How to Quit Smoking for Good

If you have ever attempted to quit smoking cigarettes, you’ve obviously found out how difficult it can be. The famous American author, Mark Twain once quipped, “to quit smoking is one of the easiest things in the world, I must have done it over a dozen times.”

Although it will take much effort and hard work on your part to quit smoking, you can do it. Or maybe you would like to consider the alternative which is nearly half of all those who don’t quit smoking will die as a result of health problems that are directly related to smoking.

Research has indicated that most people who smoke want to quit. Sales of books written to help people quit smoking have soared by over 260%.

Even though we realize that it is very difficult to quit smoking you shouldn’t be discouraged. Remember that millions of Americans have given up the smoking habit for good. In fact it is estimated that over 46 million Americans have quit smoking permanently.

Before you know it, after you decide to stop smoking, you can be free from smoking forever. You want to keep reminding yourself that it is never too late to kick your tobacco habit.

You May Be Wondering Where You Begin to Quit Smoking

Before you begin down the road of quitting smoking, you must first ask yourself if you really want to stop. If you can honestly answer ‘yes’ to this question, you are now ready to begin your journey towards becoming an ex-smoker.

As you begin your journey you will discover there are a number of ways to quit smoking and many programs available to help you quit. Keep in mind that there is no one perfect way for you to quit smoking but there will be one way or a combination of ways that are best for you.

How you are able to cope with stress when you quit smoking will profoundly affect your comfort level and your ability to remain an ex-smoker.

To help you to increase the chances of success, you may perhaps consider including medication, such as is available in a nicotine replacement therapy program for instance. However not everyone who makes the decision to quit smoking will want or need to use these certain medications.

However, although many smokers are able to quit smoking without using nicotine replacement therapy, it is found that most folks who attempt to quit without NRT may not be successful on their first attempt.

You will find that there are many stop smoking aids that can assist you with quitting smoking such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches, prescription medications such as Zyban and Chantix, herbal stop smoking products, stop smoking hypnosis, and acupuncture.

Most folks who decide to quit smoking may decide to use a combination of these methods and we will discuss some of them further on.

Harmful Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking

You’ve heard it all before I know, smoking cigarettes is bad for you. If you didn’t already know this you wouldn’t be here, right?

But Just How Bad is Cigarette Smoking?

When asked why they want to quit smoking, most people stated their concerns for their health as one of the top reasons for wanting to stop smoking. Quitting your tobacco habit is singularly one of the most important decisions you can make for yourself. Your decision to stop smoking will not only improve your health but also the health of people around you.

We are all aware that smoking cigarettes can result in a large number of health problems including lung cancer. However what most folks don’t realize is that smoking cigarettes is a major risk factor for many other kinds of cancers as well. These include cancer of the mouth, larynx, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, cervix, stomach, pancreas, and even some leukemias.

It is estimated that one out of every ten moderate smokers and close to one out of every five heavy smokers (exceeding 15 cigarettes a day) will die of lung cancer.

Unfortunately for men smokers, we are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer compared with women smokers who are 12 times more likely to develop lung cancer than are non-smokers.

Of those smokers who do develop lung cancer, men who smoke are 10 times more likely to die from lung cancer than those folks who do not smoke. Also lung cancer is a bigger killer of women that is breast Cancer.

And even if you survive the lung cancer for now, the surgery to remove diseased lung and the ongoing chemo treatment will not be pleasant.

And let’s hope you don’t live in Canada – the wait for treatment might just kill if you are needing rapid treatment.

However lung cancer is not the biggest killer of a smoker – its circulatory disease.

Smoking plays a large part in increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and various other lung diseases. Smoking has also been found to increase your risk of periodontal disease which results in swollen gums and teeth that fall out.

Smoking has also been found to increase one’s risk of age related loss of vision. Smokers have a much greater likelihood of developing the eye disease called macular degeneration.

The surgeon general has for decades been reporting on the health risks that are associated with smoking. The surgeon general concluded in 1990 that quitting smoking has major and immediate help benefits for both men and women of all ages.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself to dramatically improve your life and health.

Stop Smoking Medications

The use of nicotine replacement therapy such as found in nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, or nasal sprays, can be quite helpful in your attempt to quit smoking. The inhalers and sprays are only available by prescription but the nicotine patch and gum are available without a prescription and over-the-counter at pharmacies or online.

Nicotine patches and nicotine gum help to lessen the severity and discomfort of nicotine withdrawal symptoms by controlling the release of nicotine into your body. This can help you deal with the physical component of nicotine addiction and can drastically reduce your withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine gum and nicotine patches may also enable you to control your weight as well while you are involved in your smoking cessation program as nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant. This may keep you from having to rely on a restrictive diet, appetite suppressant drugs or diet pill to help you not gain weight.

The nicotine patch is applied like a Band-Aid to your skin and slowly releases a controlled amount of nicotine into your system throughout the day. The patch can be used by folks who may have problems with gum due to dental work or may find the gum inconvenient due to school or work place restrictions.

The nicotine gum is chewed slowly to release nicotine and then placed between your cheek and gum until another nicotine urge arises. Nicotine gum can also replace some oral gratification that cigarettes may have given.

Other Quit smoking aids include Zyban (same active ingredient as Wellbutrin) which is a prescription antidepressant, bupropion hydrochloride, and is thought to work on the reward/withdraw receptors in your brain.

