The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls smoking “the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States”. Currently nearly one in six American adults – or 40 million people – smoke cigarettes. Nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarettes, stimulates the central nervous system and constricts blood vessels increasing blood pressure. Users who quit can experience dramatic withdrawal symptoms including headache, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating and depressed mood. These symptoms usually reach their peak two to three days after you quit and are gone within one to three months. The last symptoms to go are usually fatigue and irritability. If you’re trying to overcome your tobacco addiction, here are some strategies that can help.
Find a Nicotine Replacement
There are a wide variety of over-the-counter Nicotine replacement products on the market. You can find them at most retailers that also sell tobacco products and many pharmacies. These therapies are meant to provide a low dose of nicotine while you overcome the physical habit of smoking. They come in a variety of doses that allow you to decrease the amount of nicotine you receive gradually after you quit.
The nicotine patch is worn stuck to the skin to deliver nicotine through the skin. Gum or lozenges are placed in the mouth between the gum and cheek so that the nicotine can be absorbed through the skin of the mouth. A nicotine inhaler looks like a plastic cigarette holder. You insert nicotine cartridges and puff for about 20 minutes. This therapy requires a prescription in the United States. Nicotine nasal spray is meant to provide a quick dose of nicotine and can be used in conjunction with the nicotine patch.
Find a Non-Nicotine Alternative
There are a number of small things you can use as an alternative to tobacco use. Gum and hard candy are useful for satisfying an oral craving. The strong flavors of cinnamon and peppermint can be especially effective. Beef jerky or sunflower seeds are a saltier way to satisfy a craving by giving your mouth “something to do”.
If you’re looking for a non-food alternative, you could try a vape pen starter kit. A vaporizer (vape) pen allows you to inhale heated vegetable oil or glycerin and blow out the vapor. “Vape juice” comes in a variety of flavors. You can even vape herbs and essential oils, although it is important to use the highest quality oil available to avoid damaging the vape pen.
Hypnosis is an altered state of awareness where you appear to be asleep or in a trance. During hypnosis, you aren’t unconscious but are relaxed and more willing to listen to suggestions. Hypnosis for overcoming tobacco addiction usually focuses on imagining the unpleasant outcomes from smoking. The hypnotherapist will usually teach the smoker self-hypnosis and ask him or her to repeat the suggestions anytime the desire to smoke occurs.
Some people claim that hypnosis is a natural state that everyone experiences when we day-dream or have our attention focused on something interesting. If you’d rather not go to a professional hypnotherapist, there are hypnosis DVDs, phone apps, and self-hypnosis YouTube videos that you can access anytime.
There are two non-nicotine medicines that can be used as smoking cessation products. Those are Chantix and Zyban (or their generic equivalents). Both are tablets that are only available by prescription from a doctor. Both medications are meant to be taken starting up to a week before you quit using tobacco. Under a doctor’s supervision, you can use either medication in conjunction with most other methods.
Many people report having stress that triggers their use of tobacco products. While there are many ways to de-stress, yoga is a time-trusted one that can be practiced in many forms by almost anyone. You can do easy yoga poses at your desk, in your living room, or nearly anywhere you have a place to sit or stand for a few minutes. The components of most yoga practices include poses, breathing control, and meditation or relaxation.
Sri Sri Yoga is a discipline that combines Hatha yoga and mind and breath awareness. You can find a local yoga class, watch a DVD or read a book to learn the poses, or even look online for some free poses and tools. There are key Yoga poses to help with overcoming tobacco addiction. In addition to stress reduction, yoga can also improve overall fitness and help manage other chronic conditions.
Addiction to tobacco can cause life-long health consequences. Because of the addictive properties of nicotine, there are several withdrawal symptoms that can make it difficult for many people to overcome. However, you can use any of these 5 ways to help ease these withdrawal symptoms and overcome your tobacco addiction.