You know you should quit smoking - it will save you money and improve your health as well as the health of your loved ones - but facing the possibility of those withdrawal symptoms can be a daunting task.
Kicking the smoking habit doesn't have to be something to dread. Having a plan will help some, as will the support of family and friends. The first thing you should do after deciding you want to quit smoking is to make a plan and pick your quit day. Don't pick a date too far out in the future because that just lets you off the hook. Instead, try to pick a day not more than a month away. Picking a day that all ready has special meaning may help. Whichever day you choose, make sure you mark it on your calendar.
As the quit day approaches, try smoking fewer cigarettes each day. Pick a particular time of day you smoke, for example on the drive home or during a certain break at work, and try not to smoke then. On the quit day, quit. Don't try even a little puff. Get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays.
This all sounds simple so far, and for some smokers that may be it. However, for many smokers, the addiction to nicotine can make quitting difficult. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine and is found naturally in tobacco. It is what gives the pleasant feeling to smokers but it is also what makes it so hard for some to quit smoking.
There are some nicotine replacement therapies that can help with the withdrawal symptoms. Types of replacement therapies include a nicotine patch which gives measured doses to the person quitting, nicotine gum, a nicotine nasal spray, a nicotine inhaler and nicotine lozenges. Patches are available with or without a prescription, the gum and lozenges can be bought without a prescription, while the nasal spray and inhaler are by prescription only. All have various minor side effects.
There are also medications available to help you quit smoking. Bupropion is a prescription medication which does not contain nicotine but helps alleviate cravings. Varenicline lowers the feelings of pleasure smokers receive and is available by prescription only. Check with your physician for options.
Other programs include hypnosis, acupuncture and finding a support group.
Using multiple strategies may be necessary to quit smoking. Don't quit quitting. The key point to remember is that you need to take the mental perspective that you are going to do this for YOU. You cannot do it for your spouse or for someone else because that limits your chances of success, you need to quit smoking for YOU.