The secret to beating smoking once and for all
In the past, cigarettes were one of the most accessible habit-forming substances available and clever advertising help to increase their appeal. The habits of young people were and still are influenced by growing up in households where one or both of their parents smoke. However, research and medical evidence has shown how detrimental smoking can be and has led to several ‘Stop Smoking’ campaigns over the years and the development of drugs, help groups offering support and advice and artificial aids to help people give up.
Some succeed while others find it far more difficult to kick the habit. An important element to a successful outcome when the decision has been made to stop smoking is to want to stop. Those people who try but are not completely committed to stopping or are doing it under pressure are less likely to succeed. There are some simple things that will help anyone embarking on what will be a difficult path to beat smoking once and for all.
Making the Decision to Stop
Be clear about why you want to stop smoking. If it helps, write down your reasons. It may be that you have health concerns for yourself or your family. It may simply be that smoking has become far too expensive. Whatever your reason, it needs to be one that matters to you. It may be helpful to write down some of the benefits stopping will have to remind you why you have chosen to give up smoking.
Having done that, set a date to stop and stick to it. It is best to stop completely rather than cut down gradually. Research indicates that levels of nicotine in the body do not change much as people trying to cut down smoke more of the cigarette because they are not smoking as many. Do some research on the effects you can expect once you stop. It is likely that you will experience withdrawal symptoms and these can include craving, headaches, irritability and possibly even nausea as the levels of nicotine in your body decrease. Research shows that these symptoms are at their worst 12 to 24 hours after stopping and decrease over a period of 2 to 4 weeks.
Things That Will Help
There are several non-prescription nicotine-replacement aids such as patches, gum, lozenges, sprays or tablets that may help you get through the process of stopping. There are also some prescription drugs that may help such as bupropion and varenicline. If you suffer from serious side effects from these, however, you should consult your doctor and possibly even specialist solicitors.
Try, if possible, to avoid situations that will trigger your need for a cigarette. These will the situations that in the past had you reaching for a cigarette, such as when you drink alcohol or coffee or when you are stuck in traffic in your car. The advice is to recognise those situations and formulate a plan for avoiding or overcoming the temptation. Some find that physical activity can help to stave off the strength of the craving. Going for a jog or a walk or even walking up and down a couple of flights of stairs if you are at work are tried and tested options. You could also try chewing on raw carrots, celery or nuts to relieve the need for something in your mouth.
There is a lot of support available for anyone who chooses to stop smoking. It can be done and the benefits are immeasurable.
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This article was contributed by Lloyd on behalf of Lawyers 4 Patients.