The Best Way to Quit Smoking - Alpha Male Nation
The Best Way to Quit Smoking, According to Science
Most people who have tried to quit smoking state that it is very challenging to do so. Most people who try to quit smoking tend to gradually decrease the use of cigarettes in the hopes of having an easier transition.
However, new research shows that this is not the most effective way to quit smoking. The results of these studies show that quitting cold turkey is the best option.
According to Nicola Lindson-Hawley, a postdoctoral analyst at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, individuals who stop smoking abruptly are more likely to succeed than those who reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke gradually.
The results of her study showed that people who quit smoking cold turkey were able to figure out how to stop the habit.
When carrying out the study, Nicola, and other specialists appointed about 700 adult smokers, and asked them whether they preferred to stop smoking suddenly or gradually. Each person set a quit day of 2 weeks after entering the study.
Half of the participants wanted to stop smoking gradually, a third wanted to quit cold turkey and the rest did not choose any one of these methods before the study began. Nonetheless, the inclinations of the participants did not influence the group they were sorted into.
The group that decided to quit smoking at once was given nicotine patches for the two weeks leading to their quiet day in order to make this process a little bit easier. The participants in the other group were instructed to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked for 2 weeks and cease smoking completely.
The group was provided with aids such as nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum to make it easier to cut back. After the participants quit, they were provided with group therapy.
The group that quit cold turkey was more successful. One month after the study, forty-nine percent of those who stopped smoking suddenly did not smoke again. Six months later, twenty-two percent of the group still had not smoked.
On the other hand, the group that quit gradually saw a reduced rate of success. One month after the study, 39.2 percent of the group still wasn’t smoking. After six months, 15.5 percent of the group still had not smoked.
According to Lindson Hawley, the difference in quitting attempts seemed to arise because those who preferred to kick the habit gradually struggled to do so. Smoking provided them with an additional thing to do, and this may have prevented them from stopping altogether. The researchers plan to conduct further studies to determine if there is a way to make gradual quitting more effective.
It seems so hard to quit because smoking tobacco is both a psychological habit and physical addiction. The nicotine from cigarettes offers an addictive and temporary high.
If you eliminate the regular fix of nicotine, your body experiences physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include hunger, trouble thinking, coughing, depression, headaches, trouble sleeping, feeling tired, agitation, lightheadedness, and dizziness.
Due to the feel good effect of nicotine on the brain, you may have become used to smoking as a way of coping with stress, anxiety, depression or boredom. Many people start smoking again in order to eliminate withdrawal symptoms.
In addition, the habit of smoking is ingrained as a ritual you engage in daily. It can be an automatic response to smoke when you are drinking your morning coffees, during your commute home or when taking a break from school or work.
If you have relatives or friends who smoke, smoking may have become a part of the manner you relate with them. However, thousands of people are still able to stop smoking. You can be successful too. In order to quit smoking, you need to address both the addiction and the routines or habits that go along with it.
Once you have decided to quit smoking completely, going cold turkey is the right way according to science. There are a few tips you can follow in order to succeed.
One of the essential things you need to do is to set a quit date within the next two weeks in order to have adequate time to prepare yourself without losing the motivation to quit.
You should also prepare your mind. Although it is not easy to quit smoking at once, having a positive mindset is helpful. One of the great ways to prepare our mindset to quit smoking includes reading books on self-confidence and meditating about what you have learned.
Your goal should be to get yourself into a state of being positively sure that you can kick the habit. It is also important to be committed to quitting smoking.
The other essential thing to do is to prepare yourself for withdrawal symptoms because you will experience them once you stop smoking. You should also engage in activities that are known to raise the release of serotonin and endorphin in the body such as working out and eating chocolate.
Preparing your surroundings is also essential. The hardest part for people who decide to quit smoking cold turkey is staying away from friends who smoke. In order to achieve success, you should stay away from places that usually cause you to feel the urge to smoke such as bars.
It is also advisable to let your relatives and friends know your plan to stop smoking and inform them that you need their encouragement and support. Looking for a friend who also wants to stop smoking is also a good idea because you can assist each other to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.
Anticipating a plan for the challenges you will face as you quit smoking is also essential. The majority of people who start smoking again, do so within the initial three months. You can make it through these three months by preparing ahead for common challenges like cigarette cravings.
Removing tobacco products from your home, vehicle and workplace is also vital. You should throw away all your cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters, and matches. Washing your clothes and other items that smell like cigarette smoke is also important. You can shampoo your vehicle, clean your carpets and drapes and steam clean your furniture.
Another thing you can do is to speak to your primary care physician about your decision to quit. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to assist you cope with withdrawal symptoms or suggest other alternatives to cigarettes.
Another alternative is to use products like nicotine lozenges, nicotine patches, and nicotine gum to make the quitting process easier.
The other essential thing to do when trying to quit smoking is to identify the things that make you want to smoke. You can keep a craving journal to help you know your triggers and patterns.
For a week before your actual quit date, you may keep a log of your smoking. Note the moments when you crave a cigarette each day. You should note the time, how intense the craving was, the activities you were engaging in and who you were with. The other things to note include how you were feeling and how you felt after smoking.
If you often smoke in order to relieve overwhelming or unpleasant feelings like depression, stress, fear, loneliness, and anxiety, you should remember that there are healthier and more effective ways to deal with unpleasant feelings.
Examples include meditating, exercising, practicing breathing techniques and using sensory relaxation strategies. For most people, one of the vital aspects of quitting smoking is finding alternative ways to deal with these difficult feelings without having to smoke.
Learning to cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms is also essential. These symptoms usually last for a few days to a few weeks. Although these symptoms are unpleasant, they are only temporary.
They will subside in a few weeks as your body flushes out the nicotine and other toxins. When you crave for a cigarette, you may distract yourself by taking a brisk walk or taking a bath. If you feel irritable, you can use relaxation techniques.
If you feel tired, you can take a nap. If you find it daunting to concentrate, you may reduce your workload. If you feel that your throat is dry, you can deal with this withdrawal symptom by drinking a lot of fluid or using cough drops.
Another way to manage cigarette cravings is to distract yourself by doing things that will get your mind off of smoking. Examples include watching TV, reading a book, washing dishes and taking a shower among others.
You should also remind yourself why you stopped smoking. Focus on the health benefits, enhanced self-esteem, improved appearance and the money you will save by kicking the habit. It is also essential to get out tempting situations quickly. In addition, you should reward yourself whenever you are able to deal with a craving. This will keep you motivated.
If you find that you have started smoking again, you should not be too hard on yourself as most people deal with this issue a number of times before they quit completely. If this happens, you should analyze what happened right before you began smoking again. Your goal should be to identify the trouble spots or triggers you ran into and create a new plan that eliminates them.