According to the American Lung Association, the use of tobacco and second-hand smoking accounts for over 480,000 deaths annually in the United States. Many people understand the numerous health risks associated with cigarette smoking. Unfortunately, tobacco remains the number one cause of preventable death and diseases in the United States.
Quitting smoking cannot happen overnight. It is a journey that begins with a few steps. By quitting smoking, you not only improve the quality of your life but also the lives of those close to you. Quitting smoking means changing your behavior and coping with the withdrawal symptoms that come with cutting down on nicotine. With the right plan, you can free yourself from nicotine addiction and say goodbye to the smoking habit.
Here are 5 Alternatives to Help Quit Smoking Cigarettes
1. Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Find out from your doctor or healthcare provider about nicotine replacement therapy. Some of the options include:
- Gum, nicotine patches, and lozenges that can be bought without a prescription
- Prescription nicotine in an inhaler or nasal spray
- Prescription non-nicotine stop smoking drugs like Wellbutrin, bupropion, and varenicline
Short-acting nicotine replacement therapies like lozenges, inhalers, nasal sprays, or inhalers have also been found to stop excessive cravings. These types of short-acting therapies are normally safe to use together with long-acting nicotine patches.
Electronic cigarettes such as Monster Bar vape have in recent years gained popularity as a replacement for traditional cigarettes. However, issues have been raised concerning the effectiveness of some e-cigarettes as a nicotine replacement medication when it comes to helping users quit smoking.
2. Use NRTs
Quitting smoking without the help of therapy, medication and NRT is possible. But a very small percentage of such attempts succeed. People sometimes underestimate the power of nicotine dependence. If you have decided to quit smoking, it is important to go for proven alternatives that can help you quit smoking for good.
There are five types of NRT approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They include the following:
- Chewing gum
- Skin patches
- Nasal spray (prescription only)
- Inhaler (prescription only)
If you have decided to use NRT as an alternative to quitting smoking, then it is important to discuss your dosage with your doctor or healthcare provider before quitting. It is also good to remember the chances of quitting smoking using NRT are high, the objective is to stop the addiction to nicotine as a whole, not just quitting smoking.
Talk to Your healthcare professional in case you experience dizziness, nausea, skin swelling, vomiting, or mouth problems while using any of the above-mentioned products.
3. Seek Behavioral Support
The physical and emotional dependence that goes with smoking makes it difficult to completely stay away from nicotine after quitting. To quit completely, you must deal with this kind of dependence. Go for counseling services, support services, and self-help material that can help you overcome this period. As the physical symptoms start to improve, so will the emotional ones.
Mixing medications like NRT, varenicline and bupropion with behavioral support has been proved to increase the chances of quitting smoking by up to 25%. Behavioral support can vary from written information to group or individual counseling.
4. Avoid Triggers
Tobacco urges are generally stronger in areas where you chewed or smoked tobacco most often. This may include bars, parties, or those times when you feel stressed. It is important to identify your triggers and come up with a plan on how to avoid them without going back to tobacco.
Don’t put yourself in compromising situations that are likely to draw you back to smoking. For example, if you used to smoke while sipping coffee, keep a pen and a paper close to keep you busy instead of smoking.
5. Get Physical
Physical activity can also help keep you away from tobacco cravings. It doesn’t have to be intense workouts. Short bursts of activity like running up and down the stairs several times can drive away tobacco cravings. For example, if you are at the office or home, try deep knee bends, squats, running back and forth, pushups, or walking down the stairs.
Quitting smoking needs planning and dedication. It is not about luck. Come up with a personal plan to quit smoking and resolve not to touch a cigarette ever again.