Smoking is a difficult habit to quit. Research indicates that smoking is the leading cause of addiction-related diseases across the world. According to the CDC, cigarette smoking causes an estimated 480,000 cases of death in the United States alone every year. Also, another 16 million people suffer from diseases related to cigarette smoking.
About 42,000 people die every year from second-hand smoke. The chemicals that come from second-hand smoke are dangerous to those in proximity to a smoker.
Smoking is also incredibly addictive and quitting can be a daunting task. It involves constant breaking off an addictive substance and changing your lifestyle completely. But how do you shake the habit?
Cigarettes Are The Natural Enemy of Confidence
The good news is there are tips and tricks you can use to appear (and most importantly, feel) more confident.
And no, lighting up a cigarette isn’t one of them! Smoking can actually make it worse. We’re going to look at some much better ways to build confidence so you can be one of those guys who always seem to be in control even if you have the same anxieties on the inside as everyone else!
Sure, smoking has long been linked to being cool. This goes back to the days of James Dean, when toughs in leather jackets and gelled up hair swaggered around on the big screen, never without a ciggie in their hand.
And you may start to feel confident, at least at first, when you spark up a cigarette. Smoking gives you something to do with your hands, which instantly calms down nervous energy. You probably also feel a bit like James Dean, which doesn’t hurt.
However, smoking actually increases anxiety thanks to the cocktail of chemicals which messes with your brain. Research has shown that nicotine manipulates the human brain, and the positive feelings smokers associate with lighting up are actually a temporary lull, before the cycle of addition kicks off, bringing more anxiety and agitation. Nicotine is also highly addictive: it has the same addictive pull as heroin or cocaine.
Many people, especially young people start smoking in the first place because of social pressure. It may make them feel more relaxed and able to deal with the myriad of tricky social situations you face as a teenager or young adult. Peer pressure, of course, is also very real.
You can see how social anxiety and the addictive nature of nicotine form an evil alliance, making it hard to quit while also making it even harder to feel relaxed and confident. Not to mention the many other ways smoking is damaging to your health: cigarettes contain over 4000 toxic chemicals which cause heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and just about every kind of cancer you can think of.
1. Set a date to quit
Before you begin the process of quitting the habit, you need to realize that you’re embarking on a natural method of quitting smoking, so you might need to continue smoking as usual until then.
To start, set a date and time to stop. It can be in one month even. Mark it on your calendar, tell your friends, prepare yourself with little rewards and activities to keep yourself busy. You can even redecorate your flat a little bit to make sure that you are prepared for that special occasion, the bigging of your new life.
To remain motivated, look for a powerful, personal reason to quit. It may be to lower the chance of getting heart diseases, lung cancer, or other conditions. They are well known, but sometimes digging into the topic may help. Watch a documentary or read a book about them, so your brain fully acknowledges the real risks. There can be some positive reasons, for example, to protect your family from second-hand smoke. Or to live a healthy life. Settle for something that keeps you inspired to stop the habit.
2. Avoid Alternatives: patches, gum, and lozenges
Keep off any form of substitutes. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) try to keep the addiction at bay by delivering a certain level of nicotine to curb your cigarette cravings. The various types of vapes do the same. These substances make the process difficult to stop since they prolong the illusion that you’re making a sacrifice to stop the habit. Today, NRT are available in different forms –patches, nasal sprays, gum, inhalators- and although they come out as a possible way to double the chance of quitting smoking, continuous exposure can lead to neuro-adaptation that may increase nicotine addiction.
Experts indicate that nicotine alone is less harmful than carbon monoxide and tar which are present in cigarettes. As a result, NRT present a much safer option for smokers. However, to avoid trading an addiction with another, it’s recommended to avoid using NRT for a long period.
3. Have the last cigarette and prepare a to-do list when craving hits
You are making a vow to quit smoking for good. Actually, your effort is to get rid of the habit. So, light your last cigarette and make a vow that no matter how high your cravings become or how low the situation may befall in future, you promise not to puff another cigarette or take any nicotine substance. For smokers, this is one of the key decisions you need to make because your future depends on it. Furthermore, it’s the right thing to do to shake off the habit.
