As of March 14, 2016, the CDC estimated that 40 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. Worldometers.info puts the population of the United States at 323,828,624 as of May 17th, 2016 (the day this blog was written). That means roughly 1/8 of the population is estimated to smoke cigarettes regularly in either a habitual or social setting.
We’ve harped to death the idea that smoking is bad. Everyone know that smoking kills you and harms those around you. You teeth yellow, your lungs fill with an acrid smoke that builds up, tars, and is highly carcinogenic. Your car, house, and even clothes smell of it. It’s not good for you!
Quitting, however, is not an easy task, and it’s not pleasant to go through withdrawal. To be totally honest; it sucks. This year, may 31st is World No Tobacco Day and it’s the perfect time to commit yourself to kicking the habit.
Helpful Techniques to Help Kick the Habit
- Develop a Support System: One of the most effective ways to quit any habit is the develop a support system. Pick people close to you that you know will be committed to helping you and aren’t afraid to call you on the floor for mistakes. It’s not going to be easy, but having someone there rooting for you (or multiple people) is important and can make the process that much easier.
- Pick Up a New or Old Hobby: A lot of individuals that smoke use it as a form of stress relief. Often the stress comes from not smoking, and smoking helps to curb that craving that comes up. The truth of the matter is you’re going to need something to take your mind off the cravings and withdrawals. Pick up a new hobby, or pursue an existing one with fervor. Exercise is always a good route to go, or mentally stimulating hobbies such as playing an instrument or video games are an excellent way to take your mind off what’s happening.
- Avoid Your Triggers: There are certain things you’re doing that, whether you realize it or not, are triggering your tobacco cravings. Whether you smoke them in a specific place, with a particular drink, or with other people or at certain times of the day. You may have to rearrange a good portion of your schedule, avoid groups of people, and even change your morning coffee routine to tea (or vice versa) for a little while. None of this will be easy. You might have to bike to work instead of taking the bus, and maybe your nightly glass of wine needs to be put on hold, but having momentary discomfort is worth it for the significantly improved quality of life that comes with not smoking.
- Clear the Tobacco Out: Once you make that choice and cross the threshold into “quitting”, empty your life completely of tobacco. Get rid of the cigarettes, deep clean the house to eliminate the smoke smell, and get rid of those tacky gifts the companies send you. This goes along with number 3 and helps to get rid of sensory triggers that could cause cravings and make the quitting process that much harder.
Quitting sucks, but continuing to smoke sucks even more. For more information or help quitting, check out the Connecticut Quit Now website. You’re not alone, and people are waiting to help! Thanks for reading and do not hesitate to call us for more information!