How You Can Quit Smoking For Good

Many people find smoking cessation extremely challenging. While 30-50% of Americans attempt to quit smoking yearly, only 7.5% succeed.

A few factors contributing to this include the inability to manage withdrawal symptoms, extreme dependence on cigarettes, or the lack of knowledge or access regarding cessation initiatives.

If you want to be part of this demographic, here are some ways you can quit smoking for good:

Stay away from triggers

Certain circumstances or specific emotions like stress or anxiety can trigger your smoking habit. Given this, staying away from triggers is essential as you begin quitting. With consistency, this will develop into a habit that will stay with you for the long term, helping you avoid smoking for good.

For instance, some people smoke during social events due to peer pressure. Others light up a cigarette after a hard day at work. If you find yourself in these situations and are trying to quit, do your best to avoid them.

For example, you can inform your friends of your triggers during nights out so they know to smoke away from you. If you're stressed, try letting out steam with healthier activities like baking or taking a warm bath. That way, you potentially reduce your chances of reaching for a cigarette.

Try nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

NRT involves using smoke- and tobacco-free nicotine products to gradually reduce cigarette consumption while curbing withdrawal symptoms. As a result, you prevent relapsing as much as possible, improving your chances of quitting the habit permanently. A couple of NRT products you can try include nicotine pouches and patches.

As a product that is steadily growing in popularity, nicotine pouches are discreetly placed between your gum and upper lip for nicotine absorption. These are a top choice in the US market because their minute size guarantees discretion.

Brands like ZYN and On! also offer a wide range of pouch flavors—like berry and coffee—and nicotine doses ranging from 2mg to 8mg to suit the needs and preferences of different users. Meanwhile, nicotine patches are non-oral products that stick to the skin.

One reason the patch market continues to grow is its convenience: patches are waterproof and last for up to 24 hours. Patches from Habitrol and Nicoderm CQ come in varying doses to suit your needs.

Take smoking cessation medication

Your doctor can specifically prescribe you smoking cessation medication to help you along. These work in the brain to reduce your cravings or alter how you receive cigarette chemicals. With regular supervised use, you can successfully stop smoking altogether. Among the FDA-approved medications you may be given are Bupropion and Varenicline.

Bupropion comes in 150mg tablets. You can take these to curb your withdrawal symptoms and avoid relapsing. Meanwhile, Varenicline comes in 0.5mg and 1mg tablets and is designed to take away the pleasure you get from smoking.

That way, you'll avoid it since it doesn’t reward you with the same enjoyment it did before. In the near future, you may also want to ask your doctor about cytisine—a naturally-occurring plant-based alkaloid that recently underwent its first randomized, placebo-controlled study in the US. Once it's available, you may prefer to take it as part of a natural smoking cessation strategy.

Call a quitline

A personalized quit plan considers your needs and current situation regarding smoking cessation, making it more effective for quitting. You can always request to alter it to fit future lifestyle changes, making it even easier for you to quit for good.

To get one, call a smoking quitline. These connect you with an experienced cessation counselor who will help you devise a personalized quit plan, offer support and advice, and provide self-help materials. They can also suggest coping strategies to help with cravings, provide free NRT products, or connect you with doctors for prescription medications. The national quitline is 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Each state also has its own line, which you can find on your state’s government website.

Build a support system

Having a support system of loved ones and fellow quitters will help you navigate your quitting process, remind you of your progress, and be with you through difficult moments. Knowing that other people are rooting for your success can make all the difference in encouraging you to drop smoking and never look back.

That's why support systems are also encouraged for those with drinking problems: they effectively reinforce motivation.

Make sure to inform your peers that you’re quitting smoking, so they can help you. You can also tell them ways they can support you, such as helping you identify smoking triggers. Lastly, you can get support from ex-smokers by joining national smoking cessation groups, like ​Nicotine Anonymous and Freedom From Smoking.

Quitting smoking can be difficult. Still, it’s possible to kick the habit for good with the practices discussed above.

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