Quitting smoking is a massive decision, so it should never be taken lightly. Whether you’ve been a smoker for half your life or just a few months, it’s never too early or too late to kick the habit. Of course, those who have been smoking for longer and smoke a higher number of cigarettes per day will usually find the process of quitting much more difficult than those who haven’t been smoking for very long, or those who only smoke cigarettes infrequently.
But, it’s important to keep in mind that nicotine is a very powerful drug, and just a couple of cigarettes can quickly leave you feeling reliant on it; even new or infrequent smokers can experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.
Because quitting smoking is such a mammoth task, it’s no surprise that smokers who go into it without a plan often fail fairly quickly. To improve your chances of kicking the habit for good, it’s essential that you have a clear game plan in mind that you can stick to and get the best results. We’ve put together some top tips to help you plan your quit smoking journey and increase your chances of putting down the cigarettes for good.
Tip #1. Seek Out Support:
The more support you have available to you when you first begin to quit smoking, the easier the whole process is going to be for you. For example, mention to your family members and close friends about your plans to quit before they come into fruition; this will prepare them for being there for you and watching out for any signs that you’re going to slip back into old bad habits.
In addition, you may also want to speak to your doctor or other health professional about getting professional support for quitting smoking. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can be incredibly useful for getting to the bottom of the reasons why you smoke, and changing your future behaviors to make quitting easier. You can also find stop smoking peer support groups that are arranged by medical professionals; speaking and spending time with others going through a similar situation to your own can be very helpful for getting tips and advice.
Tip #2. Set a Quit Date:
Once you have decided that you are going to quit smoking, there’s no need to throw out the rest of your cigarettes and go cold turkey straight away, unless of course that’s what you want to do. However, bear in mind that quitting smoking suddenly and without a plan in mind can greatly increase your risk of turning back to the cigarettes in the near future.
Instead, setting a firm quit date will help you to better prepare for the task ahead of you and make it easier for you to stick to your guns about quitting. Rather than putting all the pressure on yourself to quit straight away, having a clear date for beginning your new journey to becoming a non-smoker will enable you to mentally and physically prepare yourself. For example, you’ll be able to get rid of any cigarettes and other temptations, along with cleaning your home and clothing to get rid of the smell of smoke before you begin to quit.
Whilst you wait for your quit date to approach, you can also make use of the time by getting to understand your triggers for smoking. It’s a good idea to write these down whilst you’re still smoking, since this will help you get a better idea of what to avoid once your quit date arrives, such as drinking coffee or eating a large meal.
Tip #3. Stock Up on Nicotine Replacement:
Even if you are planning to quit by going cold turkey, it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan just in case the nicotine withdrawal symptoms become too much for you. Although it’s always good to get rid of your reliance on nicotine completely, the good news is that it’s highly unlikely that the drug by itself is going to cause you any serious health complications.
Most nicotine replacement therapies, such as cheap vape juice, nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, and nicotine sprays are medically approved and safe to use in order to combat the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal when you quit smoking. Having some on hand will help you to resist the temptation to smoke another cigarette when you quit if you experience any withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to handle.
Tip #4. Find a New Hobby:
When you quit smoking, one of the best ways to take your mind off the habit and help yourself to deal with cigarette cravings is to immerse yourself in something new and exciting that will take up your energy and focus. Finding a new hobby before you quit smoking means that you’ll have something to do straight away.
When it comes to choosing a new hobby, there are many different options that you might like to consider. Starting a hobby that you can do as part of a group is a great idea, since this will also give you the chance to meet new people and form new friendships, allowing you to find extra sources of support throughout your journey. Who knows – you may even be able to meet people who are also quitting smoking themselves, or individuals who have successfully quit smoking in the past and are able to provide you with helpful insights and advice into how they did it.
Along with that, it’s also important to have a list of new, healthier habits that you can try to replace smoking with, such as listening to music, exercising, or even meditation. Make a list of the different things that you can do instead before you quit – this will make it easier for you to turn to better habits when you get the urge to smoke. Be as prepared as possible – for example, you can have a quit smoking playlist ready to listen to!
Did these tips help? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.