Friday, December 22, 2006

How To Quit Smoking Once And For All

It is undisputed that smoking is harmful to your health. It increases chances of a heart attack; is a leading cause of lung and other types of cancers; and is also an expensive habit. But, smokers who try to quit will attest to the fact that quitting is not easy. The nicotine found in cigarettes is highly addictive and most smokers who try to quit attempt to do so several times before being successful.

It is best to prepare yourself for quitting by removing all cigarettes, ashtrays and other signs of smoking from your environment at home, work and in your car. Seeing them is only a reminder and will hamper progress. Decide you want to quit and be determined. Do not smoke during this time even a little. The one cigarette you have may encourage you to have more, impeding your ability to quit altogether.

A support system is very important to quit. Make sure family and friends are aware of your decision to quit and will help support you in your decision. If you have family and friends who smoke, ask them not to do it near you for awhile so you don’t have the urge to smoke with them. There are many support groups available as well. You can find telephone support or group therapy in just about every major city. Most of these are free and can provide a valuable boost to your morale during this difficult time.

Try to reduce the stress levels in your environment. Stay busy and active to promote good health. Taking long walks, indulging in a hot bath, spending some time at a day spa or getting a massage are great ways to reduce stress levels while keeping occupied. Ensuring you are distracted will help curb cravings for cigarettes.

Nicotine replacement is helpful in overcoming the addiction while allowing you to concentrate on the removal of the other harmful effects of smoking. Most entail a gradual reduction of nicotine so your body becomes more used to not having it. There are many types from skin patches to gums and lozenges. Studies indicate one method is no better than the next and is dependent on personal preference. Acupuncture and hypnosis have gained popularity as ways to help quit smoking. Consult a physician for a referral to a reputable hypnotist or acupuncturist before committing to this type of treatment.

Making the decision to quit smoking can be one of the most difficult things to do but will greatly benefit you in the long run. With a little support from friends and family the process will be much smoother. Try to stay active to distract from cravings. If you have intense withdrawals use a nicotine replacement such as a patch or gum to help curb cravings. The advantages of living a smoke-free life are many. Improve your health and the health of those around you by quitting.

About the author:

Gray Rollins is a featured writer for If you'd like quit smoking help, or to learn the best way to quit smoking,