Last updated on July 11th, 2018 at 09:34 am
One of the hardest addictions to beat is known to be nicotine. Not only do you have to fight the physical and mental addiction of nicotine but this also drags you down with the habit formed over the many years of the nasty habit. About half a million people die from cigarette-related illnesses. Nicotine can be very lethal at the wrong doses. Quitting smoking and nicotine all together can be a sure way you will be progressing in life with your health. Quitting smoking all together will help you in many ways more than one. You will realize your mood changing, your body become healthier, your quality of daily activities will improve. With so much technology and resources out there, there is no reason to quit or at least try. There are many ways to supplement your quitting process. Try to write down why you don’t like smoking and you want to quit. Write down your goals like when you want to finally be nicotine free along with tracking how much money you are saving. This is a great way to keep you motivated and realize what a bad habit it has been. It will free up money for more hobbies or activities. Quitting cold turkey is not healthy nor has it proven to work so follow instructions from established organizations. With the help of so many outlets, there are now more smokers who quit than smokers today.
Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes and other substances containing nicotine is harmful to your health. What everyone may not know, are effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes and getting rid of your dependence on nicotine. This article will dive deeper into the subject of nicotine dependence and what you can do to break free!
Why Quitting Cigarettes Is Hard
Cigarettes contain a chemical known as nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance that leads to nicotine dependence and cigarette addiction. When you smoke a cigarette, the nicotine provides a pleasurable effect that releases dopamine, calms down your nerves, and it may also boost your energy, depending on how many cigarettes you’ve smoked. As time goes on, your body becomes more dependent on nicotine and it needs higher doses in order to experience the same effects. This is why it is so hard to quit cigarettes once you’ve been smoking them on a regular basis.
Smoking cigarettes over time also builds a habit. This habit can be what makes it hard for many people. For example, if you have a morning ritual of drinking coffee then having a cigarette, you will remember your cigarette after every coffee in the morning.
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline
When you first try to quit cigarettes you will experience something known as withdrawals. Withdrawals occur when you stop using a drug your body is addicted to. It responds with negative side effects. Here is a withdrawal timeline that shows you what occurs when you suffer from nicotine withdrawals.
Week One: Peak Symptoms
Week one is often the hardest for ex-cigarette smokers. The withdrawal symptoms that arise can vary from mild to severe. This depends on how long a person has been smoking cigarettes and how heavily they have smoked up to this point.
- Mental withdrawal symptoms manifest in the form of anger, anxiety, general irritation, issue maintaining focus and doing mental tasks. You may get headaches too. These symptom will last for the first week. They will begin to lessen as a nicotine user gets used to not having cigarettes. This may keep going and coming for the first week but it will go away.
- Physical withdrawal symptoms usually include an increase in appetite, abdominal pain, trouble sleeping, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, constipation, and lung problems. These are the results of the body trying to expel all the chemicals and irritants that were taken in while smoking. Increase in appetite is something that will be hard to curb. It’s not something that will go away anytime soon. You definitely will see a craving for sweets like cakes, ice creams and pastries.
Weeks 2-4: Tapering Off
The withdrawal symptoms that present themselves in the first week of the quitting process will generally start tapering off in two to four weeks. Mental symptoms are often the first to go. Physical symptoms will take a little longer until the body is able to repair itself from the damage. Cravings will often be the biggest issue during this stage and should be monitored so that you don’t relapse and begin smoking again.
Week 5+: Taking It One Day at a Time
Once you’ve made it through the first month of breaking away from your addiction, the only issue that you will have to struggle is cravings. Luckily, nicotine cravings are very easy to get through and last for less time than other drugs. Always have another hobby to do on hand and keep your mind occupied when you feel the urge to reach for a cigarette.
How to Make Sure You Succeed in Quitting Smoking
Success can be easy for some and very difficult for others. No matter which end you’re on, here are a few ways on how you can get through the quitting process.
