Smoking is very addictive and loaded with health risks, so taking the first step toward quitting is always a huge leap toward a healthier lifestyle—bettering your own life as well as the lives of those around you. However, the path to a smoke-free lifestyle is full of ups and downs, and not something that can be accomplished in just a day. As such, from making connections with others to switching to nicotine e liquid, we’ve put together 5 helpful ideas that can help you stick to your new year’s resolution to finish 2020 as a non-smoker.
1. Understand and avoid your triggers
Certain activities and situations can trigger an urge to smoke and can affect you long after you’ve quit. This proves just how strong a nicotine dependency can be. Such triggers can include social activities, places, or drinks like coffee and alcohol, to name a few. Knowing what your triggers are can help you better identify them and replace or avoid them, cutting down the urge to smoke.
2. Avoid other smokers
Avoid smoking areas or social situations like parties, as alcohol consumption can lower your inhibitions and make you more susceptible to influence from other smokers. Let friends and family know that you are trying to quit so they don’t smoke around you. The less you are exposed to smoking, the less you would be encouraged to resume, and who knows? Your resolution to quit smoking just might motivate others to stop as well.
3. Make connections
For many, smoking is a coping mechanism for their physical or emotional needs and removing it can take a heavy toll on your mental health, leaving you vulnerable and more likely to pick the habit up again. Connecting with family and friends can replace the chasm left behind and provide ample, needed support in your effort to quit smoking. Otherwise, signing up for a non-smoking support group can also be a helpful way to connect with other ex-smokers who are going through the same emotions and are bound to understand and empathise with your struggles. Relying on and maintaining connections with others is a sure-fire and proven way to increase the chances of staying smoke-free.
4. Don’t try to quit cold turkey
Going cold turkey fails 94% of the time due to the highly addictive nature of nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, especially for heavier smokers, and can include restlessness, irritability, and trouble concentrating, coupled with an intense craving for cigarettes—causing ex-smokers to pick up the habit again. Instead of going cold turkey, decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke every day to wean yourself off and improve your chances of quitting.
5. Switch to E-Cigarettes
Although not originally meant to be sold as an aid to quitting cigarettes, switching to vaping has been proven to be helpful for those trying to quit, and smokers who vape daily are much more likely to quit smoking than those who haven’t tried it at all. E-cigarettes are also much less addictive while still delivering the same amount of nicotine, and can be used to eventually lower the amount of nicotine one takes in.