Nearly everyone who has become addicted to smoking has tried to quit at one time or another. Here are 10 ways to quit smoking that can get smokers started down the path of quitting for good.
- Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy. For those who have trouble with the 2 to 6 weeks of intense cravings after quitting, headaches and other withdrawal symptoms, sometimes doctors recommend nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT for short. They come in options such as nasal spray, microtabs, the patch, gum, lozenge and inhalers. This option may not be right for some people with certain medical conditions.
- Quit cold turkey. For those with a determined spirit, quitting without any help from medications, therapy or plan may work.
- Try Behavior Modification. Redirecting cravings when they occur is the cornerstone for behavior modification. Emotional triggers, such as everyday stress, can lead smokers to grab a cigarette. When redirecting, the smoker intentionally puts something in place of the cigarette. Food is a common replacement, but a hobby, such as reading, knitting or woodworking, can serve just as well.
- Join a support group. Joining in with others trying to quit is one way to share struggles and see successes. Nicotine Anonymous is a source of information about these meetings.
- Quit together. Leaning on a friend who is also quitting lends a spirit of understanding and helps many quitters with accountability as well.
- Consider craving management medication. Drugs such as Chantix can make managing cravings easier, but there is a long list of side effects. Some doctors consider these drugs to be a last resort.
- Set a Quit Date. For many, setting a quit date gives a finality to the habit and a marker in the road to quitting.
- Seek alternative therapies. Acupuncture, laser and hypnotherapy may not be in the mainstream, but they work for some people.
- Try Herbs. There are a few herbal blends that are specifically designed to help with withdrawal symptoms. You can find these at your local natural food store or herb shop, but be sure you ask your doctor and a qualified herbalist before using these medications.
- Do it for yourself and your family. Some smokers are able to fend off thoughts of smoking again by concentrating on how it is improving their lives and the lives of their families.
Remember to talk to your doctor before starting any drug, therapy or change in lifestyle. He or she has insight to your particular health condition and may help you avoid therapies that may not be indicated for a person with your medical history.
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