It started with a single cigarette 10, 20, 30 years ago. What began as an innocent gesture, a way to fit in, has turned into decades of addiction. Now you’ve tried every quit trick in the book without any success. But don’t give up. You’re about to make a change that will give your lungs a breath of fresh air and your life a boost of energy you never knew was possible. That’s right – you’re going to quit.
Ask anyone who quit smoking how they made the change, and you’ll hear the same thing: “I was ready.” If you’re finally willing and ready to kick the habit, you will be able to do it, even though it seems impossible. However, if you’re still unsure about quitting or are only going to try because a family member or friend keeps prodding you to give up cigarettes, you should probably know that you’re going to fail. Yes, it is vitally important to have the support of loved ones when attempting to stop, but if your heart isn’t in it, your attempt will not be successful.
So before you decide to quit smoking, ask yourself whether you actually want to quit or you’re just going to give it another shot. There will be hard times of temptation and a seeming incapacity to avoid the next drag, so you have to be mentally prepared for the challenges. Once you’re sure you want to quit, keep reading to find out how to make it happen.
As mentioned before, having a good support system while you are quitting is essential. Once you’ve got that in place, it’s time to get down to work. The first step is easy. You have to determine how you want to quit. The second step isn’t so easy. You have to follow through with your chosen path. Here are a few ways available to help you quit smoking.
Cold Turkey – Loved by those who find success and hated by those who don’t, quitting cold turkey requires a smoker to put down a cigarette one day and never pick another one up again. Many who quit cold turkey pick up another habit to feed their need for putting things in their mouths. (Example: eating Tootsie Rolls, carrots, or other long, thin foods.)
The Patch – After a strong introduction to the general public and decent results, nicotine patches have proven their value to those truly dedicated to stopping their cigarette habit. However, as the patch gives a dose of nicotine to the patch wearer, it actually feeds the nicotine craving, causing some to become addicted to the patch as a result.
Alternative Therapies – For smokers looking for a novel way to move beyond smoking, there are now a number of alternative therapies available. From acupuncture and aromatherapy to meditation and even hypnosis, there is a therapy available to meet every smoker’s specific needs and wants.
Medication – Thanks to ongoing research, physicians can offer multiple medications to help you stop smoking. Regardless of which medication is chosen, the best results are found when the medication taker remains in close contact and counsel with health professionals who understand what it takes to stop smoking for good.
So Much Better
When you make the choice to stop smoking, your body begins to recover almost immediately. In a few years, it’s almost as if you never smoked at all. Here is a quick rundown of how kicking the habit will benefit your body.
20 minutes later, your heart rate drops.
12 hours later, your body’s carbon monoxide levels become normal.
2 weeks to 3 months later, your risk of a heart attack drops and your lungs begin working better.
1 to 9 months later, your lungs begin functioning better, your risk of lung infection decreases, and you don’t cough or suffer from shortness of breath as often.
1 year later, your risk of suffering heart disease drops to 50 percent of a smoker’s.
5 years later, you have the same likelihood of suffering a stroke as someone who never smoked.
10 years later, your risk for a variety of cancers decreases, and your risk of dying from lung cancer is 50 percent the risk of a smoker.