewarding yourself for not smoking is another way to help you quit. Buy yourself a new watch or a good pair of jeans or a dress for a week of not smoking. Or treat yourself to a vacation to the beach or another city.
10. Keep track of your progress
Jot down how far you are going with your quitting smoking plan. Take note of situations that cause you to smoke and how well you are managing them.