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Tips for Finally Kicking Your Smoking Habit

Kicking any habit is tough, but with dedication (and maybe a few substitutes) it can be done, and this includes smoking.

The first day without cigarettes is going to be difficult, the second day will probably be worse, but this is something that you can take one day at a time (and it gets easier after those first few days). You also need to be clear on why you are quitting; could it be to reduce the risk of disease? Or perhaps you want to keep your children safe from secondhand smoke? These reasons are important because they will keep you motivated.

Having a quit plan in mind can help, and according to WebMD, this should be something that works for you, but more importantly, you can stick too. Some people go cold turkey meaning they quit suddenly and without help from therapy or medicine and because of this, few are able to make the habit last. The publication notes that just 5 to 7 percent of smokers who quit this way are able to stick to it.

Other ways to try and quit smoking include behavioral therapy, which involves working with a counselor to help find the triggers and cut the cravings for cigarettes. As well as nicotine replacement therapy, which could be taking anything from gum to inhalers, or prescription medications like bupropion and varenicline, which help with withdrawal symptoms. Or perhaps an individual will find that a combination of more than one method will work for them.

Once you know how to quit, it will be easier to put the plans in motion. To do this, it’s helpful to avoid triggers, like alcohol, and find something to occupy your time instead. Smokefree lists many suggestions to keep yourself busy and keep the cravings at bay. These include exercise, chewing on gum or hard candy, drinking lots of water, breathing techniques, and keeping your hands busy.

The site also notes that it’s helpful to throw out all cigarettes and lighters and avoid places with smokers. Instead, go places where smoking is not allowed, drink lots of water and eat healthily, and try to change your routine.

Try not to give in to cravings and find help from friends and family members who can offer encouragement and support. But mistakes do happen and don't feel disheartened if you end up falling into the same habit, the important thing is you tried, and you can try again and be better the next time. It takes most people many times before they are finally able to kick their habit for good. Remind yourself of all the positive health benefits that happen when giving up smoking, and then set a new quit date.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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