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Nicotine Addiction

Overcoming Addiction to Smoking

There are many good reasons to quit smoking. These include consequences resulting from addiction to smoking such as health effects, negative social effects, etc. The health benefits can begin from the initial moment that you stop smoking. Sudden stopping of smoking may result in withdrawal symptoms for the smoker. Therefore a well-planned strategy should be in place to conquer the smoking addiction. This strategy can be your key to success.

What are the withdrawal symptoms of smoking?

The physical and mental changes for a person due to the termination or interruption of drug usage are called withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are the result of the body entering a phase of readjustment. When the system is accustomed to nicotine, and nicotine intake is stopped, there is a period of acclimation. The withdrawal symptoms include poor concentration, irritability, increased appetite and cravings, depression, aggression, waking at night, light-headedness, and restlessness. The duration of these symptoms lasts for around 2 to 4 weeks except for increased appetite, which lasts for many weeks.

Preparation for quitting

People who intend to quit smoking should be aware of the withdrawal symptoms and should be prepared to work hand. Top priority should be given to the task of stopping the smoking addiction especially at the initial stage of three to four weeks. This initial period is the most difficult phase of the process. The Following Steps Can Help With Preparing To Quit Smoking:

  1. Be prepared to stop smoking on a particular day. The time should be chosen in such a way that there should not be any pressure or stress from other tasks. This preparation can be adequately done in about one or two week’s time.
  2. It is advisable to avoid some of the usual activities that could cause temptation. For instance, it is best to avoid parties.
  3. Decide if you will use nicotine replacements, such as the patch, or nicotine gum.
  4. Stopping the habit of smoking gradually is not effective. So you should quit smoking totally on the target day.
  5. Support from friends and family will be helpful.
  6. If possible, prepare a list of reason for quitting and keep it with you. This will give you motivation.
  7. Remove cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays from your house on the day you decide to quit.

What are the things to keep in mind on the target day of quitting?

You should aim to pass the first day without smoking and have the same goal for each of the following days. It is important to avoid temptation by participating in different activities, so that your mind is away from thinking about smoking. If you find hard to quit, then you should think of the positive effects of quitting, which will motivate you to avoid smoking. Try to keep smoking out of your mind by developing a determination to face difficulties that may get in the way of quitting smoking. If you intend to use nicotine gum, chew it slowly during the initial period. The nicotine gum will not give total satisfaction but it is effective in relieving the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Don’t be discouraged and give in, if you find it difficult to overcome this habit. It helps to have fresh or dried fruits instead of chocolate and sweets if you have an elevation in your appetite level.

How should I follow up after quitting?

Even after completing the initial stage of quitting successfully, one must be determined not to relapse. You should totally forget about “occasional” smoking. Increased vigilance is required for new situations and difficulties. Due to lack of vigilance and carelessness some people slip up and go back to smoking after successfully stopping it for four or five weeks. Keep in mind that confidence is the key to overcoming these avoidable situations.

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