Any doctor would agree that stopping smoking is the best way for any smoker to improve the quality and length of their lives. It may not be easy, but it can be done. And of course, like any other challenge you undertake, it is best to have complete information about the options you have for quitting smoking, what to expect while you're quitting, and who to run to for help to be able to successfully achieve your goal.
So, why is it difficult to quit smoking? This is because of nicotine. Nicotine is a drug found naturally in tobacco leaves. It is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Nicotine acts as a natural pesticide that wards insects away from munching on tobacco leaves. With this in mind, think of what nicotine can do to the human body in massive dosages.
Nicotine creates pleasant feelings that make a smoker crave for more nicotine. It also appears to act as a kind of depressant by deterring the information flow between nerve cells. The more a person's tolerance to nicotine gets, the more cigarettes they feel they need to smoke.
The next thing to consider is a good reason to quit smoking. Why should a smoker quit? You should be doing it for your health and for those around you. Smoking increases the chances of developing diseases like cancer, heart problems, lung diseases, among other medical complications. Not only does it put your health on the line, the people around you are at risk from inhaling second hand smoke.
Quitting smoking will help smokers live longer and have more productive lives. It will lower your chances of developing heart and lung diseases. It will, also, gradually bring your body back to a better shape than when you were still smoking. Immediate results of quitting smoking include: a better smelling breath, whiter teeth, no more bad smelling hair and clothes, and being able to taste food better.
The best way to quit smoking may be different from person to person as it depends on which method worked for them. For some, it is just one specific method. For others, it may be a combination of two or more methods. But whatever the case may be, you are the only person that can decide which of the following treatments work best for you. Here are some of the most commonly used treatment for smoking cessation:
1. Medications. Sedatives and relaxants may help a smoker get by the effects of the withdrawal symptom during the first week of quitting. These are prescribed by doctors and may be habit forming on its own. So always follow your doctor's prescribed dosing amount and schedule to avoid further complications.
2. Smoking aids. This may be in the form of nicotine patches or nicotine gum. The primary use of smoking aids is to prevent a person from relapsing due to nicotine cravings. And they may help by supplying small amounts of nicotine into the bloodstream in another form instead of lighting a cigarette. The success rate is often only 10-16%, as it doesn't address the real problem, the mental addiction. It's not so much the physical addiction.
3. Relaxation exercises. A smoker may enroll himself in yoga classes or practice deep breathing exercises to calm the nerves and reduce restlessness and anxiety due to the withdrawal symptom.
4. Hypnotherapy. A smoker willingly seeks the support of a qualified hypnotherapist where the mind will be opened to positive and suggestive ideas to help a smoker quit once and for all.
If you feel the urge to light a cigarette, wait it out and surely you'll find that these cravings will go away. It also helps to think back at all the hardships you've gone through just to quit. Would you put all that effort to waste for one cigarette?