Smoking tobacco is responsible for the deaths around 6 million people around the world every single year, around 600,000 of those are from second hand smoke! Tobacco kills around half of its users (source below). Smoking is obviously very bad for your health yet millions of people worldwide continue to spend their hand earned money on it. It’s not as black and white as that, sometimes kids get peer-pressured into smoking and get addicted, or you start to smoke to fit in with your new group of friends etc and then the addiction kicks in. So the big question is, why is it so difficult to stop? Tobacco has nicotine in it and it is highly addictive, it stimulates the part of the brain associated with pleasure and who doesn’t love pleasure?

 

The withdrawal symptoms experienced when a smoker stops are difficult to deal with without proper help, they can include aches, pains, cravings, irritability, migraines and a sore throat. These are all symptoms you need to mentally prepare yourself for, tell yourself you’re in it for the long haul. The first few weeks will always be the hardest and it may take around 8 to 12 weeks before you stop being so reliant on smoking.

 

Let’s look at steps you can take to curb that addiction and stop smoking for good

 

Why are you giving up smoking? Know your reason and make your ‘why’ as big as possible

Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning, thinking that stopping smoking will be easy is a recipe for failure. It is hard, nicotine addiction is real, it actually rewires your brain to grow nicotinic receptors and the fix you need actually flows down the same sort of dopamine pathway that fuels the addiction for hardcore drug and alcohol addicts. Armed with this knowledge, regardless of your willpower, your reason to quit, whatever that may be, for your kids, your wife or your own general health, it needs to be a solid ‘why’. There’s a reason half of all adult smokers will smoke themselves to death, but not you!

Set yourself a time, today, now? Or maybe later on tonight, but stick to it

Once you have decided on a time/date, stop smoking and never look back, as mentioned before, it’s pretty simple to talk about it, but now is the time where all the fun and games stop. When you start getting the withdrawal symptoms, know deep down in your heart that technically, you’re not actually giving up anything. What does smoking do for you? It costs you money, it’s killing you slowly and you’re just a slave to nicotine. Everything about what you’re doing is negative, apart from how you’re feeling, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will come out a stronger, fitter and healthier version of yourself, once you beat nicotine you will have conquered an addiction that many people can’t.

 

Measure each smoke free day as a victory

Every day you are not smoking, your body is thanking you, it’s repairing its damaged cells and you’ll feel better. The withdrawals will come and go, that is to be expected, but when you feel good, enjoy it, embrace and look forward to the good times. There will be an emotional roller coaster you will ride starting with denial, going through to anger and depression. It will take you time to get to acceptance and complacency but again, this is something you need to prepare yourself for. The time frames on these will differ from person to person but it’s all a necessary part of recovery.

 

Regulate meal timings and all the activities you did as a smoker

Don’t change any part of your life around once you stop, if your work colleagues are going out for a smoking break, it may be difficult to go out with them, but if you’re used to taking a break from work around the same time, take a break, do something different. Have a cup of tea, maybe some fruit, this all sounds so lame compared to a cigarette and if you’re a smoker you’re probably thinking how ridiculous this suggestion is. The fact remains that you have a void to fill, you need to fill it with something otherwise you’ll want a cigarette.

Regulating your meals is important because a cigarette can make you forget all about your food and most smokers miss meals without even thinking about it. Nicotine allows you to skip meals without throwing your blood sugar levels up and down, so you need to spread your calories throughout the day. Eating more smaller meals would help alleviate any hunger pangs you may feel without your fix of nicotine.

 

Lower your intake of caffeine

Nicotine doubles how much caffeine your liver depletes, so once you stop smoking you won’t need as much as you did when you did smoke. This doesn’t sound that important but if you’re trying to fill your caffeine void with coffee you experience difficulty sleeping or even the ability to sit still as you won’t need as much as before.

 

We wish you good luck on your journey to a smoke-free life. It will be hard but we promise it’s worth, as with anything, it will take time and lot of courage. Stop today, you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Smoking is a bad habit, stopping will give you confidence, good health and more money. Make the decision to stop today. GSY

 

Sources

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/

http://whyquit.com/ffn/01d-nicotine.html