Smokers know the pleasure that comes from that one last puff. The head rush, the smoke, the cigarette between the fingers, the smoke breaks, social smoking and the taste of tobacco are the things that most smokers get addicted. So how does one quit smoking?
Smoking for many is a stress reliever, and for many, it is a pleasure. But what not many people will admit is that they are addicted to not only tobacco but the act of smoking itself. Tobacco is half a trillion-dollar industry.
With being an industry where trillions of dollars flow, the tobacco industry is also responsible for a lot of deaths each year. According to the WHO (world health organisation), tobacco kills half its users and 8 million die year from smoking.
Not only is smoking cigarettes lethal to the smoker, but it also harms the passive smokers, those who are around the smoker. According to WHO (world health organisation) out of the 8 million people that diet each year, 1.2 million people die from second-hand smoke.
1.3 billion people smoke tobacco all around the world, and 80 per cent of the people belong to low- and middle-income countries. It is in these countries that tobacco related diseases and illness are at its highest.
The result of tobacco smoking with millions of deaths each year is proof of how lethal it is.
A few reasons to quit smoking:
CDC (centres for disease control and prevention), cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer in the U.S, and 80 to 90 per cent of the deaths in lung cancer are from smoking cigarettes. CDC further states that people who smoke 13-30 times more prone to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the most common disease and the most common form of cancer in the world. Ninety per cent of lung cancer patients contracted cancer from smoking cigarettes. To avoid putting your lungs at risk and avoid getting a life-threatening disease is reason enough to stop smoking.
There are many other reasons to stop smoking like premature ageing, diseases and nervous system disorders, acidity, depression, reduced fertility, and so much more. You will find all the reasons to stop smoking here. (internal link to another article on ‘reasons to stop smoking’)
There are more reasons to quit smoking than to continue it. You know you need to stop, and you know you want to quit.
Here are ten tips to quit smoking:
Be clear on your ‘why’?
This is perhaps the most critical thing to quit smoking. Ask yourself ‘why do I need to quit smoking’? It may be because you have a health issue or because you want to let go of your addictions or some other reason. You know in your heart it is not good for you but is that knowing enough? Maybe it is. What is a deeper reason that you want to stop smoking?
Get clear on your ‘why’. Make a promise to yourself and decide to keep that promise every single day.
Trying to go cold turkey and quit smoking all at once can be a shock to your system, and your withdrawal symptoms might make you feel like you are going crazy. There is no need to be so aggressive and hard on yourself unless it is an urgent life and death situation like you have been diagnosed with cancer.
If not, then quit gradually. Anything done slowly and gently is beneficial in the long run. If you smoke ten cigarettes in a day, start by bringing it down to 5 per day. Keep up the five cigarettes per day for some time, then slowly come down 3 per day, then one per day and then quit. You can take 6 months to do this or a year. It’s alright because to quit a habit you have had for many years will take at least a year.
Johann Hari, a writer and journalist, rightly said, “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it is connection”. We get addicted to something because we lack connection to ourselves and others. We lack love and nourishment through meaningful relationships.
Cultivate your relationship to your inner self, spend time with yourself and love yourself in place you need to be loved. Simultaneously, cultivate a meaningful and heart-based relationship with people who bring out the best you and understand you.
When you feel a genuine connection, the need to give in to addictions reduces and eventually goes away.
Yoga and meditation
Another way to quit smoking is by developing a steady yoga and meditation practice. Yoga and meditation help in cultivating a relationship with self and understand the inner workings of the mind and soul.
These ancient spiritual practices are excellent tools to quit smoking. Yoga helps your body become strong, and meditation helps your mind become stronger, clearer and peaceful.
Mind your company
If your close friends or family members smoke, try not to spend too much time with them as it is easier to fall back into old habits. Let them know that you are in the process of quitting smoking. Once you are stronger and confident that you won’t smoke, you can go back to hanging out with them.
You can also make new friends who are not into smoking as this will motivate you and even help you meet and know new people.
You can also use quit smoking apps to help you let go of this habit.
Try therapy and ask for help
Another idea on how to quit smoking is by going to therapy. Talking about your struggles and being guided by trained psychologists and therapists can help you quit smoking and provide you with the support you need.
If you don’t feel like going to therapy, ask for from your friends and family members. You can ask them to motivate you and hold space for you if you wish to share your feeling and struggles that come up during the process of quitting.
Find new ways to relax
Since for many smokers, smoking is a stress reliever and way to relax the mind; the addiction becomes harder to let go. To quit smoking, you can find new ways to relax, like go swimming, listen to music, do breathing exercises or go for a body massage.
Find something that helps you relax and lean into it when the craving for a smoke arises.
Research suggests that being active cuts craving and releases the feel the good hormones in the body and brain. Go for a walk on the beach, go for a run or give your body an enlivening five-minute stretch to help you stop smoking.
Try smoking herbal blends
Herbal blends are made from healing herbs and plants that have a positive effect on your body, mind and soul. Many of these herbs are gifts from mother nature that help you sleep better, bring more clarity and help you feel more grounded.
They are profoundly helpful and one of the best ways to quit smoking. They can be rolled and smoked like cigarettes but do not harm you in any way at all as tobacco does.
In the process of letting go of tobacco, you are also figuring out each day how to quit smoking. Chances are you will fail many times before you entirely quit smoking. It is essential to keep trying and never give up the determination and desire to quit because one day, you WILL succeed.
In this context, be a quitter! Being a quitter is a good thing for you.
Sophie is a health enthusiast and believes that natural cures are the best cures. She believes that mother nature has cures for almost all diseases and living life holistically is the way forward.
Along with being a writer, Kajal is a health and wellness coach. It is her life’s mission and passion to spread the message of natural and holistic health.