Irrespective of how long (or short) you have been smoking and how strong you may be, to resist tobacco cravings and quit smoking is never a smooth ride. Some people never get out of it. The theme for this year’s celebration of World #NoTobacco Day is Tobacco – a threat to development. Really, the damage tobacco has done in many people is heartbreaking especially young people with so many potentials.
A lot of people are struggling to break the habit and it seems like a daunting task. It is very unpleasant especially at the point of nicotine withdrawal. Once that is passed though, living cigarette free would be a lot easier.
I will share a few tips that make the journey less awful. I hope they help you.
First, you need to pause and think. Think about what triggers the desire to smoke (emotions or situations). It maybe anxiety or you just indulge in it once you wake in the morning or while you drink. Note these trigger points in your day and for healthier habits to indulge in instead. For instance, you can choose to abstain from alcohol for a while or hit the gym once you wake. Whatever it maybe, just ensure those trigger points are blocked.
Secondly, set up a good support system. Doing it all alone is a very bad idea. It is okay to talk it out. It may be to your doctor, a friend or your partner. Get someone that you could be accountable to because to resist tobacco cravings is actually an uphill task. It is not easy in truth but it is very achievable. They may help you by sending you materials to encourage you from time to time or by engaging you at your trigger points. You can also join an online no-smoking support group, such that whether at home, work or on the road, you have support with you.
Actually, take action. Get rid of all cigars and ash trays in your home, car, work desk… including those ones in the hidden places, I mean the ones kept for the day of “crisis”. Get rid of them all. Ensure that there is none to fall back on. This helps your body more to understand that you mean it for good this time. When you have those ones kept for fall-backs, it is you setting up yourself to actually fall back.
Get a replacement anytime you feel the urge. Something to chew on is a great choice, maybe gum, chewy fruits or nuts. Or tell yourself in a few more minutes and then find an activity to distract yourself. Little by little, soon it would be a month, a year, a lifetime with no more tobacco…
Finally, go easy on yourself. I would be lying if I told you that you wouldn’t at some point feel like quitting. But you have to encourage yourself and remind yourself of the benefits that await you can successfully resist tobacco cravings over time.