How Is Your New Years Resolution To Quit Smoking Going?
At the start of every year millions of smokers around the world attempt to end their addiction to cigarettes. By the second week of the year most tend to fall off the wagon. While vaping is a good companion for this battle it isn’t the only one nor is it yet the most common. Smokers can turn to their doctors for prescription medications, they can turn to their pharmacies for patches and lozanges, and even states like New York often run campaigns offering these options for free. As the desire to quit unwinds many tend to dual use their smoking cessation product alongside their regular cigarette. It might creep with a few puffs here, a stressful afternoon that turns into a full cigarette and then right back to their same volume and in some cases a higher volume of cigarette consumption.
So what can you do?
Smoking is a kind of an escape for some, a crutch for others, and a rush to many. Your body still hasn’t cleansed itself of the chemicals found in cigarettes and while the levels dwindle down your body craves them more. The action of smoking, the mechanical process of smoking, and the associative triggers for smoking are still there and they are just as strong. So where do you go now? Perhaps you’ve regressed and picked up a cigarette again, don’t consider it a defeat, consider it a setback. Remember why and for whom you are quitting this addiction. A defeatist outlook isn’t conducive to your progress and as someone who quit several times as a new year resolution I will give you some tips.
- Oral Fixation: A few things that help here would be chewing gum, eating fruit, selecting a long lasting candy type that you can suck on for extended periods of time. Sugar tends to help curb the craving and the oral action of chewing or sucking can offset some of the mental aspect of that oral fixation. While doing this find something engrossing that occupies your attention. Make sure it is something enjoyable that doesn’t raise your anxiety levels. For me looking at old family pictures, taking the dog for a walk, or even something as simple as tossing a ball at a wall and trying to catch it with one hand could distract me.
- Drink Lots of Water: I cannot stress this enough, flushing your system is absolutely vital. Maintaining hydration levels optimal helps with your salivary glands as well as occupies both your mind and your mouth with an action that is a polar opposite of what you crave.
- Eat New & Old Favorite Foods: An encouraging motivator is tasting foods in a manner you might not have in years. While your sense of smell and taste are nowhere near healed, after two weeks you should already be able to smell and taste things differently than you have while being a smoker. Try some new foods, try some old favorites slowly consume the food and spend some time focusing on the taste. You will definitely notice a change there if you focus. This is a great motivator because it helps you understand the experiences you have denied yourself over the years by being a smoker and you can see the potential change in quality of life you’ve missed out on.
- Support System: Find a community, a social media group, a friend, or even a therapist to speak to. Speaking about your challenges in this process is very helpful and often it’ll help you understand that you are not alone in this battle. Being able to communicate with others can provide reassurances you might need or the encouragement to continue. Even if you choose to not quit via vaping the vaping communities on reddit and other forums are very supportive towards people looking to quit and will not judge you if you choose to not take the same approach as them.
Remember, you aren’t quitting because it’s a new year. You are quitting cigarettes because you want a better, longer, and more enjoyable life. It took me 7 years of unsuccessful tries to finally end a 20 year smoking habit, it wasn’t without its challenges and while I did so with the help of vaping, I regressed and returned to smoking temporarily until the desire to quit was really there. It is not defeat, it is a challenge, and a fight you must be ready to take on head on.