There are almost 1.1 billion people who smoke cigarettes worldwide, and as many as half are projected to die due to smoking-related diseases. Considering smokers’ increased likelihood of developing illnesses, it’s unsurprising that many are trying to quit tobacco to sustain their health, but many fail. A study by Patient Preference and Adherence on smoking cessation reports that only 7% of smokers who attempted to quit smoking were successful for 6-12 months. Most of these failures stem from smoking-related barriers— both logistical and emotional. Many reported the biggest challenges to stopping smoking are the lack of willingness to quit and withdrawal symptoms, including craving cigarettes, mood swings, and stress.
When smokers quit, almost all face withdrawal symptoms that leave them tempted to reach for a cigarette. A smoker may feel physical symptoms through the tightness in the throat or belly, or they may also be triggered to smoke by everyday events like drinking or socializing. Rather than give in to these cravings and relapse into smoking, it’s crucial that you prepare yourself physically and mentally to set yourself up for a successful, healthy quit.
Listed below are some ways you can overcome tobacco cravings and quit smoking for good.
Identify triggers to avoid or replace with
For many, you often associate routine activities or settings with smoking, such as night outs with smoker friends, breaks between work, or even while having your morning coffee. These situations act as triggers that tempt you to smoke, so it’s important to understand and learn how to avoid them or find healthier replacements.
Since each trigger is unique per person, it’s recommended that you log into a tracker or journal every time you crave a cigarette to help you recognize patterns in your routine. Some details you can include are how intense your cravings are, where you were, and how you felt at that moment. Through your notes, you can find better alternatives to help you avoid or replace any cravings. For example, if you enjoy cigarettes and coffee together, try keeping your hands busy by writing to-do lists or texting. If you drive, replace your glove compartment’s cigarettes with hard candies or chewing gum. These healthier alternatives can help you beat triggers and fight cravings.
Try nicotine replacement therapy
Stress from everyday life can sometimes make physical cravings extra challenging to deal with, which is why going cold turkey isn’t for everyone. To help ease withdrawal symptoms, consider nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Products like nicotine pouches can taper off withdrawal symptoms by introducing small dosages of nicotine over a long period— making them more manageable. They provide a tobacco-free experience, and as demonstrated by the nicotine pouches available from Prilla, they come in varying strength levels up to 8mg that will satisfy different levels of cravings. Aside from being clean and stainless, these pouches come with a wide range of flavors, including mint, citrus, and cinnamon, that leaves you with a fresher breath.
For a long-lasting dosage, Habitrol nicotine patches can deliver nicotine over 24 hours before needing a replacement. One of the best features of these nicotine alternatives is that they are discreet and can be used almost anywhere— making them a good option for people wanting less inconvenience. You can slowly overcome cigarette cravings by reducing your nicotine consumption over time.
Engage in physical activity
Most people know that smoking is especially harmful to lung health, often making breathing hard. On the other hand, exercise is a good way to increase lung capacity and boost overall health. A scientific review on exercise and NRT aids by Frontiers Psychiatry found that aerobic-based exercises have boosted smoking cessation rates, especially in conjunction with NRT. In one study, the abstinence rate in the exercise group was 18.8% higher than those who didn’t exercise after six months. Furthermore, two other studies found reduced cravings in participants who exercised while undergoing NRT.
Although many know the benefits of physical activity, it can be daunting to do as a smoker. For the best sustainable results, it’s crucial to start small and ease yourself into exercise. A great moderate activity you can start with is walking, as not only is it much more doable, but it also serves as a distraction from your cravings. You can also combine this with breathing exercises, helping expand your lung capacity and decrease stress and tension. You can shift your mind away from cigarette temptations and enhance your wellness through physical activity.
It can be difficult to overcome cigarette cravings, and you may accidentally relapse into your old habits. But don’t give up completely — take your shortcomings as a learning experience to be better instead. By following our tips and pushing yourself to overcome cravings, you can eventually quit smoking and work towards a healthier you. If you’re interested in more information on improving yourself, you can visit our website ItsNews.net for updates on health and fitness to fashion trends.