The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has time and again stated how there are more annual deaths attributed to smoking than car accidents, suicides, murders, HIV, and drug or alcohol use put together. Cigarette smoking is an expensive and unhealthy habit that has been known to cause chronic lung conditions, heart disease, cancer, and in worst-case scenarios death.
While maintaining a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and a proper diet can strengthen the mind and body, it cannot however assure a person is safeguarded against diseases that are related to smoking. The only concrete way to avoid these health issues is to simply quit the habit altogether.
Addiction to cigarettes has become so problematic that by 1988 a Surgeon General by the name of C. Everett Coop published reports on how nicotine dependence can be compared to a drug problem, particularly heroin. Just like any addiction, the recovery of a nicotine addict is dependent on the smoker’s desire to overcome the habit. Recovery varies from person to person and the extent to which they have been smoking. Here are a few tips all smokers can implement in order to quit smoking.
Tips to try so you can quit smoking in 30 days or less
As previously mentioned, ditching a nicotine habit requires commitment and perseverance. But with a few tweaks in your lifestyle and routine, it is achievable.
A pros and cons list
Compiling a list of pros and cons is an effective method for reaching an objective and informed decision. There is no special tool or technique needed in creating a pros and cons list. For the most part, it only requires a piece of paper, a pen, and a few minutes of your time.
As one would expect, the process requires a smoker to put together a list of all the positive and negative benefits you experience whenever you smoke. There is no limit to how many or how little each category should contain. The major point of the exercise is to have a visual representation of how much smoking affects your day to day life and health.
For instance, most smokers not only have to deal with the major health risks that come with this proclivity. In many social environments smoking is frowned upon. And to a certain degree smokers are discriminated against. This is evidenced by designated smoking sections in restaurants (typically outdoors) , office buildings, homes, and other establishments.
Lighting up a cigarette is costly. In certain areas, a pack of cigarettes can easily cost $10. Thus, a person who can consume a pack or more per day can easily shell out $300 a month just to feed this habit. Not to mention that some states impose hefty fines for smoking especially in public spaces. Anyone caught smoking can be asked to pay fees, participate in community service or even spend some time in jail. These are just some examples that can be included in the list. Once satisfied, take the time to review what is written down under each heading. From here it is easy to surmise how smoking has very little “benefits” compared to what you stand to gain when you quit.
Slow and steady wins the race
The biggest mistake a smoker can do is to quit cold turkey. Ask any type of addict and they will tell tales of withdrawal. More importantly, abruptly quitting is the least effective method. Very few individuals have found success this way. Instead of immediately quitting, go slow by minimizing cigarette intake until you are able to go without a daily smoke.
It is said that it takes 21 days to form a habit or in this case to break one. Let’s say you typically smoke 20 cigarettes a day. Begin day 1, smoking 20 sticks. On the second day go down to 19, and then to 18 on the third day. Just keep taking out one cigarette stick until you reach the 20th day. By the 21st you may not even look for cigarettes and by then on you can live smoke free.
As children, many are raised on a reward system. This can still be applied to adults who want to stop smoking. Along with the 21 day exercise consider setting aside money each day for every stick you did not light up. You can delegate whatever amount you want or put aside the equivalent cost of each stick you do not smoke. Make it more fun by having a designated jar for this. At the end of 21 days you can use the money saved up to treat yourself to that game you really wanted, coffee, a new shirt, etc.
Get busy with a hobby
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Now with that said, a lot of smokers attribute having free time as the main reason they’ve gotten into smoking. Thus, it only makes sense that keeping yourself preoccupied is by taking up a hobby. Either immerse yourself in an existing one or look into a new activity that you can enjoy.
Hobbies like knitting, soap making, painting, and cake decorating are popular choices. Activities like bowling tournaments, hiking, and dance classes are good alternatives to keep you active, healthy and entertained. You can also use the time to cross off items on your home improvement projects, overall it’s a win-win situation!
While a craving may hit you from time to time, you can always put it off until you are done with your project. Odds are, by the time you have completed your yoga session or participated in volunteer work hours have gone by and you no longer have the urge to reach for a stick.
Living cigarette free
No quick and easy shortcut exists for anyone who wishes to get passed an addiction, including a nicotine habit. Although the road to a cigarette free lifestyle does not happen overnight it does not make quitting unachievable.
Look at it this way, your first smoke began with a single stick until it gradually built up to what it is today. Therefore, logic would dictate that the best way to quit is by simply reversing the process as illustrated by the 21day technique.
Regardless of the method you choose to quit smoking, the most imporant part is to comitt to it. Funnel your time and energy into productive and even charitable causes and in no time you will find yourself free from your nicotine addiction.