How Can I Start The Day Without Smoking
Many smokers light up a cigarette right after they wake up. After 6 to 8 hours of sleep, a smokerâs nicotine level drops and they need a boost of nicotine to start the day. After you quit, you must be ready to overcome the physical need and routine of waking up and smoking a cigarette. Instead of reaching for your cigarettes in the morning, here are some tips:
- The morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. Plan a different wake-up routine to divert your attention from smoking.
- Be sure no cigarettes are available. Instead, keep sugar-free gum, mints, or nuts in the locations where you previously kept your cigarettes so when you automatically reach for cigarettes a healthy alternative is at hand.
- Before you go to sleep, make a list of things you need to avoid in the morning that will make you want to smoke. Place this list where you used to place your cigarettes.
- Begin each day with a planned activity that will keep you busy for an hour or more. Keeping your mind and body busy will distract you from thinking about smoking.
- Begin each day with deep breathing and by drinking one or more glasses of water.
Is Nicotine Use Really That Harmful What Health Harms Are Caused By Nicotine Use
Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature death. Tobacco is thought to contain at least 70 cancer-causing chemicals. One out of every three cancer deaths is caused by smoking. Smoking is harmful to almost every organ in your body. Smoking causes lung disease, cardiovascular diseases , diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, immune system weakness, erectile dysfunction, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, impairs fertility and many other health harms. Smoking during pregnancy deprives the baby of oxygen, slows fetal growth, causes withdrawal symptoms in fetuses and learning/behavioral problems in children.
What Is Nicotine Withdrawal
Nicotine creates a chemical dependency so that the body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times. Unless that level is maintained — by smoking or chewing tobacco — your body will begin to go through withdrawal. So, when you stop, your body goes through a very uncomfortable, but short-lived withdrawal process. This is why nicotine replacement is helpful for people trying to quit cigarettes — it reduces these unpleasant feelings.
Going through nicotine withdrawal can be tough. Because smoking affects so many parts of your body, nicotine withdrawal involves physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, including irritability, insomnia, anxiety, and increased appetite.
Youâll have intense cravings for a cigarette. Youâll be angry, irritable, and restless. Youâll have headaches and a cough. Youâll be tired but wonât be able to sleep.
But hang in there! Most withdrawal symptoms peak 48 hours after you quit and subside over the next 3 to 4 weeks.
When it ends, the nicotine will be out of your system. Youâll be healthier than youâve been in a long time.
Before you quit, itâs wise to have a plan for getting through these withdrawals. Youâll have an easier time if youâre mentally prepared and have some strategies for how to deal with your symptoms.
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Cutting Down Before You Quit
Making the decision to gradually cut down before you set your quit date is a great step in the right direction. You could:
- set goals – think about reducing your cigarettes each day, each week or fortnight
- continue to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke as you approach your quit date
- use nicotine replacement therapies in the cutting down phase, these help prevent you compensating for fewer cigarettes by taking more and deeper puffs
- change your habits go for a walk after dinner instead of having a cigarette
Now you’ve cut right down, stopping completely is just the next short step. If you choose to gradually cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day before stopping altogether, you should be careful that:
- you don’t begin to make up for smoking fewer cigarettes by inhaling deeper and taking more puffs to get the same nicotine effect
- trying a different approach such as cutting down over stopping completely, may in the long term make it harder for you to stop altogether
Sometimes cutting down can be counterproductive and takes more commitment and discipline than stopping abruptly. You’ll still experience the same withdrawal effects without seeing the financial and health benefits of stopping completely.
Use our cost calculator to see the financial benefits of giving up smoking entirely.
If you still don’t feel ready to quit entirely, you could also consider alternatives to smoking such as switching to an e-cigarette which cuts down your risk of harm.
Coping With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Once you stop smoking, youll likely experience a number of physical symptoms as your body withdraws from nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal begins quickly, usually starting within an hour of the last cigarette and peaking two to three days later. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks and differ from person to person.
Know What Challenges To Expect
The first few weeks of quitting vaping are usually the hardest. Take it one day at a time. You may face some challenges along the way, but knowing what to expect and being prepared can help.
Learn your triggers. Certain people, feelings, or situations can cause you to want to vape. Its important to know your triggers. It may be best to avoid situations that can trigger you to vape when youre in the early stages of your quit.
Prepare for cravings and withdrawal. Think about how you will fight cravings and deal with withdrawal symptoms. Knowing what to expect and having strategies for handling thoughts about vaping or uncomfortable feelings will help you succeed and stay with your quit in those tough moments.
Resist temptations. Avoid places and situations where others are vaping. If you cant avoid being around vaping, plan for how you will handle these situations. Maybe that means you take a temporary break from friends you vape with and think about what you will say if somebody offers you a vape.
