Smoking can cause all types of cancers from throat, lung and mouth to bladder, kidney and pancreas. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, lung cancer and strokes.
It is said hat 70% of smokers want to quit but it is a big challenge. Where do you start? How do you go about it?
Every state has a quit line or you can call 1-800 QIOT-NOW. Family and friends can make a great support network. Make a list of hotlines, supportive friends that you can call when you are alone. You really have to decide that quiting is something you want to do. You have to want to quit because it is best for you not because you are being nagged by a spouse, family member or friend. Get to a point where you pity others who smoke instead of envying them. Not that you are being deprived but that you want to be a non-smoker.These thought patterns will help you to leave smoking behind for good.
Cigarettes will trick the brain into thinking they are essential to its survival. According to the U.S. Public Health Service medications and nicotine-replacement double and even triple a smokers chances of sucess.
And though these things can reduce the urge at the time they can’t stop a person from lighting up again months or even years later.
So to help you further you need to identify your triggers. Cravings are usually triggered by things you associate with smoking. This can be anything from a smell, person, song, or a certain time. So if you are cued to smoke after dinner or in the car make these times that you do something else instead. Brushing your teeth or walking instead perhaps.What are your most powerful cues? Times when others smoke or maybe when you drink.You will have to change these situations. You want to change your regular schedule as much as possible.
To break a habit you must do something differently about 30 times. So whatever change you make you must be able to do this repeatedly for about 25-30 times. And if you can delay the gratification for from 3-5 minutes the cigarette craving will pass. Recognizing that these cravings for that cigarette comes in waves and wait it out will help the intensity go down.
Exercise helps too. In 2006 an Australian study showed that 80% of smokers that combined nicotine replacement therapy with exercise sucessfully quit. This rate was only 52% in those that only used the nicotine replacement by itself.
Short term weight gain may be a problem but remember that the average weight gain is 5-8 pounds. This gain is because nicotine increases the metabolism and it take 6 months to a year for the metabolism to correct itself.
Never have just one. Don’t think that one puff will subdue that craving but actually makes it worse. Just one can turn into a full pack.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. Just as dehydration can set off food cravings it can also make us crave a cigarette. So instead of smoking drink plenty of water so we don’t have that one more time that our body is craving for a cigarette.
According to specialists you may quit 6-8 times before being successful. This is part of the process, each attempt encreases your chances of success the next time. Pay attention to what worked for you and what didn’t.
Don’t give up!