Recent data from a smoking cessation survey showed that 53.9% of American adult smokers attempted to quit smoking within 2019 and 2020. Results from the same year revealed that 8.5% have succeeded with quitting smoking.
These reports signify the increasing number of Americans who are more aware of the health risks that come with smoking and are doing their best to overcome their tobacco dependence.
However, our previous post on substance withdrawal symptoms mentioned that individuals who immediately stop smoking may experience substance withdrawal symptoms. This may include difficulty in breathing, headaches, and dizziness.
It will also induce emotional and psychological symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, loss of appetite, and constant fatigue. Completely withdrawing from tobacco is challenging, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Here are five ways to make quitting smoking easier and start living a tobacco-free life:
1. Follow and Adhere to a Cessation Plan
The only way you can quit smoking is by constantly motivating yourself to avoid smoking cigarettes. To start your smoking cessation plan, you first need to identify your reasons for quitting as a motivator. Once you identify your purpose, remind yourself of it every time you feel like having a cigarette.
Moreover, learn how to deal with your cravings. If you know when you’re going to feel the urge to smoke, you can avert your attention and cravings to something else. It’s important to remember that a personalized quit plan is necessary since no single plan will work for everyone.
2. Find Support Groups
Another way to encourage yourself to remain tobacco-free is by having people around you who support you in your cessation journey. Tell your friends or family members of your intention to quit and let them know how you plan to achieve your goal.
By having supportive friends and family members with you, you can reduce the negative mental and emotional symptoms of substance withdrawal as they accompany you in making drastic but positive changes in your life. You can also join support groups to interact with others in the same boat as you or talk to a counselor for objective advice.
3. Use Nicotine Alternatives
Nicotine alternatives are another method of quitting smoking. Among the many options, nicotine pouches, lozenges, patches, and gums are the most popular ones.
For example, nicotine pouches are small white bags that you put under your lip, which will steadily release nicotine content into your mouth. They are great smoking cessation products since they don’t contain any of the harmful tobacco chemicals but will provide you with nicotine to satisfy your cravings. The pouches also come in various flavors and strengths depending on your preferences.
Another alternative is nicotine lozenges, which offer quick relief from cravings since they can be consumed like candy. They are convenient, so you can easily solve your urges anytime throughout the day, too.
4. Avoid Triggering Situations
It’s also important to identify your smoking triggers so you can avoid them during your cessation period. These triggers can be emotional, social, or activities that are part of your routine.
For example, if one of your social triggers is peer pressure, you can easily avoid this type of situation by not attending events where there are people who will likely be smoking.
5. Keep Yourself Occupied
Keeping yourself busy is one of the ways you can avert your attention from lighting a cigarette. An article on coping mechanisms to manage your tobacco cravings shared that finding an oral substitute, which can be in the form of mints, carrots, celery sticks, gum, or sunflower seeds, are suitable alternatives when you feel like your craving hits.
You can also keep your mind busy by reading a book or magazine, listening to music, doing puzzles, or playing a game. If you want to completely get rid of your tobacco dependence, you can pursue other long-term activities that will keep you occupied and forget about the habit of smoking, such as exercise.