Thinking about kicking the habit? That’s a better start than you may think. Take it to the next level, and start talking about it. Tell everyone what you hope to do, and as you get used to the idea, start talking about a quit date. Use the people around you to motivate and keep you on track. Start removing temptation, deliberately purchase your smokes in small quantities so that you do run out (often), clean the house to remove the smell of smoke, and only smoke outdoors.
Reap the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle. Feel better, save more, and relieve the anxiety of the damage to your lungs. Tally the benefits, this would be a life-changing event, imagine the possibilities! Now, compare it to the reasons why you need to keep smoking. The purpose of this exercise is to apply logic to unbalance your addiction.
Next, do the research, but do it smartly, check out success stories. Your PharmaChoice pharmacist can provide information and options for smoke cessation which may be covered by drug plans. Don’t convince yourself not to try because you think you can’t succeed. Let your resolve beat your addiction. Quitting may require more than one attempt, but know that each attempt increases the success rate of the next. Success may require a combination of strategies that can change with each attempt. Smoking has two components of addiction which make it difficult to quit. There is a physical dependence for nicotine and a firmly established mental habit. To address both physical and mental needs, a combination of strategies is the best way to ultimately kick the habit:
- Nicotine replacement (gum, lozenges, mists, patches)
- Counsel and support
- Habit breaking activities (exercise, socializing in smoke-free venues, new hobby)
- Prescription medication
- Relaxation and alternatives (massage, meditation)
- Avoid e-cigarettes, vape pens, or vaping devices, as their safety is controversial and use has been linked to lung damage and deaths.
Quit smoking and you will notice benefits right away. Your heart rate and carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal within the first day of quitting. After the second day, there is no more nicotine in your body. Your breathing starts to improve in another day. After a few weeks, you start to lower the chance of having a heart attack, and you don’t tire as easily. And of course, over time, you also decrease the chance of lung and other cancers. You may also reduce the severity of respiratory infections such as COVID-19. Aren’t you curious how you will feel even after a few days?
The first few days will be filled with constant decision-making. It is stressful, but remember, you actually will have less stress when you lead a smoke-free lifestyle. Go back to that list of benefits you made and celebrate each day you break away from the grip of smoking. The first few days and weeks require as much help as you can get to fight your cravings. You might fall off that bike, but get back on it – practice and you will succeed. Seek the help of your PharmaChoice pharmacist and let your pharmacist help you achieve your goal to quit smoking, one step at a time.