It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes has numerous negative health effects. From stained teeth to lung cancer and heart disease, the list is endless. Although people are aware of the ill effects of smoking, they continue to do it due to its addictive qualities. Studies show that it is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Quitting tobacco is not something that you can achieve overnight but with some persistence and determination, it can be done gradually. Here are the most effective ways you can quit tobacco today:
- Mark your calendar
When you decide you want to quit smoking, you’ve won half the battle right there. The first step is to set a date on when you plan to quit tobacco. You should pick a date that gives you enough time to mentally prepare for this lifestyle change. You can either smoke until your set date and quit immediately or gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke leading up to the date. However, people who quit abruptly don’t have very high success rates when it comes to giving up tobacco for good.
- Look for support
People who smoke tobacco tend to depend on it both physically and emotionally. Therefore it is good to seek support during the process of quitting. In addition to support from family and friends, many people also join support groups to help with this process. Discussing your feelings and emotions with other people who are going through the same thing as you can help alleviate the emotional symptoms. This support can either be through individual counselling or a group discussion.
- Lifestyle changes
For many smokers, quitting tobacco is a huge lifestyle change. So a great way to balance out this transition is to make other changes to your lifestyle as well. This could be changes to your eating or sleeping habits. You can eat multiple small meals instead of three large ones. Alternatively, find new ways to satisfy your tobacco cravings like chewing sugar-free gum or eating low calorie foods.
- Switch to decaf
While it may seem surprising, caffeine and smoking tobacco go hand in hand. This is why many people prefer to drink coffee or tea after smoking. Since caffeine serves as a trigger for smoking tobacco, it is best to avoid any caffeinated drinks for at least two months after you give up tobacco. If you are a big coffee drinker, switch to decaf or reduce the amount of caffeine in your drink.
- Keep yourself busy
You may find yourself in situations that make you want to smoke a cigarette like drinking alcohol at a party or the smell of coffee. One of the best ways to quit tobacco is to keep yourself busy. Doing new activities or taking up a new hobby can help you take your mind off smoking as you are more focused on the activity at hand. Even going to a movie with friends or having dinner with your family can help you eradicate tobacco from your life altogether.
- Avoid tobacco substitutes
You are on the journey to completely removing tobacco from your diet, so the last thing you need is anything that reminds you of it aka tobacco substitutes. Many people believe that making the switch to substitutes is a great way to remove tobacco cravings. This however, is sadly not the case. Tobacco replacements like patches or e-cigs serve no purpose other than keeping the addiction towards tobacco alive and present in your life. In order to successfully quit tobacco, it is important to stay away from any product that reminds you of it.
- Practice mindfulness
The best way to overcome any big change in your life is to practice mindfulness and achieve peace of mind. Research has shown that practicing yoga and meditation is said to make the transition towards a tobacco-free life easier and smoother. Your tobacco cravings will decrease significantly too. Meditation also helps people become more productive and can help with your overall well-being.
- Eat a healthy snack
You can find a favourite snack to munch on at repeated intervals throughout the day. This could be anything from almonds to sunflower seeds or even gum. The key is to form a new eating habit to replace your tobacco habit. For example, you can eat 5 almonds for every cigarette you want to smoke. The mouth to hand movement you use to eat food can give you the same oral and physical sensation of smoking a cigarette.
It is important to remember that tobacco serves no purpose in your life and is nothing but an addiction. In fact, it only increases the number of health issues you could potentially face in the future. Taking the decision to quit tobacco is the most important step and you need to go into this life change with the mindset that you lose nothing at all by giving up tobacco. Removing tobacco from your life can help you gain a higher quality of life and greater self-confidence.
You also need to ensure that you are in the pink of health at all times and a great way to do this is to get an annual master health check-up to identify or rule-out the symptoms of any serious health conditions. Neuberg Diagnostics is a world-class diagnostics lab that offers numerous preventive health check-up packages to suit your specific needs.