When it comes to quitting smoking, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach. While one strategy may work successfully for one person, it might not work for another.
Approximately six percent of people are able to quit smoking on any given attempt without medicines or other help. For the remainder of those individuals who are looking to quit, certain strategies are needed to lend a helping hand.
Looking to increase your odds of kicking this addictive habit for good? Use the following factors listed below:
● Pick a starting day that will be relatively stress-free.
Many people smoke when they feel stressed and smokers often report that cigarettes help relieve intense feelings of pressure, anxiety, or tension. So, which day is the best day to quit? It depends on your personal situation. Choose a day that involves the least amount of stress; perhaps it’s a day that is least busy at work, or one that will allow you to be surrounded by friends and family for support.
● Recognize your triggers and stay away from locations where you might be tempted to smoke.
When you smoke, certain activities, places, and people are linked to your habit. Also known as ‘triggers’, these factors can greatly influence your desire to smoke - especially while you are attempting to quit.
Try to foresee your smoking triggers ahead of time, and develop a game-plan for how you can deal with them. For example: spend more time with non-smokers, visit restaurants or patios that don’t allow smoking on the premises, and avoid caffeine, which has been proven to trigger nicotine cravings.
● Determine which strategy will work best for you
If you are looking to give up smoking, you likely know that there are countless ways that can potentially wean you off this addictive habit. Some experts promote the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help wean you off of tobacco, while others believe in using willpower and cutting the habit all at once, cold turkey.
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to note that those who stop smoking before the age of 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half, compared with those who continue to smoke.
So, which strategy is best for you? Trial and error might be the best way to find out. For a fast and effective method, try quitting cold turkey. If the withdrawal symptoms are too intense for you to handle, then turn to an NRT option as a second strategy or attempt. Popular NRT options include: inhalers, lozenges, the patch, gum, etc.
Remember, nicotine is very addictive, and usually several attempts are made before a smoker can successfully quit for good. Stay positive, be determined and before you know it, you’ll be smoke-free.