The decision to quit smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. But there’s no doubt that quitting an addiction can be challenging. Everyone is different, and there’s no one best way to quit smoking. However, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 most effective ways to quit smoking.
The Benefits of Quitting Smoking
The decision to quit smoking will always be beneficial for you. When you stop smoking, you allow your lungs to recover, and you’ll immediately start to see the benefits of giving up smoking. Within minutes of quitting smoking, your heart rate drops back to a healthy range, and by one month of being smoke-free, your coughing and shortness of breath will have decreased. Quitting smoking doesn’t only improve your physical health, but it’s also been shown to improve your mental well-being too.
According to the CDC, over 16 million Americans are living with a health condition caused by smoking. Smoking causes several diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, it increases the risk of tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s never too late to quit smoking, so if you’ve been asking yourself, “What are the best ways to quit smoking?”, this article is for you.
11 Best Ways to Quit Smoking
1. Figure Out Your “Why”
To motivate yourself to quit smoking, list out the reason(s) that you want to quit and put them somewhere you frequently see, like on the refrigerator.
2. Don’t Go Cold Turkey
You must prepare to quit smoking because (unfortunately) it’s not as easy as tossing your cigarettes in the trash. Before you go cold turkey, ensure you have support in place. Speak to your doctor or health care provider about quitting methods that could support you. For example, quit-smoking classes, nicotine patches, counseling, and hypnosis may be more effective than quitting cold turkey.
3. Consider Nicotine Alternatives
When you quit smoking, nicotine withdrawal can be the most difficult. It can cause headaches, low or irritable mood, low energy, and intense cravings for just one more cigarette. To help you through nicotine withdrawal, consider nicotine alternatives such as nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges. These can help increase your chances of quitting smoking successfully.
4. Tell People You’re Quitting
Tell your friends and family that you’re trying to quit smoking, and they’ll be able to encourage you to keep going and remind you of the best ways to quit smoking when you’re tempted. The accountability of telling other people your plans can also help your success. You can also join support groups or speak to a therapist; you don’t have to go through quitting smoking alone.
5. Make a List of Your Smoking Triggers to Avoid Them
If you know that drinking alcohol and smoking go together, limit your alcohol intake when you first quit. Similarly, if you like to have a cigarette after a meal, find something to replace that habit, such as chewing gum, messaging a friend, or going for a walk.
6. Get Rid of Any Smoking Associations
Whether that’s ashtrays, lighters, or even a chair that you’d always sit in for a smoke, move things around so that you don’t see something that reminds you of lighting up.
7. Start a New Hobby
Distracting yourself can help curb the cravings; in particular, exercise can help ease nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It doesn’t have to be too intense; even mild exercise such as walking your dog or gardening can help distract you.
8. Keep Trying
Don’t get discouraged if you give in to your cravings and find yourself smoking. Accept that you’ve relapsed, reset, and try again. Acknowledge the trigger and try to avoid it next time.
9. Reward Yourself
Set rewards and milestones. For example, once you’ve been smoke-free for a month, treat yourself to a massage or a new tennis racket.
10. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Deciding to quit any addiction is a big deal. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best. Every cigarette you choose not to smoke takes you one step closer to your goal of being a non-smoker.
11. Focus on the Health Benefits
When you quit smoking, the health benefits are almost immediate. After just 20 minutes, your heart rate adjusts. Within 24 hours, your carbon monoxide levels decrease. And in 2-3 weeks, the risk of having a heart attack is lower than when you were smoking. If your decision to quit smoking comes from wanting to be healthier, focusing on the small changes you’re already noticing could help.
There is a lot of support for quitting smoking. If you’re struggling, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider.
At Opt Health, our team of men’s vitality doctors can provide you with specialized advice in the privacy of your own home. Our specialized men’s health doctors can help with various health concerns, such as fatigue, low testosterone and TRT, and prostate health.
Speak to an expert physician one-on-one over video conferencing, receive test results, and get medication delivered, all from the comfort of your own home.