Having patience plays a major role in your success. The withdrawal symptoms may feel unbearable and you may want to smoke a cigarette in order to ease the effects. Even after the effects are long gone, you may want to smoke just to satisfy your cravings or to get through a difficult time. No matter what your reason for wanting to smoke, have patience. Your cravings, your feelings, and even tough withdrawal symptoms will subside over time. You will thank yourself for waiting through the storm. The reward is better than the regret.
Rewarding yourself can be very helpful in helping you to overcome future cravings. For example, If you have a strong craving for a cigarette but you manage to make it through the craving and overcome it. In response to your victory, you should reward yourself by giving yourself a small treat when you make it through those cravings. For larger instances, such as making it past a certain amount of time without smoking, you can give yourself larger rewards.
Keep Your Mouth Busy
A lot of the issues you will experience during the withdrawal process will be mostly psychological. As a result, you may miss the comfort associated with putting a cigarette in between your lips and feeling it in your lungs. It is often helpful to replace a bad habit with a good one that satisfies the same need. For example, instead of smoking, you can start chewing bubble gum when you begin to experience cravings. Your brain will associate this new habit as a replacement for the old one and you will have an easier time quitting. However be careful because it’s also not the best idea to replace one addiction for another.
Keep Your Hands Busy
Much like your mouth, your brain will have an association with your hands and with smoking. Just like with replacing a cigarette with a pen. Fake smoking helps your mind think you’ve smoked. Stress balls, knitting, and other handheld trinkets are some of the most popular ways to help you to overcome the need to have a cigarette in your hands.
The truth about quitting smoking is that it may be a long, arduous process that will present some problems for you. Don’t give up! It will only make you stronger. Stay focused on every moment of success and you will realize that you are stronger than you believe. Positivity is key and it will help you make it through the entire quitting process.
Electronic Cigarettes Can Help You Quit Smoking Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are often used to help smokers wean themselves off of nicotine. Here is how electronic cigarettes can help you quit smoking.
If you plan on using electronic cigarettes to help you overcome nicotine dependence, make sure to start slow. A quick, sudden change in nicotine intake can make withdrawal difficult and may cause you to relapse and become discouraged in the quitting process. Begin by loading your electronic cigarette with a smaller dosage of nicotine but not too small that it begins making your experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Do Some Trial and Error With E-Liquids
Not all electronic cigarette fluids will help you to overcome your dependency on cigarettes and nicotine. If an e-liquid is not very enjoyable to smoke, even though it will help you quit smoking, you will probably turn back to cigarettes any. Try out different e-liquids until you find one that you enjoy that will help you get through the quitting process.
Try Different E-Cigs
Much like e-liquids, the quality of different e-cigarettes vary quite a bit. Whereas one electronic cigarette might be efficient and enjoyable, another may be built very poorly and may not provide an enjoyable smoking experience. Keep this in mind and test out your options before you stick to a certain e-cigarette or give up entirely.
Start Decreasing Your Nicotine Strength in Your E-Liquid
When you first replacing your cigarettes with electronic alternatives, you will need stronger nicotine amounts. As stated above, however, you will need to reduce the strength and amounts of your nicotine over time in order to successfully quit. Keep this in mind as you go along your quitting journey.
Quitting smoking can be difficult but it is definitely rewarding. By understanding more about why you are addicted to cigarettes, how your body responds, and what you can do to overcome your addiction, you will be better armed to deal with the quitting process. Remember, stay strong no matter what your experience may be and use these tips and you will be able to free yourself from nicotine addiction.
Keep a Craving Journal
Keeping track of your cravings is important as it often helps you identify what triggers these cravings. For example, someone who might go through several stressful situations throughout the day will often feel the need to turn to cigarettes to help them relieve their stress. When you identify these triggers, you are better able to stop them in their tracks.
Slowly Reduce Consumption as Temptations Go Down
As you begin to feel more comfortable smoking less cigarettes, take your daily or weekly consumption down. This will help your body ween off from wanting nicotine. As it begins to slowly leave your body, you will crave less.
