How to Drop Smoking? 5 ways and a step-by-step action plan
It is commonly thought that smoking is just a bad habit, but in fact tobacco addiction is a disease that even has a designation: F17. One in five people in the world is a smoker.
Addiction implies not only the constant replenishment of nicotine, but also rituals: go out for a smoke break, take a cigarette with a glass of wine, pat yourself on the pants in search of a lighter. All of these are habitual neural pathways that the body does not easily interrupt when a person quits smoking. That’s why it’s important to get rid of both the physical and psychological addiction.
Tobacco smoke, which consists of 4,000 chemical compounds, weakens the immune system and thus negatively affects all organs of the body. It can provoke infertility and impotence, as well as negatively affecting the quality of sperm, which can subsequently lead to birth defects in the embryo. Smoking also weakens bones and teeth, making them more brittle, provokes the development of rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, including ulcers.
As soon as a person quits smoking, the body begins to recover instantly. Already after one day, blood pressure is normalized and blood circulation improves, after two days a person can better distinguish tastes and smells, and after a month the walls of the lungs are regenerated.
Modern Ways to Quit Smoking
There are several techniques for quitting smoking that help you get through the most difficult first days. They will only be effective if the person has the motivation to cope with the addiction.
Nicotine replacement therapy.
Patches, inhalers, and gum that contain nicotine deliver it to your body in a much gentler way than cigarettes.
Pros: They help you get rid of your addiction smoothly by gradually reducing the dose and not putting your body into shock.
Cons: Do not make up for the “smoker’s ritual,” when a person is used to picking up a cigarette after coffee or during a break at work.
Allen Carr Books.
The method is not to forbid certain actions, but to develop motivation. Allen Carr, who once smoked several packs a day, and then became one of the leading British and world experts on quitting smoking and other addictions, consistently explains not only those cons that relate to health, but also others – which are related to psychology. In particular, he points out the “I love smoking / I’m addicted to smoking” substitution, drawing the reader’s attention to the fact that addiction is a weakness.
Pros: Allen Carr gradually prepares the reader for the change. For example, he says that one can smoke while reading his book, but that one must stop as soon as the last page is turned.
Cons: A person can stretch out reading for a long time, quit the book at some point, or simply not follow the author’s instructions.
Can be a supportive practice in the stress of quitting smoking. It has been proven that after a few hours of practice, people are calmer, have more self-control, and their moods are higher.
Pros: Helps not to think about tobacco. Reduces the desire to smoke a cigarette.
Cons: Requires regularity.
The most important thing in preparation is desire. People who bring their loved ones for coding usually get the opposite effect. The person does not succumb to the doctor’s instructions, and, on the contrary, after the procedure, brags that nothing takes him or her.
Pros: If hypnosis goes well, you can get rid of the habit very quickly.
Cons: There is no scientific evidence yet that hypnotherapy is the best and 100% effective way to quit smoking.
Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is built on working with the patient’s dysfunctional thoughts and irrational beliefs. For example, such as: “I have to smoke to relieve stress”, “It is practically impossible to talk in a smoking group and not smoke at the same time”, “It is very difficult to give up smoking, and I will not be able to do this”.
The method gives excellent results in combination with nicotine replacement therapy; some specialists also use hypnosis.
Pros: The person has support and a “guide” to get them out of their withdrawal states.
Cons: Cost. However, it will pay for itself in savings on cigarettes.
E-cigarettes won’t help.
Often in an attempt to reduce nicotine addiction, people switch to electronic cigarettes. Alas, as recent research shows, it is far from a harmless device. Such devices support ritualistic behavior and contain nicotine.
The WHO does not recognize e-cigarettes as nicotine replacement therapy.
Evidence-based medicine also questions acupuncture. This method involves inserting needles under the skin to alleviate the symptoms caused by withdrawal. For those who may find this process uncomfortable, there are simulated needles that do not go inside the tissue. According to clinical studies, this kind of therapy does not provide the proper results.