Deciding to quit smoking is the first step towards improving your lifestyle and overall health. Although sometimes is easier said than done because of the addictive substance found in tobacco called nicotine. Nicotine has the same effect as alcohol or illicit drugs, meaning it will continue to pull you back in. Below are three steps to help break the chains of addiction and enable your transition from a smoker to a non-smoker to be one of ease and simplicity.
• To achieve success, start by removing all tobacco products from places you frequent, such as your home, car, and workplace. Also, tell your coworkers, family, and friends your plan to quit smoking. They will be able to encourage you and keep you accountable.
• Once you have gathered support from your friends and family, it is time to rally outside support. It is essential to research different resources available near you, such as hotlines, support groups, and online programs.
• Garnering support will help you stay on track during the first few weeks and months, which are considered a crucial time of breaking the addiction cycle.
• If you have not located available resources near you, reach out to your local hospital to see if they have inpatient and outpatient programs available. If not, they will be able to suggest available resources in your community.
• There are certain medications, both over the counter and prescription medications, that can assist you while trying to quit smoking.
• Nicotine replacement medications include nicotine gum, lozenges, patch, and spray. All of these options can be bought over the counter except for nicotine spray, which requires a prescription.
Non-nicotine replacement medications require a prescription. The two most popular medications are Welbutrin and Chantix. Both of these drugs will target and block the chemicals in the brain that spark the desire to smoke. However, for these drugs to work correctly, they need time to build up in your system. This process can take weeks, so do not stop taking the medication if you do not notice immediate results. Speak with your prescribing physician about other ways to help curb your desire to smoke until the prescribed medication kicks in.
These are steps to get you moving in the right direction, but it is essential to discuss how the first few weeks of your journey will look. Stay tuned tomorrow to discuss withdrawal symptoms, how to identify triggers, and how to avoid cravings.
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