Nowadays most people are aware that smoking is a major cause of many diseases such as cancer, heart attack, and lung diseases. This is the driving reason for smokers to take a decision to quit smoking.
In spite of their will to quit, the main reason for not being able to achieve it is—nicotine being addictive, and changing a habit is hard. According to the research with the right approach, it is very much possible to kick the habit once and for all.
Here are a few most effective tips used to quit smoking.
1. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
Nicotine in cigarettes is very addictive, and people experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, tingling of hands and feet, mood swings, intense cravings, and difficulty concentrating. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an easier way for people who plan to quit smoking. It provides a low level of nicotine by easing some of the withdrawal symptoms.
NRT is available as:
Gum, inhalers, lozenges, and sprays are said to work quickly, but their effects only last for a short time. Whereas patches act by slowly releasing nicotine, which is absorbed into the body through the skin. The amount of nicotine for which the body is exposed gradually decreases until it is no longer required.
A combination of NRTs is proved to significantly increase the chances of success compared to using just a single product.
Smoking causes a feel-good nature, so when smokers quit, they experience anxiety and depression. Dopamine (a hormone) release can help activate the brain’s pleasure centers. Varenicline (Champix) triggers the release of dopamine thereby suppressing the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. It also blocks the pleasant effects of nicotine such as the person relapse and smoke.
Bupropion (Zyban) (an antidepressant) acts similarly to varenicline, by reducing the shortfall of dopamine thereby combating nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It is most useful in people who are concerned about weight gain as nicotine withdrawal may increase the tendency to overeat.
The modern technology of an e-cigarette (an electronic device) is it allows the user only to inhale nicotine without other harmful chemicals. Similar to other NRTs users can reduce the levels of nicotine liquid and can achieve smoking cessation. However, there is some controversy about this approach.
5. Allen Carr’s Easyway
Allen Carr’s Easyway is the world’s bestselling book on how to quit smoking. Many people have stopped smoking using post reading this book. This book helps smokers understand the common misconceptions about how and why they smoke and helps them to address the fears that keep them addicted to smoking.
Lobelia (also called Indian tobacco) helps people to stop smoking by acting similarly to nicotine (by releasing dopamine). This lobelia can in turn help to clear excess mucus from the respiratory tract of smokers which they experience as a withdrawal symptom. However, a lot of evidence and research needs to be performed to determine its accuracy.
7. Vitamins B and C
Stress is a common complaint with people trying to quit smoking. Vitamin B or “anti-stress” vitamins can help in balancing mood and reducing stress. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help in protecting the lungs as they are prone to oxidative stress due to the smoke from cigarettes. Supplementing these vitamins may help people to quit smoking.
8. Use an app to track habits
It is known that smoking is triggered in response to certain cues like smoking with your morning coffee. There are a variety of free apps online that can help track your progress on quitting smoking. These apps track smoking consumption and nicotine-craving cues. The information can be used to plan and reinforce a healthy habit in place of smoking.
9. Practice Tai Chi
One of the mind-body practices like Yoga is Tai Chi is an alternative drug-free treatment option for those trying to quit smoking. An additional benefit of Tai Chi is it improves blood pressure and reduces stress. People trying to quit smoking or trying to reduce should practice this three times a week for more effective results.
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