Another prescription stop smoking drug that has been designed exclusively as a stop smoking aid is Chantix. Chantix is not an antidepressant so is not subject to the same types of side effects.

Also some natural herbal products like the herbal patch, which works like the nicotine patch but uses herbs instead of nicotine and herbal drops which are added to water or your favorite fruit juice, have shown promise in helping to alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms, reduce your irritability, curb your hunger, and eliminate toxins from your body.

Hypnosis as an Aid to Stop Smoking

Some folks find that hypnosis or hypnotherapy can be helpful to help them stop smoking. Hypnosis is a suggestion to your subconscious mind while your body and mind are in a deep state of relaxation.

Research seems to suggest that stop smoking hypnosis can be successful in helping folks to quit smoking and if visiting a hypnotherapist seems a bit inconvenient, self hypnosis tapes and audio CDs are available online.

The Medical Hypnosis and Counseling Center believes that while not a cure all, hypnosis can play a long-term role in keeping folks away from cigarettes.

Having Trouble Quitting Smoking? Get Helpful Advice Here!

It can be a challenge to quit smoking, no matter how much will-power you have. The truth is that people still feel attached to cigarettes even when they want to quit. If you are seriously committed to the objective of quitting smoking permanently, the following article has plenty of useful advice for you.

When you decide to quit smoking, find a support group to help. Support groups can help you learn how to cope with the physical and emotional challenges you may experience while quitting. People who have been in your position can help guide you through the process. There may be a support group for people who are trying to quit in your community. Look at places such as community colleges or churches.

Rather than smoking, substitute the habit with healthy exercise. As the side effects of smoking begin to leave your body, your energy levels will increase, and your workouts will improve as a result. You’ll not only benefit your body with the exercise, but you’ll also find that you have less cravings as your body cleanses itself.

If your willpower tanks and you feel a strong urge to smoke, pick up the phone. Let a family member or friend know that you are struggling. Not only does the act of talking on the phone distract you from your craving, you’ll also receive valuable social support that will last much longer than the phone call.

Create a special spot and set aside the funds you would have used to purchase cigarettes. When you’ve made it to a year smoke-free, take the money and buy yourself something you want. The cost of cigarettes is so high that you might even get a micro-vacation!

Smoking may have previously provided you with a form of stress relief. If so, it’s time to find another way to de-stress! Yoga or meditation are known to relieve stress and are so much healthier than smoking.

Being well rested will help you stay on track and away from harmful cigarettes. If you start feeling enormous fatigue and tiredness, don’t fight it. Sleeping can be, for some who are trying to quit, a good way to make time pass more quickly. Further, getting sufficient sleep hastens the body’s recovery process.

Plan out rewards over time as you quit smoking. The money you would have spent on cigarettes will add up to a lot of savings. Save that money to buy yourself a treat. Having a tangible reward for not smoking will help motivate you to continue.

Taking things slowly can help you quit smoking. Rather than focusing on never having a cigarette ever again, just concentrate on not lighting up today. A shorter timeline can make your journey more manageable, both physically and mentally. As you get further along, you can start to lengthen your goals.

Getting in shape will help you to kick the habit by distracting you from cravings and restoring your health. Exercise is a proven stress-reliever, and people who are quitting smoking will need stress relievers! If you are new to exercise, start slowly by taking walks every other day. Before beginning an exercise plan, discuss this with your doctor.

Hypnosis can help quit smoking. Many individuals have quit smoking with the use of a licensed hypnotist. Entering a deep trance while hearing positive affirmations may work for you. The effect is that smoking does not seem so powerful and appealing once you awake from the trance. This makes quitting for good much easier.

Cravings will hit you, even a few years after quitting. Stay away from that first puff! Remind yourself of how hard it was to quit, and ask yourself if it’s worth the trouble to do it again.

To fight any withdrawal symptoms, consider exercising more. When you exercise, your body puts out endorphins. These potent neurochemicals also help reduce withdrawal symptoms. In addition, exercising can be a useful distraction to get your mind off your cravings. While other people will be gaining weight when they quit smoking, you will be in even better shape than before you quite smoking if you use this method.

Now is the time to stop smoking. Do not try to set up a date to quit for the future, make today the day! If you quit now, your chances of contracting a serious or deadly illness, due to smoking, will be significantly reduced. Quitting smoking will also protect your family, as they are likely being exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke.

You need to accept that you’ll need help to quit. Do not alienate friends and family, as you can use these people for support. You may also be interested in joining a support group. These people can offer empathy, as well as helpful insights into the process.

Let your family and friends know that you are quitting smoking. You will then be motivated to stick with it, because those closest to you will offer support and encouragement. Give them permission to challenge you, and to constantly remind you of why you are quitting, and how much your better your life will be because of it.

Acupuncture is an alternative to nicotine patches or medication. If you don’t want to use prescription aids to help you stop smoking, acupuncture may be for you. Acupuncture is the Oriental art of dealing with everyday issues using very fine needles placed at strategic parts of the body. This includes the ability to deal with cravings. The pain is minimal and the results can be fantastic.

Allow your family and friends to know that you are giving up smoking. Your loved ones undoubtedly want to support you, and they can serve as reminders of why quitting is so important. Having people around you that builds a support system has got to be one of the best ways you can quit smoking. Setting up your support system helps you be much more likely to achieve goals related to quitting.