Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that easy to stop smoking. Only one in three people trying to quit actually do it. The strategies one can adopt to stop vary from individual to individual. If there’s no motivation to quit and no drive, it’s literally impossible to put an end to cigarette smoking. The good news is there are motivational interventions, whether we’re talking about media campaigns, books, or documentaries. In case these don’t help, one can choose a treatment.
However, replacing normal cigarettes with nicotine patches, sprays, and gum doesn’t always help because some people are addicted to the actual habit of holding a cigarette in their hand, and exhaling the tobacco smoke. Whether you’re trying to quit or you want to help a friend stop smoking, the following 5 strategies might come in handy.
- Find your motivation to quit and transform it into a goal
People that want to quit smoking usually vow on New Year’s Eve that starting the next year they will put an end to this bad habit. 80% of those that plan to quit eventually end up smoking the exact same number of cigarettes as they did the previous year. Why? Because they use December 31st as an excuse. They make plans and they put them on a list, but they fall back into bad habits because there’s nothing and nobody to keep them motivated. If you want to stay motivated, you need to set a goal. There’s no need to wait a whole year to make it happen. Do it right now!
- Read a book or attend a seminar on how to quit smoking
One of the most effective ways to quit smoking is to listen to someone who has already done it. Heavy smokers who managed to quit for good have meaningful stories to share. Their experiences can inspire you to quit as well. It won’t be easy, but it’s something to think about. There are lots of books that you might want to read that share impressive life stories of people who had serious health issues because of cigarette smoking. You may not realize it now, but when you smoke you affect the quality of life of everyone around you, specially your kids. And no parent wants their child to grow up and start smoking.
- Try gradual smoking
Gradual smoking has proven to be extremely helpful too. If you’re used to smoking one pack a day, make a promise to smoke only 15 cigarettes. Step by step, decrease the number of cigarettes. Do it at your own pace, and don’t jump from 15 to 5 in a week. Little by little your body will get used to receiving nicotine, and before you know you’ll end up smoking a few cigarettes a day. Find a hobby to keep you busy, go out and meet with friends in places you are not allowed to smoke. Learn to say “no” when people offer you a cigarette. Find willpower within you to quit, and eventually you will make it.
- Switch to electronic cigarettes
There’ a lot of controversy surrounding the e-cig industry. Nevertheless, there are people who have actually managed to quit. Unlike smoking tobacco, vaping claims to be a lot healthier. Since there’s no tobacco in electronic cigarettes, smokers might find it easier to lower the nicotine levels of their liquid or kanger nebox. Furthermore, doesn’t affect the health of people around you. In time, this might motivate you to stop smoking for good.
- Make a commitment to your body
A lot of people smoke to relieve stress. Others consider smoking a social habit. Regardless, you’re not doing any favors to your body when you light up a cigarette. If you’re committed to getting back in shape this year, you have to give up cigarettes too. This way, you’ll be able to exercise more; your skin will look better, and your hair will be brighter. It’s not something that will happen overnight. If you want results, you must work hard to get them.
Bottom line is, everyone can quit smoking. But some people have more willpower than others. Do you have what it takes to give up a bad habit that’s eating your body alive?