Smoking is still a worldwide epidemic and, according to the Center for Disease Control, is the “leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.” Annually, an estimated 480,000 people die from cigarette-related diseases and, despite this, approximately 36.5 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes.
Though the number of smokers has declined from 20% of the population in 2005 to just over 15% in 2015, the act is still a widespread issue. On the third Thursday of every November, smokers, and supporters across the country gather for a nationwide intervention known as the Great American Smokeout. Hosted by the American Cancer Society, the Great American Smokeout is often used as the launching point for a plan to quit, but coming up with the best way to kick the habit isn’t always easy.
The following are several tips that can be taken to start the process of quitting during 2017’s Great American Smokeout.
November 16th is the ULTIMATE day to quit. Don't miss the #GreatAmericanSmokeout! https://t.co/N5h60yqkvg— Quit Tobacco (@Quit Tobacco)1510241404.0
Prepare Withdrawal Support
Like weening off of any sort of addictive substance, completely cutting nicotine can create a host of withdrawal symptoms. While not everyone will suffer through it, nicotine withdrawal can cause changes in mood, anxiety, restlessness, hunger, and concentration issues.
Be prepared to feel any number of these symptoms. Talk to a doctor about methods of relieving them, which can sometimes be nicotine-supplements or prescription pills. Have a support structure in place to help walk you through bad days. Meditation and hypnosis can help shift focus from the withdrawal symptoms.
Remove Any Trigger Objects
Many people smoke as an accompaniment to something else. Alcohol is usually a big trigger, making it important to remove all semblance of liquor and beer. Avoid going to bars or establishments that allow smoking.
Memorabilia or images with cigarettes in them can cause cravings to amplify. Avoid television shows or movies where smoking is predominant.
Your body will have lingering nicotine flowing through it and nothing helps push it out faster than water. Drinking a lot of water will speed up detox and also help quell any increase in appetite. Avoid anything heavy on sweeteners or caffeine.
Find a Replacement
When the urge to smoke rises, find something to replace it with. Going for a walk, exercising, and eating fruits and vegetables are decent alternatives to smoking. Don’t binge on unhealthy food but also don’t try to go on a diet while quitting smoking. Nibbling on carrots can mimic the familiar motion of smoking and ease the need.
Strenuous exercising can be difficult, but a steady jog or even involved yard work can help make the process of quitting easier.
Clean, Clean, Clean
The smell of cigarette smoke can permeate into every aspect of a home. All clothing and upholstery should be washed thoroughly and sprayed with deodorizers and the walls in any room that was smoked in should be cleaned. Cars should also be cleaned out and air fresheners used to remove that stale smoke smell.
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