Telling yourself, you won’t smoke again is just part of the process. You need to have a list of favorite things you want to do when craving hits. You can take a walk, play a game, get a cup of coffee or tea, drink a glass of water, play with your kids or pets, practice yoga, wash the car, etc. Prepare a list of things and keep it close so when the craving comes back, you can whip out the list and try to do something about it.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Related Triggers
To quit smoking, you need to ditch your cigarettes, alcohol, and other triggers. Alcohol can be a major trigger that causes people to relapse and returns to their old behaviours. Similarly, too much coffee and meals can trigger the victim to return to smoking.
Any time you drink, it becomes harder to stick to your no-smoking goal. So, try to avoid alcohol when you begin the process. Similarly, if you smoke after taking coffee, try to switch to tea for a couple of weeks. If you have a habit of smoking after meals, replace it with an activity like brushing your teeth, chewing gum, or talking to a friend. Find triggers and replace them with an activity to avoid breaking the chain to quit smoking.
5. Try Vaping as Alternative
Some people use electronic cigarettes as a way to quit smoking just like the nicotine replacement therapy. There are several best vape brands that offer e-liquids with varying nicotine content used in gradually reducing your nicotine intake. E-cigarettes use a heating coil to vaporize the e-liquid and prevent you from over 7,000 chemicals that ordinary cigarettes produce.
Since they are available in all sorts of shapes and flavors, it’s easy to understand why a large population is hooked to vapes. But the debate about their safety is still on.
The fact that they don’t contain the harmful substances in analog cigarettes make them a safer alternative for addicts. These devices are also cheaper than buying cigarettes every day. Although the best vape reviews indicate that vaping has been seen as a good alternative to help aid oral fixation that most smokers struggle with after quitting, there is lack of conclusive evidence on its side effects. So vape with caution.
Step Down Your Nicotine Addiction
Of nfiurse, quitting smoking isn’t that easy, particularly if you are dealing with feeling of anxiousness made worse by an addiction to nicotine. Vaping (smoking e-cigarettes) can be a good option to phase out both your nicotine addiction and reliance on having something in your hands to feel confident, while you build your confidence up in other ways.
Switching to vaping means you immediately eliminate the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain nicotine which is delivered through a harmless vapour of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. This sounds like a much better deal than what you inhale with every puff of a cigarette: such as hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, lead, ammonia and arsenic. Sounds like the contents of a hardware store or a cleaning cupboard.
You can buy e-liquid concentrates with varying nicotine levels, meaning you can step down your nicotine intake over time in a gradual and controlled way. Vaping has the added bonus of giving you something to do with your hands, just like smoking. You can even buy e-liquids with 0% nicotine, if you want the experience without having chemicals mess with your brain.
Pretty much everyone, no matter how confident they seem on the outside, is really a messy puddle of nerves on the inside. But you don’t need a cigarette – which is basically a bundle of poisons and cancer – in your hand in order to feel confident. There are plenty of ways to build confidence, including some simple tips which will let you fake like the best of them!
6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
It is a short-term therapy to solve addiction problems for smokers. In this treatment, the smokers work with a counselor to look for triggers and ways to avoid smoking. The method changes the smokers thinking patterns that makes them crave for cigarettes. Plus, it provides educative ways to deal with stress and anxiety. When combined with smoking cessation medication, it has proven to be helpful for people who want to quit smoking.
7. Keep Trying Again and Again
Smokers try several times before they quit the habit. Of course, relapses are common that why methods like use of the best vape exist. If you return into your old habit of smoking, analyze the situation and find out the triggers that resulted to the relapse. Use the opportunity to define your commitment to quitting. Once you have decided to start over again, set a “quit date” and work on it.
Smoking causes drastic and irreversible changes to your brain system. The decision to quit can be a broad step that requires commitment and motivation. These strategies will help you get started with the process and keep your guard up. Don’t do it alone, look for informative guides and support groups designed to help addicts deal with their cravings. While no single programs is the best, some types will be appropriate. Find one that works for you and start your journey of becoming a non-smoker.