Remove All Smoking Reminders
Smoking like any addiction is triggered by people, places, and things. For other addictions, the objects that are triggers are usually drug paraphernalia. In this case the paraphernalia include cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Get rid of all of them. Dont save anything just in case.
Freshen your environment at home, work and in your car. The smell of cigarettes is definitely a trigger, especially in the beginning.
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What Are The Symptoms After Quitting Smoking
Withdrawal symptoms manifest themselves in a variety of ways, and they are often linked to how much you smoked and for how long. Everybody is different, however, and while craving a cigarette is very common, some of these other symptoms may not affect you. Either way, its important to be aware of what to expect,
What Are The Most Common Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. How severe your symptoms are depends on how frequently you use a nicotine product and the amount of nicotine in the product you use.
Common symptoms include:
- Constipation and gas or diarrhea.
- Cough, dry mouth, sore throat and nasal drip.
- Chest tightness.
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Can Withdrawal Symptoms Be Prevented
Unfortunately, everyone who has been a regular user of tobacco products experiences some degree of withdrawal when they quit. Your healthcare provider can recommend over-the-counter or prescription products to ease your withdrawal symptoms. These products, however, mostly target cravings or urges. There are some behavioral strategies you can try to curb other withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Drink fluid or eat fiber-rich foods to ease constipation.
- Drink fluids to relieve cough.
- Perform deep breathing exercises to ease chest tightness.
- Drink water, chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to ease dry mouth and sore throat.
- Organize your work in advance, take a few breaks to help with concentration issues.
- Get plenty of sleep, take short naps as needed to counter fatigue.
- Change positions slowly to help adjust to dizziness.
- Drink lots of water and eat a low-calorie, healthy snack to fight hunger.
- Dont drink caffeinated beverages and products several hours before bedtime, listen to calming music and turn off electronic devices to help you sleep.
- Practice relaxation techniques, take a warm bath or go for a walk to reduce irritability.
- Review other non-medication tips listed in the previous question.
Understanding The Addiction To Nicotine
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that is found in cigarettes. When a person first allows nicotine to enter the system, they have to continue to feed the nicotine into the system to stop the body from going into withdrawals. In addition to nicotine being in the cigarettes, there are also other toxic substances that a person inhales into their lungs. Without the use of nicotine, the person goes through withdrawals.
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Appetite And Weight Gain
Nicotine can be an appetite suppressant and smoking also interferes with your senses of taste and smell, so some people use smoking as a snack substitute and as a way to try and control their weight.
One of the most rewarding aspects of quitting smoking can be rediscovering the joy of food.
As long as the food you choose is healthy and eaten in moderation, there should be no problem.
Symptoms Of Nicotine Withdrawal
The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are both physical and psychological.
The physical side effects only last for a few days while the nicotine leaves the body, but the psychological side effects can continue for much longer.
Although it may feel unpleasant, nicotine withdrawal, for the most part, has no associated health risks. However, if a person experiences significant changes in their blood pressure, this may affect their heart health.
The psychological symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
- a strong desire or craving for nicotine
- irritability or frustration
Each person will have a different experience of nicotine withdrawal. Some individuals experience only mild symptoms for a few days, whereas others may have intense cravings and symptoms that last several weeks.
About 2 hours after smoking a cigarette, the body will have cleared about half of the nicotine. The level gradually decreases over the next few days until it can no longer affect the body.
Alongside the withdrawal symptoms, people also begin to notice positive changes. These may
No single type is necessarily better than another. However, combining different types of NRT could have a stronger effect than a single method alone.
Several types of medication can help treat nicotine withdrawal, including:
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Benefits Of Quitting Smoking
Quitting is one of the best things you will ever do for your health. It can affect your life in ways you may not even imagine.
Benefits to your health and life from quitting smoking include:
- Your sense of taste and smell may improve, so you may enjoy your food more.
- Exercising to increase your fitness will become easier.
- You will be free from the hassles of smoking, such as smelling of smoke, or always having to make sure you have enough cigarettes.
- Your fertility levels will improve , and if youre a woman, your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby will also increase.
- You will save thousands of dollars a year that you can save or spend on other things.
- Your family and friends will also benefit because:
- You wont put their health at risk with second-hand smoke any more
- Your children will be less at risk from bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, meningitis and ear infections.
How Can I Resist The Urge To Smoke When I’m Driving Or Riding In A Car
You may have become used to smoking while drivingâto relax in a traffic jam or to stay alert on a long drive. Like many smokers, you may like to light up when driving to and from work to relieve stress, stay alert, relax, or just pass the time.
Tips for short trips:
- Remove the ashtray, lighter, and cigarettes from your car.
- Keep healthy substitutions, such as sugar-free gum, mints, or nuts, in your car.
- Turn on your favorite music and sing along.
