Almost every smoker is aware of the health risks associated with smoking. However, this doesn’t make ending the harmful habit easier. Whether a person is a lifetime nicotine addict who requires a pack every day, or an occasional smoker, quitting is a tough task.
Tobacco smoking is both a psychological habit and physical addiction. Cigarettes have nicotine that provides a high feeling that is temporary but addictive. When the regular fix that nicotine provides is eliminated, the body experiences cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms. That’s because the feel-good impact of nicotine on the human brain is removed.
Essentially, the feel-good impact provided by nicotine is what makes smoking a reliable and quick way for boosting the outlook of a smoker, unwinding, and relieving stress. Smoking can also offer a way to cope with anxiety, depression, and boredom. Therefore, quitting requires a smoker to find healthier ways to deal with such feelings. That’s why some people turn to the use of the best vape pen as their healthier alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
But, even after finding an alternative to traditional cigarettes, quitting smoking can still be a challenge. Successful smoking cessation requires a plan. A person must follow a strategy that will lead to their successful quitting. Here’s how a person can quit smoking successfully.
Prepare to Quit Smoking
Once a person has decided to quit smoking, he needs to prepare for it. This is particularly important for people with severe nicotine addiction. To quit smoking successfully, a person needs to pick the day he wants to start the process. The date shouldn’t be too far to avoid a change of mind. However, it should provide time for preparation.
A smoker can opt to quit abruptly or keep smoking until his predetermined quit date and eventually stop. He can also leave gradually by reducing their cigarette intake until the quit date when they stop. It’s essential to choose a method that a smoker finds best for him.
To increase the chances of success, it’s important to tell family, friends, and co-workers about the quit date. It’s also crucial to throw away ashtrays and cigarettes. Also, decide whether to use medicines, the vape pens, nicotine replacement therapy or other stop smoking aids, or even go cold turkey. On the quit day, a smoker should avoid smoking altogether, stay busy, drink more juice and water, and avoid smoking individuals and situations that can act as triggers.
Trying to quit smoking without nicotine replacement therapy or medication, also called going cold turkey, is a popular way to stop. However, it does not work for everyone. It works for only about 6% of people that try to quit this way. Mostly, a person can underestimate the power of nicotine dependence.
NRTs help with the reduction of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. These are the major hindrances of a person’s attempt to quit smoking. The purpose of NRT is to wean the body off the traditional cigarettes. They do this by supplying a controlled amount of nicotine. At the same time, they protect the body from exposure to other harmful chemicals found in tobacco.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved NRTs like skin patches, lozenges, chewing gum, nasal spray, and inhaler. Nasal spray and inhaler are accepted on a prescription basis only.
Once a smoker decides to use NRTs, they should discuss their dose with their healthcare provider before they quit smoking. The chances of a person to stop smoking using NRT are high. However, it’s important always to remember that the ultimate goal is to end the nicotine addiction and not to stop smoking tobacco only.
If a person experiences weakness, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, mouth problems, skin swelling, irregular or fast heartbeat when using NRTs, he should seek medical attention immediately.
Use Non-Nicotine Medications
Only two non-nicotine-containing medications have been approved by the FDA for helping smokers quit the habit. These are varenicline and bupropion. However, a person that wants to quit smoking using these medications must talk to a healthcare provider. That’s because a prescription is required to purchase them.
Bupropion works on the brain chemicals that play a crucial role in cravings for nicotine. It reduces cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Varenicline, on the other hand, interferes with the brain’s nicotine receptors. It leads to a reduction in the pleasure that a person gets from smoking tobacco. It also reduces the severity of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
However, these drugs are associated with some risks. These include depressed mood, hostility, aggression, behavioral changes, and suicidal actions or thoughts.
Use Alternative therapies
Although there is no reliable scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness and safety, some people use alternative treatments to quit smoking. These may include vape pens, smoking deterrents, filters, tobacco sticks and strips, nicotine drinks, hypnosis, cold laser therapy, supplements, herbs, yoga, and magnet therapy.
It’s worth noting that electronic cigarettes shouldn’t be sold and marketed as quit smoking aids. However, some people see them as methods for quitting smoking. Currently, electronic cigarettes remain a heated research debate. Some researchers argue that they are less addictive while others have considered their use as a gateway to smoking.
Though preliminary reports indicate that vaping could be up to 95% less harmful in comparison to smoking, the habit is not entirely risk-free. Some researchers have even argued that using electronic cigarettes can be as dangerous as traditional smoking. That’s because the e-liquid that people use with these devices contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals. When some of these chemicals are vaporized, they can turn into carcinogens.
Smoking is a habit that is not easy to quit once a person has become a nicotine addict. However, many people have quit smoking successfully in different ways. All a person needs to quit smoking is knowledge of different routes via which people leave. It’s also crucial to get support from loved ones throughout the journey. And, whether a person decides to use the best vape pen for e liquid, non-nicotine medications, or other NRTs, a determination is required. That’s because cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms will always strike.