Despite our growing knowledge about the steps to stop smoking, it remains a favorite pastime for many people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 13 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older smoked cigarettes in 2020. It means that over 30 million United States citizens engaged in this harmful habit.
Steps To Stop Smoking
However, for the sake of their families and their own health, many smokers decide to quit. If you are a part of this group, you may wonder what the most effective methods of quitting are.
While some decide to make the switch and search for vape kits for beginners, others go cold turkey and never look back. The method that will work best for you depends on your unique circumstances.
Below, we list some of the best ways to combat this unhealthy habit and eliminate smoking from your life once and for all. They range from determining your motivation for this decision and seeking out professional help to identifying your triggers and using medication to ease the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
Here is how you can beat tobacco dependence and lead a healthier, more enjoyable life:
Before you start making any changes in your lifestyle, it is essential to pinpoint what your primary motivation for quitting smoking is. It will help you stay on track when the going gets tough.
For instance, if your goal is to improve your cardiovascular health, you may want to look up some statistics about smoking-related heart disease. As Johns Hopkins Medicine reports, risks of smoking are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers.
If you have children, your primary concern may be their well-being. In this case, you can try to find some inspiring stories of people who managed to quit smoking and improve their relationships with their kids.
Whatever your motivation is, make sure to keep it at the forefront of your mind whenever you feel like giving up.
Once you know why you want to quit smoking, it is time to set a date and start planning your quitting strategy. Generally speaking, people who choose a particular day to stop smoking and make a detailed plan are more likely to succeed than those who try to quit cold turkey.
When setting the date, try to pick a day that is not too far in the future but not too close either. Doing so will give you enough time to prepare mentally and physically for the big change. At the same time, you will not have to wait for too long before you start reaping the benefits of being tobacco-free.
As for the plan, it should include both long-term and short-term goals. For example, your long-term goal may be to stay smoke-free for at least a year. To achieve this, you will need to set some smaller goals, such as not smoking for one week or avoiding cigarettes in specific situations (e.g., when drinking alcohol or during work breaks).
Giving up smoking is not easy, and most people need all the help they can get. Fortunately, there are many resources available to those who want to quit this harmful habit.
One of the most effective methods of quitting smoking is behavioral therapy. This type of therapy will teach you how to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and identify and avoid triggers that make you want to smoke.
In addition to professional help, you can also join a support group or look for an online community of people who are trying to quit smoking. Being in touch with other people who are going through the same thing can make the process much easier.
If behavioral therapy and other methods do not help you quit smoking, your doctor may recommend using medication. There are several types of medications that can be used for this purpose, including:
- Nicotine replacement therapy products (e.g., patches, gum, lozenges) — These products provide your body with nicotine without exposing you to the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Over time, you will be able to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine you consume until you no longer need it at all.
- Bupropion (Zyban) — This antidepressant can help reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is usually taken for seven to 12 weeks.
- Varenicline (Chantix) — Varenicline is a medication that binds to the same brain receptors that are activated by nicotine. It makes cigarettes less satisfying and reduces withdrawal symptoms. This medication is usually taken for 12 weeks.
Smoking is often a response to certain triggers, such as stress, boredom, or anxiety. If you can identify your triggers, you will be able to find alternative ways of dealing with them that do not involve cigarettes.
For instance, if you usually smoke when you are feeling stressed, you may want to try some relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation. If smoking is a way of dealing with boredom, find a new hobby or activity that you can do instead (e.g., going for walks, playing sports, listening to music).
The Bottom Line – Steps To Stop Smoking
As a whole, quitting smoking is by far the most effective way to improve your health and prolong your life. The average smoker loses nine years of their life, which is one of the leading reasons you might want to avoid this terrible fate.
Of course, quitting smoking is not an easy task to accomplish. However, there is no doubt that it is well worth the effort. With determination and the right approach, you can beat nicotine dependence and lead a healthier lifestyle while enjoying a new sense of freedom.
There are a number of different methods that you can use to kick the habit. Some people choose a cold turkey method, while others rely on alternative smoking products to help them with steps to stop smoking.
But whatever you do, make sure that you focus on your overall well-being, not just your health.