Ways Of Quitting Smoking Essay

There are several traditional methods that have been shown to be effective in helping people stop smoking. Most treatments for quitting smoking can be broadly classified into two approaches:

  • Psychological/behavioral
  • Anti-smoking medication

There is no single approach to quit smoking that has been found effective for all people who smoke. As with all of these smoking interventions, findings are based upon research studies comparing one group with another.

Even so, individual results will vary and the treatment needs to be tailored to the person’s unique situation.

For example, even though research has not found hypnosis or acupuncture to be consistently effective to help people quit smoking, for some people it is highly effective.

Most research suggests that a combined intervention is often most effective over the long term. A combined approach uses both:

  • A behavioral intervention to address the "habit" of smoking
  • An anti-smoking medication to help with the physical dependency (reduce negative effects of nicotine withdrawal).

It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss each of these in great detail; rather, this article will provide a review of all of the most substantiated methods to help people quit smoking, including a review of relative success rates and an index of reliable resources to help people quit smoking.

Make an honest list of all the things you like about smoking.


Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and write them on one side; on the other side make a list of all the things you dislike, such as how it can interfere with your health, work, family, etc., suggests Daniel Z. Lieberman, M.D., director of the Clinical Psychiatric Research Center at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. (Did you know smoking affects your appearance?) Think about the list over time, and make changes. If you are brave enough, get feedback from family and friends about things they don’t like about your use of cigarettes. When the negative side outweighs the positive side, you are ready to quit.

Then make another list of why quitting won’t be easy.


Be thorough, even if the list gets long and discouraging. Here’s the important part: Next to each entry, list one or more options for overcoming that challenge. For instance, one item might be: “Nicotine is an addictive drug.” Your option might be: “Try a nicotine replacement alternative.” Another reason might be: “Smoking helps me deal with stress.” Your option might be: “Take five-minute walks instead.” (Here are some other healthy ways to manage your stress.) The more you anticipate the challenges to quitting, and their solutions, the better your chance of success.

Write all your reasons for quitting on an index card.


Here are some to get you started: “My daughter, my granddaughter, my husband, my wife…”
 You get the idea. Keep it near you at all times. (Here are some things that ex-smokers said helped them quit.)

Content continues below ad

As you’re getting ready to quit, stop buying cartons of cigarettes.


Instead, only buy a pack at a time, and only carry two or three with you at a time (try putting them in an Altoids tin). Eventually you’ll find that when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. That will slowly wean you down to fewer cigarettes. (Worried about gaining weight? Here's how to avoid weight gain when you quit.)

Keep a list of when you smoke for a week before quitting.


Also note what you're doing at the time and how bad the craving is to see if specific times of the day or activities increase your cravings, suggests Gaylene Mooney, chair of the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Subcommittee on Smoking and Tobacco-Related Issues. (This might be the best way to quit smoking!)

Prepare a list of things to do when a craving hits.


Suggestions include: take a walk, drink a glass of water, kiss your partner or child, throw the ball for the dog, play a game, wash the car, clean out a cupboard or closet, have sex, chew a piece of gum, wash your face, brush your teeth, take a nap, get a cup of coffee or tea, practice your deep breathing, light a candle. Make copies of the list and keep one with you at all times so when the craving hits, you can whip out the list and quickly do something from it. (When you do quit, here are some things you can do to improve your health.)

Quit when you’re in a good mood.

Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Studies find that you’re less likely to be a successful quitter if you quit when you’re depressed or under a great deal of stress. (Here are some foods guaranteed to put you in a good mood!)

Content continues below ad

When your quit date arrives, throw out anything that reminds you of smoking.


That includes all smoking paraphernalia — leftover cigarettes, matches, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette holders, even the lighter in your car. (You should remove these nine things from your car while you're at it.)

Put all the money you’re saving on cigarettes in a large glass jar.


You want to physically see how much you’ve been spending. Earmark that money for something you’ve always dreamed of doing, but never thought you could afford, be it a cruise to Alaska or a first-class ticket to visit an old college friend. (Another way to save money: Don't fall into these retail traps!)

