If you’re a smoker, its likely that you already know your habit is bad for your health. Effects on your health include increased risk of heart disease, lung cancer, high blood pressure, lung disease. To quit smoking can be quite the challenge. On average, it takes daily smokers around 30 attempts to successfully quit. So what is the difference between those who successfully end their addiction and those who don’t? The preparation of course! Whether you are on your 1st, 10th or 30th attempt, let’s look how to fight nicotine addiction and build a concrete foundation for your new smoke free life.
Assess why you are quitting
There are many health benefits to quitting smoking and giving up a nicotine addiction. Common reasons include:
- You want to be healthier
- You’re interested in having more time with loved ones
- You’d like to save money
As you focus your mind on your battle to stop smoking, add a personal touch to your quitting crusade. You may want to cut out your nicotine dependency so you can:
- run a mile
- go on a hike
- climb a mountain
- save enough money to go on your dream vacation or to pay off a credit card
- see your children graduate college
Increase your chance of success by writing out the most meaningful reasons quitting smoking is in your best interest. You might even make a vision board to help you stay motivated and to remember why a smoke-free lifestyle so important for you, your friends and family.
Need tools to help you get started? Check out this free cost savings tool that calculates your savings after kicking the butts. And click here for a timeline of what happens to your body once you quit.
Establish a support system
When you are surrounded by what you want to quit, it can feel nearly impossible to avoid it. This is why it’s crucial to your long term cessation that you surround yourself with loved ones who support your journey.
The key to a successful support system is knowing that they are not responsible for your health, goals and aspirations. Your support system will not be dealing with the implications smoking has on your body. They can offer support, but you are the only one who can quit.
Take these steps to build your support system:
- Tell your family and friends who are smokers and nonsmokers that you are quitting.
- Let them know what they can do to help.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your friends who smoke to not smoke around you.
- Actively avoid those who are unwilling to not smoke around you or who don’t want to help you succeed.
- Lean on your support system for distractions from nicotine cravings.
Alter your daily routine
Quitting smoking involves a deep dive into your daily routine and making moves to kick butts out of it.
Let’s say you’re in the habit of enjoying a morning coffee and a smoke with your significant other or a coworker, offer another option. Suggest taking a stroll around the neighborhood while drinking your coffee to go.
Or maybe your morning commute to work includes smoking. That first light up in the car quickly turns into those repeated puffs of frustration as you try to merge into bumper to bumper traffic. Then of course you tell yourself you need one more as you park the car and walk into the office. Oh – and of course your breaks are timed around your need to smoke and how many puffs you can squeeze in.
Does any of this sound similar to you? Take a few minutes to outline your smoking habits and what parts of your routine you can change:
- When do you smoke the most?
- What are ways you can change up your routine to avoid those habits?
- Can you take a different route to work?
- Is there a way to avoid frustrating routes in your commute that lead you to light up?
- How can you shorten your morning routine to cut out time for smoking?
- Can you take breaks in different areas that don’t allow smoking?
- How might introducing healthy snacks and nicotine patches help you get through your day?
Identify your smoking triggers
A trigger is something that provokes a thought or action. For example, if you are a social smoker and you see your friends smoking outside on their lunch break, it may trigger you to bum a cigarette and smoke with your friends. It’s important to identify these triggers before you quit smoking so you know how to deal with them.
Try these steps:
- Avoid areas where you smoke with friends. Instead, go to the gym with other coworkers and walk the treadmill or walk around the office building.
- Find a distraction. Cravings typically last about 5-10 minutes, so make a list of quick distractions and give your brain something to do besides think about smoking.
- Find healthy ways to destress. You may light up now because you think smoking helps you destress. However, research shows that “nicotine dependency seems to exacerbate stress.” Create ways to bring peaceful vibes into your day that don’t involve smoking or being around those who smoke.
Choose an option to help you quit
The advantage to living in this day and age is we now know how harmful cigarettes are and how addictive nicotine is. Because of this, there are an overwhelming number of free and easily accessible resources available to help you learn:
- how to fight nicotine addiction
- ways to manage withdrawal symptoms
- how to achieve a long term smoke-free life
These tools include common techniques to help you quit. Let’s look at a few of them to help you identify which option may work best for you.
Quitting cold turkey
If you are able to quit smoking without any outside aid or support, then more power to you! Unfortunately, many smokers try this as their first step and aren’t able to successfully kick the habit long term.
If you decide to try this method, choose a time in your life that is usually less stressful. For example, if you are an accountant and trying to quit cold turkey during tax season, the odds are stacked against you.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
This method includes using nicotine gum, nicotine patches, inhalers, sprays and lozenges. They work by giving you nicotine without the use of tobacco. NRT may be ideal for you if you’re nervous about the nicotine withdrawal. You’ll be replacing one nicotine method with another, so make sure to have a stop date for the replacement before you become addicted to that as well.
You may also want to talk to your health care team about other methods to help you quit smoking such as:
- Electronic cigarettes
- Herbs and supplements
- Cold laser therapy
- Mind-body practices
We can help you
At The Blackberry Center, you will have the opportunity to begin the journey to lifelong recovery in our state-of-the-art facilities.
If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with addiction, we can help. We use a personalized approach to addiction treatment. Our focus is on treating the disease, not the symptoms. We put our patients first every step of the way.
Our substance abuse-only treatment programs include detox, residential and partial hospitalization program. Our on-site rehab programs focus on a comprehensive recovery approach. They address your physical, mental and spiritual needs for optimal wellness. Your needs are unique. We treat you as such.
Reach out for help today
You may be struggling with long-term addiction. Or you may be fighting strong temptations. We can meet you where you are in your fight for sobriety.
We welcome you to our treatment center. From support groups to individual therapy treatment options, we are here to fight the battle with you.
Reach out to us online today. You can also call us at 888-512-9802
Kallie Shirling is a social media expert. She enjoys connecting with her audience on a personal level through social media outlets. In her spare time, Kallie enjoys photography, videography and all things creative.