5 science backed ways to officially kick your smoking habit
This just in: smoking happens to be incredibly bad for you. Who knew? Jokes aside, here’s how to kick your nasty habit in the butt (pun implied).
Jokes aside, smoking is arguably the most dangerous habit that you can pick up. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, “tobacco today kills around half of all smokers”. So if you consider yourself a smoker, you may be a part of the 50% of people who lose their lives due to smoking related disease or complications.
Despite global efforts to educate the public about the danger of cigarettes, smoking still continues to be a common habit.
Even if you have been smoking for years, it is never too late to quit. From the moment you stop reaching for a cigarette, your health starts to improve dramatically.
Each time you smoke, you are taking 5 to 11 minutes away from your life.
Read that again.
When you start to add those minutes up, you could end up taking years off of your lifespan. Is there any habit in the world that could be worth that? Not in our books. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of helpful ways to help you on your journey towards living a healthy, tobacco free life.
1. Understand the ‘why’
If you have tried to stop smoking before you were unsuccessful, you shouldn’t feel disheartened. Most people take a few tries before they kick the habit for good.
This is often because you haven’t established a solid ‘why’. Sure, it’s easy enough to say that you want to quit for your health but this can be an abstract idea that doesn’t stick for long. Instead, think about your reason for quitting in more detail. It could be that you want to be able to run with your dog without wheezing or that you want to be there to walk your child down the aisle.
Once you have a solid ‘why’ that you can visualise, quitting smoking becomes more attainable.
2. Start exercising
When you have a cigarette, your body releases feel good chemicals that are similar to dopamine or serotonin. What your body is really experiencing is the addictive response to receiving nicotine after a craving, no matter how big or small the craving is. We get the same high from sugar or alcohol.
Instead, give your body the feel good chemicals that are actually good for you! When we feel good, we are less likely to turn towards bad habits like smoking. Having naturally sourced dopamine and serotonin in our bodies is a great substitute for the high you would get from having a cigarette.
3. Join a support group
There’s a reason so many people struggle to stop smoking: it’s really, really difficult. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in the world and it doesn’t help that you can get your hands on a pack of smokes at every petrol station, liquor store and supermarket.
So if you need additional support, don’t be ashamed about reaching out and going to a few meetings to get your habit under control. We are stronger together and there are millions of people around the world who are going through the same thing as you are, so why not find them and have some healing conversations?
4. Remember second hand smoke
Sometimes we can excuse doing something that’s bad for us because we haven’t learned that we also deserve all the love in the world - especially love from ourselves! If you are battling to quit for your own health, make it your goal to quit for the health around you.
Did you know that secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals? Hundreds of these are extremely toxic and around 70 of them are carcinogenic (cancer causing).
If you have children, family members and even pets that you smoke around, they are being exposed to the chemicals you are putting into your body. Even though they aren’t the ones making the decision to smoke.
Another impact to remember is the environmental devastation caused by the tobacco industry. Nevermind the huge amounts of litter that comes from non-biodegradable cigarette butss.
So if you are battling to stop for yourself, stop because of the consequences to those who you love the most.
5. Nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy is a clinical option that has been tried and tested by pharmaceutical companies. Nicotine replacement aims to help smokers by modifying how nicotine enters your body whilst you are detoxing. Withdrawal symptoms from cigarettes aren’t uncommon - it’s often why people lose the battle when they’re trying to quit.
NRT cuts out all the extra chemicals that accompany nicotine in cigarettes. So you receive small doses of nicotine via patches, chewing gums, lozenges or even sprays. This option is useful to identify with the emotional or psychological aspects of quitting: because like any addiction, this is an important part of coming back to good health.
Remember to tell yourself you’ve got this, you’re awesome and that you’re going to buy something cool with the money you would have spent on those sneaky tobacco sticks!
Yours in excellent health insurance,