Tobacco is considered to be one of the most important avoidable lifestyle related cause of cancer in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) tobacco use kills nearly six million people worldwide each year. It is also estimated that there were 100 million premature deaths due to tobacco in the 20th century, globally. If the trends in tobacco consumption continue, the number is expected to rise to one billion in the 21st century.
Each person’s experience of quitting smoking is different, so some of the following tips may or may not work for you but what is important is to take a step forward and experiment and find your own ways for making quitting easier. While a smoker may want to kick the habit and reduce the dangerous side effects of smoking tobacco, the desire for nicotine is hard to kick. This World No Tobacco Day, take a plunge and kick the habit once for all.
1. Freshen up
As soon as you’ve decided to quit smoking, take the time to freshen up your home. Wash your clothes, steam the furniture and clean the carpet. The smell of tobacco smoke, even when stale, can be a trigger for your cravings, so ensuring that you won’t be smelling it all the time increases your chances of success. A more pleasant environment will also make it easier for you to deal with withdrawal.
2. Throw away your smoking accessories
As soon as you decide to quit smoking throw away your old ashtrays and lighters around. It may be a hard thing to do, but eliminating those items will make you think of cigarettes less, and might even reduce your cravings.
3. Start exercising regularly
Try taking up healthy exercise like running or cycling. Vigorous exercise can provide a dopamine release that can replace the one you used to get from cigarettes. Staying active will also speed up your body’s self-repair process. Your health will improve faster and you will be able to see your progress over time. Focusing on an intensive exercise program will leave less time for you to think about cigarettes. It will also make you less likely to go back to smoking, since you won’t want to lose what you have already accomplished.
4. Keep the mouth busy
Chewing is one of the best ways to fight your cravings. If your mouth is occupied, it won’t feel as strongly that it needs a cigarette inside it. Chewing gum also helps keep the mouth busy and divert the mind. But there are foods you can consume that actually combat the withdrawal symptoms and reduce your cravings more effectively than just chewing. Fruits are some of the best foods to consume when you quit smoking. Grapes act as natural antioxidants and reduce the toxin levels in your body, decreasing the amount of nicotine.
5. Eat healthy snack
When you quit smoking, your appetite increases. Find a healthy snack you enjoy and carry it around with you at all times. When a craving strikes, nibble on it. It will help occupy your hands and mouth, and the familiar movement will make it easier to relax and gather yourself.
6. Get a stress ball
When trying to quit, it’s important to find new ways to relax and calm yourself down without nicotine – as well as keep your hands busy. Buying a stress relief ball or a simple toy can go a long way towards developing new healthy habits for dealing with stress.
7. Reduce caffeine intake
Nicotine suppresses the effects of caffeine, so after you quit, coffee will have a stronger effect on you. Try cutting back your caffeine intake. Coffee is a stimulant; it increases your heart rate and makes dealing with stress more difficult. It might also be responsible for at least some of your insomnia, so cutting back on it can help you sleep better. You’ll have more energy in the long run.
8. Take up a hobby
Consider finding yourself a new and interesting hobby such as painting, pottery or creative writing to take your mind off smoking. Use your newly-found interest to occupy your mind and body to help you deal with cravings. Cooking is a good example of a hobby that utilizes your newly-improved senses of smell and taste. Discover how much better everything tastes now that you’re not smoking.
Meditation is a fantastic way to handle some of the psychological aspects of nicotine withdrawal. Meditation is a form of deep breathing and relaxation. Some simple meditation techniques can help you become more aware of your thoughts, actions and feelings, thereby helping you to better understand what’s triggering your cravings.
10. Drink plenty of water
Water will speed up the nicotine detox. Water can also help ease your cough by making it easier for your lungs to clear out mucus, and it’s a good way to combat your increased appetite without changing your eating habits too much.