Think of difficult things you have done in the past.


Ask people who know you well to remind you of challenges you have successfully overcome, says Dr. Lieberman. This will give you the necessary self-confidence to stick with your pledge not to smoke. (Here are some science-backed ways to boost your self-confidence.)

Content continues below ad

Find a healthy snack food you can carry with you.


In place of smoking cigarettes, try sunflower seeds, sugar-free lollipops, or gum, or carrot or celery sticks if you're concerned about weight gain. You can also switch your cigarette habit for a nut habit, and eat four nuts in their shell for every cigarette you want to smoke. This way, you're using your hands and your mouth, getting the same physical and oral sensations you get from smoking. (Here are some healthy, guilt-free snacks!)

Switch to a cup of herbal tea whenever you usually have a cigarette.


The act of brewing the tea and slowing sipping it as it cools will provide the same stress relief as a hit of nicotine. Or carry cinnamon-flavored toothpicks and suck on one whenever a cig craving hits. (Tea is great for SO many other things, too!)

Instead of a cigarette break at work, play a game of solitaire on your computer.


It takes about the same time and is much more fun (although, like cigarettes, it can get addictive). If your company prohibits games like that, find another five-minute diversion: a phone call, a stroll, or eating a piece of fruit outdoors (but not where smokers congregate).

Picture yourself playing tennis.


Or go play tennis. British researchers found volunteers trying to quit smoking were better able to ignore their urges to smoke when they were told to visualize a tennis match. (Plus, tennis is really good for you!)

Content continues below ad

Create a smoke-free zone.

Polka Dot/Thinkstock

Don’t allow anyone to use tobacco in your home, car, or even while sitting next to you in a restaurant. Make actual “No Smoking” signs and hang them around your house and in your car. (Here's how to get that cigarette smell out of your home.)

Post this list in a visible location in your house.


Whenever you’re tempted to light up, take a look at all the ways smoking can damage your health:
• Increases risk of lung, bladder, pancreatic, mouth, esophageal, and other cancers, including leukemia

• Increases risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure

• Increases risk of diabetes

• Reduces levels of folate, low levels of which can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease

• Affects mental capacity and memory

• Contributes to thin bones

• Increases likelihood of impotence

• Reduces fertility

• Affects ability to smell and taste

• Results in low-birth-weight, premature babies

• Increases risk of depression in adolescents

• Increases your child’s risk of obesity and diabetes later in life if you smoked while pregnant

To minimize cravings, change your routine.


Sit in a different chair at breakfast or take a different route to work. If you usually have a drink and cigarette after work, change that to a walk. If you’re used to a smoke with your morning coffee, switch to tea, or stop at Starbucks for a cup of java—the chain is smoke-free. (You might even work better in coffee shops!)

Swing by the health food store for some Avena sativa (oat) extract.


One study found that, taken at 1 milliliters four times daily, it helped habitual tobacco smokers significantly decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked.

Content continues below ad

Tell your friends, coworkers, boss, partner, and kids how you feel.

Andrew Hobbs/Thinkstock

Don't bottle up your emotions. If something makes you angry, express it instead of smothering it with cigarette smoke. If you’re bored, admit to yourself that you’re bored and find something energetic to do instead of lighting up. (Here are some other things you can do if you're bored.)

Make an appointment with an acupuncturist.


There’s some evidence that auricular acupuncture (i.e., needles in the ears) curbs cigarette cravings quite successfully, says Ather Ali, N.D., a naturopathic physician completing a National Institutes of Health-sponsored postdoctoral research fellowship at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Connecticut. You can even do it yourself by taping “seeds” (small beads) onto the acupuncture points and squeezing them whenever cravings arise. (Acupuncture can treat these other conditions, too.)

If you relapse, just start again.


You haven’t failed. Some people have to quit as many as eight times before they are successful.

More: Everyday Wellness

0 thoughts on “Ways Of Quitting Smoking Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *