Over 38 million Americans smoke cigarettes, even though the bad health effects are widely known. If you’re a smoker and want to quit, you may have tried several times already, only to pick up another pack again. This is especially true if you’ve tried going cold turkey and only succeeded for a short amount of time.
In addition to going cold turkey, here are the 5 best ways to quit smoking.
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1. Try Nicotine Patches
These patches can be put on to curb your cravings for nicotine. You’ll start off with a more frequent schedule, then taper your usage of it to wean yourself off of nicotine.
However, many people still find themselves wanting to smoke; not because of the nicotine, but rather, because of their oral fixation.
2. Find a Good Substitute for Your Oral Fixation
Your brain will still have an oral addiction. Finding a good substitute for cigarettes is vital in keeping you away from smoking again. Try chewing gum, eating carrot sticks, sucking on hard candy, or playing with objects similar to cigarettes, such as straws.
3. Join Support Groups
Counseling can be a huge benefit when you’re trying to quit smoking. Withdrawal can take a toll on you both physically and emotionally. You may be able to mitigate the physical symptoms by tapering your nicotine use with things such as patches, but you’ll also need some emotional support.
Group therapy can be helpful since you’re among other people going through the same situation as you. You’ll also get professional guidance and learn some useful behavioral tools for handling your cravings.
4. Switch to Vaping
If you absolutely must have your nicotine fix, try switching to vaping. Using something such as a pod system can get you the nicotine rush you need, but without all the other harmful things you find in cigarettes. This can be a good way for you to taper your nicotine use until you reach a low level or quit nicotine for good.
5. Ask Your Doctor About Medications
If your addiction to smoking is severe, you may need to speak to your doctor about trying out either bupropion or varenicline. These two medications don’t have nicotine but are approved by the FDA for smoking cessation.
There are some moderate side effects associated with the use of either of these medications, such as depression, aggression, and other behavioral changes. You should have a discussion with your doctor about whether or not these possible side effects are worth it to quit smoking for good.
Going Cold Turkey Is Hard, but Rewarding
Going cold turkey is the most effective way to quit smoking, but it may not be the right method for a lot of people. Nicotine is highly addictive, and the withdrawal symptoms may be hard to manage.
If you’ve tried going cold turkey before and it didn’t work, don’t give up. With our list of 5 other ways to quit smoking, you’ll have a better chance of kicking the habit for good.
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