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Ways To Quit Smoking You Haven’t Tried Before

Smokers who want to ditch their habit are likely to have used nicotine patches, chewed the gym, and sucked on lozenges in the past without any success. However, this doesn’t mean there is no hope for you and you are destined to spending your winter evenings in the freezing cold so you can get your tobacco fix while your friends are warm inside, as there are alternative therapies to try if you want to quit smoking for good. 

  1. Pick up an e-cigarette

Many things become addictive when smoking, from the craving for nicotine to the feel of a cigarette in your fingers. That is why vaping e-cigarettes, such as DIY vape juice kits, has long-been associated with helping people to quit, as they allow the smoker to continue with some of their well-established habits, without the dangerous effects of tobacco in their lungs. 

This is why Public Health England (PHE) reported last year that those who vaped as a way to quit smoking had success rates of between 59.7 per cent and 74 per cent in 2019 and 2020. 

  1. Download a support app

Breaking an addiction is hard enough, but even harder when you’re doing it on your own. So why not download an app that can support you on this journey?

The NHS Quit Smoking app, for instance, allows you to track your progress, tells you how much money you’ve saved to keep you motivated, and offers words of encouragement every day. It congratulates you for every milestone, and reminds you why you are quitting. 

After just two days without cigarettes, all the carbon monoxide has been removed from the body and lungs are getting rid of any mucus. Within three to nine months, your lung function would have improved by ten per cent, and in just a year your risk of having a heart attack would have halved. 

  1. Keep a journal

Before you can commit to quitting, you need to work out what your triggers are to smoke. Keeping a journal of the intensity of the craving, what you were doing at the time, how you were feeling and who you were with, as well as how you felt after smoking will help you understand your patterns of behaviour. 

“Many of us smoke to manage unpleasant feelings such as stress, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. When you have a bad day, it can seem like cigarettes are your only friend,” Help Guide stated.

If this is the case for you, you can then think of alternative ways of making yourself feel better instead, from exercising to meditating. 

You might notice things like alcohol, being around other smokers, and the time of the day are also triggers to lighting up. This is based on habit, and although this is hard to break, it can be done by creating new ones. For instance, you could replace booze with alcohol-free drinks; find non-smokers to hang around with for a while; or make yourself have some fruit at the end of a meal instead of a cigarette. 

According to research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology from 2009, habits take between 18 to 254 days to break. Therefore, persistence is needed, as it doesn’t happen overnight, but after some time, you’ll find you don’t crave a cigarette on a night out anymore. 

  1. Make a plan 

You might have been thinking about quitting for several weeks or months, but it is not something you can simply do on a whim, at least not successfully. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends making a ‘quit plan’ for the best way to guarantee success.

This involves picking a date in the near future, as this gives you time to prepare and come to terms with your decision. You should let family and friends know your intentions, so they can offer support and don’t tempt you to light up. You should remove any reminders of smoking in your home or office, such as ashtrays, lighters, cigarettes or matches. 

Write down why you want to quit smoking, develop coping strategies to deal with the withdrawal symptoms, and find support groups you can get in touch with when it gets tough. It is also a good idea to celebrate each milestone with a reward, so make a note of what you’ll do after 24 hours of being smoke-free, a week, a month, six months and so on. These will help you stay motivated and on track.