What is the number one obstacle to quit smoking..?
It is the widely held belief that smoking cigarettes provides genuine pleasure. So, quitting will make you miserable for the rest of your life, right?
As a smoker, you love your cigarettes, no matter how much they make you cough and splutter, puff and pant after a short walk, or leave a foul taste in your mouth.
Hot on the heels of this self-perpetuating myth is the perception that nicotine withdrawal is extremely difficult and painful. The reality is that it is not nearly as hard as you think. Here are some tips on how to cope with packing it in.
Set a date to quit smoking
Most quitting methods advise smokers to set a firm future date on which to light up for the last time. There is no good logic behind reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke during this time, so carry on smoking as you would normally. Trying to cut down in advance would just make you more anxious.
Set yourself up for success
A positive attitude contributes to the success of quitting. Remind yourself regularly that you’re not giving up anything – you are, in fact, gaining improvements in your health, recovery of your senses of taste and smell, and freedom from addiction.
It is also useful to identify triggers that have you instinctively reaching for a cigarette. This could be getting behind the steering wheel of your car, or picking up a ringing phone and automatically reaching for a cigarette.
Smoke a ceremonial last cigarette
When quitting day arrives, make a vow to yourself that you are now a non-smoker. As you smoke that last cigarette, close your eyes and concentrate on it. Keep the smoke in your mouth for as long as you can before inhaling. What does it taste like? Pretty vile, no? Promise yourself that you will never, ever smoke another cigarette.
Throw away your cigarettes
Walk the talk and don’t keep any cigarettes or smoking paraphernalia around the house. By hanging on to these, you are not taking your commitment to yourself seriously. Also avoid having a puff of someone else’s cigarette. This prolongs the withdrawal and will only serve to enforce the perception that you are losing something.
Adjust your diet
Some foods feed the illusion that cigarette smoke is pleasurable. A US study has found that meat is one of those food groups. Cheese, fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, show it up for the foul toxin that it is.
Many, if not most smokers, are also coffee drinkers and associate a cup of coffee with smoking. Smoking halves the effects of caffeine, so without nicotine, the caffeine rush doubles. Symptoms of caffeine overdose include headaches, palpitations, dizziness and nausea – the exact symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal. Switch to herbal tea during the early days of being a non-smoker and gradually reintroduce coffee again after a month or two.
Do it alone
You’d think that it would be easier to stop smoking if you do it with a partner or friend. You’d be thinking wrong. Experts warn that doing it in pairs dramatically increases the likelihood of your failing in your attempt, because it is all too easy to convince each other that the experience is too difficult and that you need to smoke.
By LINDA CILLIERS