Despite all the warnings about the dangers of tobacco, one in five Americans still smoke. Just recently, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported an increase in the smoking-related illnesses among women, who are now more likely to die from lung cancer than men. In the same research, it was found that women who smoke tend to die a decade earlier than their non-smoking peers.
If you want to lower your risk of developing lung cancer and so many other diseases related to smoking, you better stop now. Below are some of the highly effective ways to quit smoking that you should try:
Call your doctor. It turns out that the least effective way to quit smoking is to go cold turkey, with a dismal success rate of less than 5 percent. According to experts, the best strategy to quit is under a doctor’s supervision, using a combination of methods.
Take a pill. Studies suggest that people who take prescription medications such as Chantix are more likely to quit smoking successfully than those who don’t. The difference between these drugs and nicotine replacement aids is that the former do not contain nicotine. They work by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain, so smoking becomes less pleasurable.
Hit the gym. The evidence on the benefits of exercise on quitting smoking is increasing. A study presented at the World Congress of Cardiology found that exercise reduces urges to smoke and withdrawal symptoms. Just 30 minutes of physical activity, five times a week can significantly help people quit.
Get social. A review of studies by Cochrane Collaboration revealed that help from strategic text messages increased smokers’ chances of quitting. There’s also growing evidence that social media can influence smokers and encourage them to quit. You can also get social support in the form of counseling.
Know your smoking triggers. Be aware of what usually triggers you to smoke so you can avoid them. List them down if necessary. As the days and weeks pass by, your cravings for nicotine will eventually wane.
Sip tea. Instead of smoking when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, prepare a cup of tea. Replace cigarette with tea for breakfast, mid-morning and evening meals, and at any other times when you usually smoke. The act of brewing tea and sipping provides the same, if not greater relaxing and calming effects than smoking.
Reminisce. Think of the past challenges you have overcome. This will give you confidence in quitting smoking today.
There are some other highly effective ways to quit smoking. Try them all to know which strategies are best for you.