Beating Nicotine Withdrawals
The biggest problem with withdrawal is that a lot of the struggle you will deal with will be internal and mental. Once the physical symptoms have subsided, a lot of the pull that you will feel to cigarettes will be a result of your mind believing that it needs nicotine to get through a given situation. Here are some ways to avoid this and make sure that you are successful in overcoming your nicotine addiction.
Smoking Cessation Programs
With the rise of the internet and different organizations, you have so many options of choosing a program that fits you. There are websites like SmokeFree, 1-800-Quit-Now, and the CDC. These will all help you guide through the process and can introduce you to many others who have successfully quit to give you more motivation along with insight. One of the most popular programs is www.Quit.com , which has a lot of information and articles along with smoking cessation products.
Smoking Cessation Products
There are many smoking cessation products out there but which one is right for you? Well there are different types like patches and gums. There are also nicotine decreasing tips where you put on your cigarettes filter to help filter out more nicotine. This can be purchased at a local smoke shop. I will break down the three main forms of smoking cessation products.
- Pills – Chantix is considered the best tablet/pill for quitting nicotine. It is doctor prescribed due to the strength of these medications. Your doctor who prescribes it will let you know more about. Be sure to ask him/her every question you have about it and let him know all of your past and present medical conditions.
- Patches – Nicoderm CQ is the patch that can be bought over-the-counter to be used as a smoking deterrent. When the patch is placed on a part of the body with minimal hair, it will provide low levels of nicotine to the body so you do not completely quit cold turkey. You should not be smoking while the patch is on. Do not wear more than one patch.
- Gum or lozenges – Nicorette is a gum or lozenges that contain nicotine. Like Nicoderm CQ, you do not use nicotine products while taking Nicorette. It is also not recommended to use Nicorette for longer than 12 weeks.
Lower your Nicotine Intake
This is one of the most proven techniques to help quit nicotine usage and cigarette smoking. Since cold turkey has the highest rate of relapse its best to ease off. For example, if you smoke a pack a day, smoke one less cigarette every day for the first week, then one more less the next week, and so on. You may look at this as a long process but nothing good comes overnight. Everything good comes from hard work and patience. You will notice how much of a long way you have come and how easy the process was. You do not need to run a sprint, but pace the marathon.
Hold You Accountable
One of the best ways to make sure you don’t fail is to have someone hold you accountable. When you are held accountable you do not seem to fail as much. This is probably because you do not want someone seeing you fail. They can also be of good support and help. Quitting is very hard so venting or talking to someone about it can be good through the journey. It will help take your mind off the cravings along with making yourself feel better. At the end of the day, you will have a much easier time quitting if you are happy with no weight on your shoulder. Stress only makes you want to smoke more. Also write down what cravings make you want a cigarette. For the first few months try to lower your intake on those also to help you get your mind off smoking. During when you would normally take smoke breaks, keep yourself busy for the next five minutes doing something else. The longer you go without it the better you will be.
Try an Electronic Cigarette Vaporizer
The last one is to try an electronic cigarette. Not everyone has luck with them but with the right tools and information you can. When starting out, get a starter kit e-cig to get the hang of things. When you want to upgrade your vaporizer, you can start looking at the Innokin iTaste MVP 2.0 or the Kamry K100 Mechanical Mod. They are all unique in their own ways with one being a variable voltage to change the volt of the battery to the atomizer. For an atomizer to give a clean and smooth tasting vapor taste, go with the Aspire Nautilus Tank.
The e-Cig juices are what contain nicotine but they can be the make or break of your entering the vaping world and breaking free from your habit of smoking cigarettes. The size of each bottle can vary from 5mL to 120mL and more! Nicotine strengths can also vary from 0mg of nicotine to 48mg, however it is not recommended to vape anything more than 24-36mg. If you are a pack a day smoker, you should start with 12-18mg nicotine strength. Also the harsher your cigarette the more you would want your strength to be. As far as flavors go, start off with a few like dessert, fruit, classic, and minty taste. You want to experience the different taste and feels of them before putting it down for good.
*Always remember to consult with your doctor.