- Take an alternate route to work or try carpooling.
- Clean your car and use deodorizers to reduce the tobacco smell.
- âThis urge will go away in a few minutes.â
- âSo, Iâm not enjoying this car ride. Big deal! It wonât last forever!â
- âMy car smells clean and fresh!â
- âIâm a better driver now that Iâm not smoking while driving.â
When you are driving or riding with other people:
- Do not allow passengers to smoke in your car.
- If youâre not driving, find something to do with your hands.
Your desire to smoke may be stronger and more frequent on longer trips. On long trips:
- Take stretch breaks.
- Plan rest stops.
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How Can I Stop Using Nicotine
If you have tried to quit using tobacco before, dont get down about it. Kicking a nicotine habit is one of the hardest things to do. Luckily, there are many products and therapies that can help you.
A variety of Nicotine Replacement Therapy products, in the form of gums, patches, lozenges and sprays, can replace the nicotine that smokers crave. These products can also get rid of the physical withdrawal symptoms most people have when they try to quit.
Set Up Your Environment For Success
Hays recommends creating a temptation-free home, such as throwing out anything that reminds you of vaping. Make sure your room, backpacks, purses and pockets are free of any e-cigarettes and things you need to vape. Then, let your friends know youre trying to quit so they dont bring vaping items around you that could trigger a craving.
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What Happens When You Quit Smoking Cold Turkey
Your body will begin to reap the health benefits of quitting smoking within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.
Withdrawal symptoms can make it feel otherwise, though. Many people feel like they have the flu when quitting smoking.
Nicotine is highly addictive. Research suggests it may be as addictive as cocaine, heroin, and alcohol.
The good news is that withdrawal symptoms are temporary. The worst symptoms usually improve in a few days to a couple of weeks.
Here are some common nicotine withdrawal symptoms:
- intense cravings for cigarettes
- changes in bowel habits
Withdrawal symptoms and their severity can differ from person to person and change from day to day. As uncomfortable as they can be, nicotine withdrawal typically isnt dangerous for your health.
Remember that symptoms are only temporary. The longer you go without nicotine, the easier it will get.
If You Start Smoking Again
If you have a cigarette, dont use it as an excuse to go back to smoking.
Remove yourself from the situation. Go for a walk, take a deep breath or have a drink of water, and ask yourself if you really want to be smoking again. Try not to waste your energy on self-blame. Instead, treat that cigarette as a sign to revise your quitting strategy.
If youve tried several times to give up smoking and you havent succeeded yet, dont lose hope. Its common for people to try to quit a number of times before they stop smoking for good.
Next time you quit, spend some time thinking about what has worked for you in the past, and what challenges caused you to go back to smoking. Then make plans for what you will do this time when those temptations come up again.
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How Does Nicotine Replacement Therapy Work
NRT helps by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally get from a cigarette. You may still get cravings but NRT take the edge off. Using NRT can help to reduce feelings of withdrawal.
If you are using NRT but still have strong withdrawal, take a look at how you use them. With the mouth spray some people spray it into their throat instead of under their tongue or on the inside of their cheek. You don’t puff the inhaler like a cigarette, but instead take lots of little ‘sips’. To learn how to use NRT, visit their individual page: patches, gum, mouth spray, lozenge, inhalator.
Nicotine patches, lozenges and gum are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at a discounted rate. See your doctor for a prescription.
For most people who smoke, combination therapy: using nicotine patches plus a faster-acting NRT type like mouth spray or lozenge works best.
Also, to get the most from NRT, try to use them for at least 8 weeks. Talk to your health professional about what is best for you.
Does Nicotine Gum Cause Addiction
As mentioned, a fast-acting smoking reliever is nicotine gum or polacrilex nicotine. In it, nicotine is absorbed through the oral glands. At the end of the 12th week of your nicotine reduction regimen, you are told to avoid using these gums.
Nevertheless, many studies claim that daily nicotine gum use can be addictive. So, how to make full use of this strategy without compromising the wellbeing of the user?
When consuming nicotine gum, it is important to obey the guidelines to minimize the amount of nicotine you need fairly. You will find that the cravings will decline as the body gets used to less nicotine, and thats how you sever your reliance on it.
Nicotine gum, however, will only induce the users addiction at a relatively low rate. Within ten weeks, physicians often suggest that you should stop taking nicotine gum.
Several people have avoided smoking cigarettes yet switched to nicotine gum for a long time. Since, overall, this gum also contains enough nicotine to make certain individuals addicted to the point of feeling necessary.
Does nicotine gum give you a buzz?
Though gum and cigarettes both contain nicotine, the whole point of nicotine replacement therapy is that it can help you avoid nicotine abuse. Take the steps as instructed, and you should be able to say farewell to nicotine and cigarettes.
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