5 Tips to Quit Smoking (or Vaping) & Keep It That Way!
December 6, 2022
We probably don’t have to tell you that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and there are several benefits to kicking the habit.
Start Your Next Chapter Free of Cigarette Addiction
Not only does quitting smoking benefit you and your immediate family member, but it may also benefit your unborn children – and grandchildren. That’s right! Studies show that the effects of second and third-hand smoke negatively impact egg and sperm quality, directly affecting future generations (parents.com).
There’s never been a better time to quit Smoking than today, and WHA is here to help.
5 Tips to Quit Smoking (or Vaping) & Keep It That Way!
To keep things simple, we’ll use the term “smoking” to describe any nicotine addiction, including vaping. With that in mind, here are five tips for quitting smoking (or vaping) – and keeping it that way.
1. Schedule an appointment with your physician
Accountability is essential when trying to quit smoking. We all need people who care about us to keep us on track, and your physician is a first line of accountability support. At your appointment, we’ll listen to your smoking story and learn more about previous attempts to quit.
Together, we’ll create a plan that addresses any of these tips that apply to you, including prescriptions for “quitting smoking medicines” (more on those below) if that feels right, and we’ll be there for you every step of the way.
2. Know what to expect so you can make sense of it
When you stop inhaling, ingesting, or injecting addictive substances (including sugar!), you’ll have withdrawals. Withdrawals are always temporary, but they range from mildly annoying to excruciating. Knowing what to expect helps you gain control over them.
When you experience one of the following nicotine withdrawal symptoms, speak to yourself gently. Come up with something that resonates with you, like “It’s okay, sweetheart. This is just a withdrawal symptom, and it will pass.” If you feel comfortable doing so, share this list with friends, family members, and loved ones so they can remind you if you forget.
Common smoking withdrawal symptoms include:
● Powerful urges to smoke, vape, or get nicotine any way you can (be present with the feelings and breathe through it).
● Feeling jumpy and restless (get physical if you can; chew gum, tap a leg, use fidget toys, or plan to exercise later if you can’t get up and move right now).
● Have trouble concentrating (give yourself a break and minimize concentration-necessary projects or activities for a few days or a week).
● Difficulty sleeping (make a conscious effort to observe other healthy sleep habits).
● Feeling hungry or gaining weight (talk to us about healthy but satisfying snacks that can help you with the munchies but won’t add weight).
● Increased anxiety, stress, or depression (we’ll discuss temporary medications that get you over the initial craving humps while minimizing symptoms. This is especially helpful for patients who are more prone to anxiety or depression in the first place).
These cravings, withdrawals, and side effects are all more manageable when you have accountability buddies.
3. Consider joining online or in-person accountability groups (and avoiding smokers)
Have a friend, family member, or co-worker who also wants to quit? That may be your best accountability choice. However, there are also plenty of online and in-person groups out there for you. You’ll notice that having some accountability with someone (or a group) who also wants to quit supported many of the former smokers featured in the CDC’s Real Stories: Tips From Former Smokers campaign.
That also may mean taking a break from those who do smoke and can’t be supportive of your mission. In addition, limiting your physical proximity to smoking helps to alleviate the triggers and withdrawal symptoms.
4. Determine which nicotine replacement therapy or medication is best
While some people are able to quit smoking “cold turkey,” studies show that less than 10% are successful. About 93% to 96% need help via nicotine replacement therapy. This comes in many forms, and your physician can work with you to choose which one – or a combination – makes the most sense for you.
Some of the most common forms of nicotine replacement therapy are:
● Nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges slowly decrease (titer) the amount of nicotine you receive over a specific number of days.
● Prescription nasal sprays or inhalers
● Prescription medications that reduce anxiety, stress, depression, and withdrawal symptoms, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, others) and varenicline.
If you currently smoke standard cigarettes, DO NOT fall for the line that e-cigarettes can help. In our experience, they make things worse by perpetuating addiction. Traditional methods for quitting smoking, such as the ones listed here, are far more successful.
5. Keep active on multiple fronts
The more you move and keep active, the easier it will be to avoid smoking. This may look like different things for different people. For example, you might more actively:
● Practice stress management
● Take up a new hobby or interest
● Seek friends that don’t smoke or use nicotine products
● Journal all the reasons you’re making this commitment (overall health benefits, present and future fertility, setting a good example for children, honoring the wishes of loved ones, etc.)
Quit Smoking With Women’s Health Associates
If you’re looking to quit smoking, contact us to setup a “quit smoking appointment” today!