It is never easy to give up something with which you’re habituated, therefore quitting cigarettes, after years of ‘togetherness’ must be extremely difficult.
The good news is: nothing is impossible in this world just like quitting cigarettes. To give up smoking, you need determination, they say. To complement from your strength of mind in giving up this terrible habit, The Daily Star brings you some foolproof professional tips after talking with doctors and successful ex-smokers.
Pick up a technique: To quit smoking is not an easy task but with a particular technique it can be easier to quit said Dr Mujahidul Islam Nipun, medical officer at Care Specialized Hospital. One proven way to eventually quit smoking is to cut down on the numbers of cigarettes every day, he added. All that is needed is a habit of ‘smoking less’ every day, which will eventually help to quit. But, irrespective of the technique opted, the most important and crucial issue is to ‘stick to smoking less’, said Kawsar, a middle aged businessman, chain-smoker for 20 years who managed to get rid of his habit.
Exercise: Study reveals that exercise can cut the cravings of nicotine. It is normal to have severe cravings for nicotine after you give up smoking, however, to control that longing, exercise helps the most because during exercise body reveals anti-craving chemicals that plays a role in controlling the desire to smoke, Nipun said. Any form of exercise should be sufficient, including basic stretches or walks, said Fahad, chain smoker, who gave up after he was diagnosed with lungs infection.
Alteration in food/drinks: A study in the US has revealed that alteration in eating habits can affect the taste of cigarette. For example, a cigarette feels more satisfying followed by meat but that same cigarette feels terrible if it is consumed after eating fruits, vegetables or cheese. Therefore, it follows that eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables helps a person to quit smoking. Also, the same study revealed that fizzy drinks and caffeine in tea and cigarettes accelerates the urge of smoking, thus it is advisable to replace fizzy drinks and alcohol with water and fruit juices and cut down the caffeine intake, said Nipun.
Friends/Family: Friends and family play a major role in our lives’ endeavors, thus they can always help to quit, said Fahad, adding that, his wife and daughter played the major role while he decided to quit. Avoid hanging around with friends during their smoking breaks at school or work, or avoid going into the ‘smoking zone’ as it always smells of cigarettes. Rather, during breaks sit around with those friends who are non smokers or play an computer game – to divert your mind, he advised
Determination: At the end of the day, the most effective and realistic way to quit is ‘determination to quit’, said Nipun. The feeling that ‘I cannot quit smoking’ is nothing but a psychological condition or dependency of the smoker – which is curable. A person can make a list of reasons why he wants to quit smoking, and look into it every time his determination trembles, said Faiza, who was a smoker, till she conceived her first child. “I gave up the day I learned that I was pregnant and whenever I crave nicotine, I look into my son’s face and tell myself I will not smoke for his sake” she said adding that reminders about the reason to quit always strengthen determination and eventually help to come out of the habit.