According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2009-2010, 47 percent of smokers and 46 percent of smokeless tobacco users want to get rid of the addiction. However, the quit ratio is pretty low at barely 13 percent for people smoking cigarettes, and a miniscule 5 percent for smokeless tobacco users. This makes it evident that resisting the urge for a puff is indeed difficult. Smokers often wonder as to how to stop smoking. The good news, however, is that your craving can pass in a few minutes if you employ a few simple yet smart techniques. Here are ten of them:
1. Create a 'Distraction' List:
Create a comprehensive list of the things you can do to distract your mind when craving hits. These include taking a walk around the block, playing with your pet, washing your car, reading an interesting book, doing some gardening or cleaning your cupboard. You can also practice deep breathing to let the urge subside. Guzzle down a glass of chilled water or splash some cold water on your face to suppress the sudden craving. Keep the list handy whenever you feel the need to light up. Believe us, it will help.
2. Identify Triggers and Avoid Them:
Generally, yearning for tobacco takes its peak when you are in a pub or attending a party, and surrounded by people who smoke frequently. You need to recognize such trigger situations, and learn how to handle them tactfully. For example, to avoid cravings when partying, inform your colleagues or friends that you have given up. Try spending more time with non-smokers.
You may also feel the urge when talking to someone over the phone. In such a situation, keep a paper and pen handy to keep your hands busy with some doodling. This is a way of preventing tactile stimulations.
3. Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year, every six seconds, one death happens due to the usage of tobacco, both smoking and smokeless. If you don't want to be one of them, consult tobacco cessation professionals, right away. Experts can help you curb cravings with the aid of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) through the usage of products such as gums, inhalers, patches, lozenges and nasal sprays, all of which are easily available over the counter.
"Just after your morning cup of tea or coffee, if you feel the urge for a drag, simply escape into open air for a brisk walk or light jogging."
Alternately, consult a general physician and opt for anti-tobacco medications such as Varenicline or Bupropion. They affect chemicals in your brain that are associated with tobacco craving. A recent study revealed that Zyban - the major component of the medicine, Bupropion - helped 49 percent of people to quit smoking in less than a month.
4. Indulge in Physical Activities:
Physical activities will keep your mind busy and subsequently lessen the intensity to light up a cigarette. Just after your morning cup of tea or coffee, if you feel the urge for a drag, simply escape into open air for a brisk walk or light jogging. Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise will do you good. When stuck at home, you can try knee bends, squats, a few pushups or walking up and down the stairs. Motivate yourself by saying that the subsequent result of all these work outs will be a better and fitter you. If not in a mood to sweat it out, consider expending your energy on some of those household chores that you have been long procrastinating. Paint that worn out fence, polish that drab woodwork, or organize and file your documents.
5. Keep Your Mouth Busy:
Immediately munch on something when tobacco craving hits. Hard candies, sugar-free gums, nuts, dark chocolates, roasted almonds and sunflower seeds are some of the things you can use to keep your mouth busy, albeit in a healthy way. You can also try celery sticks or munch on some carrots for a more filling treat. When the urge for a puff intensifies, drink ginger juice to let the craving pass. The taste of ginger is pretty effective in case of withdrawal symptoms such as nausea.
6. Get Inspired from Success Stories:
Chandigarh is the first Indian city that became smoke-free in 2007. There were challenges and lack of concern from the authorities. Despite all odds, Chandigarh did manage to conquer the battle, eventually. Shimla, too, taking cue from Chandigarh followed suit. The success of the Chandigarh Smoke-Free project had been recognized significantly, and Hemant Goswami, the architect of the project was honored with the prestigious Global Smoke-Free Partnership Award for this initiative. Get inspired from such success stories and make your effort towards quitting cigarettes.
"Experts can help you curb cravings with the aid of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) through the usage of products such as gums, inhalers, patches, lozenges and nasal sprays, all of which are easily available over the counter."
7. Keep a Cash Box and Reward Yourself:
Do you know how much you can save per day by quitting cigarettes? If an average brand costs Rs 40 and you can't do without one pack a day, you end up saving Rs 40 per day which comes to Rs 1200 a month. Each time you take money from your wallet to buy a pack of cigarettes, simply dissuade from it. Instead, put the money in a piggy bank. Soon, you will save up enough to fund one of those video games or that watch which you have been long craving.
8. Consider Hypnotherapy:
When it comes to kicking the butt, hypnotherapy could be a great aid. It will help you get to the root of the triggers that are associated with your sentiments attached to smoking. A hypnotherapist generally uses visualization techniques to help smokers who want to quit. The professional may ask you to picture how easy it will be to suck in air sans smoking or how quitting cigarettes will add so many years (and good moments) to your life.
9. Opt for Honey:
Honey is a great remedy for smokers. Keep a jar handy on your office desk, and take a spoonful whenever you want to reach out for a drag. The essential constituents of honey, including proteins, vitamins and enzymes are immensely beneficial to kill the desire to smoke. Meanwhile, it's a great antidote to several ailments and comes with numerous health benefits.
"Generally, yearning for tobacco takes its peak when you are in a pub or attending a party, and surrounded by people who smoke frequently"
10. Switch to electronic or Herbal Cigarettes:
If you feel that you cannot do without the act of taking a puff, you can always consciously fool your mind by switching to harmless options such as electronic or e-cigarettes that are now easily available in India. If that seems tad expensive, how about some herbal puffs, complete with mint, strawberry and lemon grass flavors! Sounds cool,doesn't it?
Instead of wondering how to stop smoking, try these tips to be one step closer to a healthy lifestyle. Whether you succeed or not, remember that taking the plunge is always better than giving up.