We don’t know much about nicotine, other than the fact that it’s a psychoactive drug used in cigarettes that provides smokers with a mild euphoric feeling. We do know that it is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States and some research indicates that it’s just as addictive as alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and other recreational drugs. What most people don’t realize is that the average cigarette contains a minimum of 2 milligrams of nicotine, which is quickly dispatched to the brain within 10 seconds of inhalation.
This information may be enough to encourage smokers to quit- but how? Statistics show that most people who quit smoking usually pick it back up within the first few days. We do know that the first few days are critical to being successful at breaking the addiction due to withdrawal symptoms. However, when prepared, it will be much easier to get through this phase.
4 Tips to Quit
Below are 4 tips that can help you quit smoking once and for all.
Find a distraction
As a smoker, your mind and body are used to smoking at various times: with your morning coffee or evening adult beverage, while commuting to/from work, after eating, etc. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have several different items that can serve as a substitute:
- Sunflower seeds
- Chewing gum
- Carrot/celery sticks
- Coffee stirrers/straws
While these don’t give you nicotine, they may reduce the physical cravings of wanting a cigarette. As mentioned, smokers typically associate this habit with various behaviors throughout their day. Pay attention to the behaviors that trigger cigarette cravings so that you can predict them and be prepared.
Change/Improve your diet
When you quit smoking, your body chemistry will be affected. Therefore, you may want to make some changes/improvements to your diet to ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need.
Make sure that you’re drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day to help flush out toxins. This will also help keep you hydrated and refreshed. Since caffeine can affect your body’s chemistry and mood, consider drinking tea, milk, or juice instead of coffee for breakfast. Finally, avoiding junk food and making sure you’re eating healthy, well-balanced meals can regulate your salt and sugar consumption, which may help you quit smoking.
Exercise is a great distraction from smoking as well as a great way to benefit your overall health and well-being. Small, short bursts of physical activity can help you avoid those sudden cravings that come out of nowhere. Exercises such as push-ups, a quick walk around the block, riding a bike, crunches, and jumping jacks can help you gradually improve your health and break your habit.
Finally, one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated is to reward yourself for not smoking. In the beginning, at the end of a smoke-free day, allow yourself to have a treat. Then, move the reward to the end of the week, the end of the month, and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be completely smoke-free, and you will have replaced your cigarette cravings with positive, healthy rewards!
Smoking can be a hard habit to break. Research shows that nicotine is just as addictive as harder drugs. However, it is possible to break the habit with a little bit of work. Keep these tips in mind and the best of luck to you on your journey.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Krista Mounsey