There are numerous methods which can help you quit your smoking habit. First off, start with the basics. What triggers you to smoke? If you don’t know off the top of your head, try keeping a diary for a week or so. Do you smoke when you first wake up? Or do you smoke after meals? Maybe just for the last few minutes of your lunch break? During or after a stressful incident? How many do you smoke per day? Do you chain smoke?
Once you’ve identified what causes you to reach for your pack, you’re ready to choose how to quit. If you smoke relatively few cigarettes per day, usually less than ten, your chances of quitting “cold turkey” are greater than someone who smokes more heavily. Heavier
smokers will have a greater physical dependence on nicotine and have more difficulty with withdrawal symptoms than a light smoker.
Some insurance companies will actually cover prescription nicotine substitutes and other stop smoking aids. Many nicotine substitutes are designed to help replace behaviors that you may associate with smoking. Prescription inhalators simulate cigarette smoking to a certain degree, however the nicotine absorption is conducted by the mucous membranes in
your mouth and throat rather than in your lungs.
Are you the type of person who prefers to work alone or independently on a project, or do you prefer to work in group settings where you can receive advice from your peers and share the work? If you consider yourself to be one of the latter, then a smokers support group will probably be more effective for you than for the first type.
Have you tried to quit before and failed because of simply overwhelming withdrawal symptoms? Talk to your doctor about prescription nicotine nasal sprays, which are the fastest way of getting nicotine into your system. If you have allergies or asthma the nasal
spray may exasperate those conditions.
Do you just need something to keep you busy? Try a lozenge or gum nicotine replacement. However, when using lozenges or gum, try to stay away from acidic beverages like coffee or juice because they can reduce effectiveness.
The nicotine patch is a good way to taper off slowly. Most treatments are sold as 8-week programs but are not recommended for people with eczema or other skin ailments.
If you find yourself getting jittery when using nicotine replacers, then there are non nicotine alternatives out there for you. Certain antidepressants have been shown to be effective in quitting smoking and in managing the mild depression that may sometimes accompany quitting.
Which method you pick is ultimately up to you, but it’s a good idea to get an opinion from your doctor first. Your primary care physician can advise you about potential drug interactions and monitor the side effects of whichever you decide upon. No matter what
method you end up with, the most important factor in your success is your dedication to kicking butts for good!