Stop Smoking


Stop Smoking Article

Stop Smoking

Ban the Butt: Your Guide to Smoking Cessation


For too long, the image of people smoking pipes, cigars and cigarettes was held to be glamorous and carefree. Today we face the realization that smoking is neither of these things; it is deadly and destructive. Years of smoking can shorten your lifespan, damage your lungs, stain your teeth and permeate the air with an acrid odor. Fortunately, kicking this habit can increase the quality and quantity of your tears.

If you have tried and failed to quit smoking by going cold turkey, chewing nicotine gum and wearing patches, do not throw in the towel just yet. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss additional options, including prescription medications for smoking cessation. These drugs -- usually bupropion or Chantix -- have low incidence of side effects and help you by lessening cravings and decreasing the satisfaction derived from smoking. If you have medical insurance, there is a good chance that your provider covers all or most of the cost of the drug.

Next, consider your reasons for smoking. Nearly any answer you can give falls under one overarching catalyst: stress. It is reasonable to believe, then, that eliminating certain sources of stress can make it easier to call it quits. For example, imagine you have just tossed a lit cigarette into a wastebasket, which then bursts into flames. You grab a fire extinguisher, but where do you point it? Spraying the top of the flames, which represent the cravings, will do little to put out the fire. Instead, you must spray the base of the flames' source: the wastebasket. Stress is your wastebasket, filled with garbage and forever threatening to hinder your efforts. Look for things and activities that provide stress relief: meditation, yoga and exercise are excellent for this purpose.

They just don't get it, those non-smokers. Unless someone has experienced the discomfort and challenges of smoking cessation, they are unlikely to truly understand what you are going through. They may provide emotional support, but sometimes that's not enough. Local meetup groups and online communities are ideal for introducing you to other soon-to-be non-smokers. Interact with them and share their advice and anecdotes to create a strong support system of like-minded individuals.

It is not uncommon for smokers to view smoking as a social event, when in fact it is nothing of the sort. People, places and experiences make life worth living; cigarettes do not. If all of your friends are smokers, it may be difficult to quit. Challenge them to join you in your efforts, explaining that working with another person is powerful motivation to work towards goals. At the very least, request that your group socializes in places where smoking is forbidden: movie theaters, dining establishments and the like.

Higher energy levels, an improved appearance and the ability to breathe freely -- all these qualities can be yours if you are willing to work for it. Remember: Smoking doesn't just affect you; it can affect your family just as easily. Do it for yourself, or do it for others -- just do it. Everything you've read here will help you to accomplish your goals.