Top Tips for Beating Your Nicotine Addiction for Good
Quitting any kind of addiction is no easy feat. Those with a nicotine addiction know first-hand how difficult it can be to reduce their reliance on this addictive chemical and lead healthier lives. But kicking this habit carries many benefits, making it a challenging but worthwhile journey to undertake.
For those choosing to utilise e-cigarettes in their quitting journey, be sure to familiarise yourself with how to get a nicotine prescription through your local doctor. In many countries, like Australia, this is required by law.
What is Nicotine Withdrawal?
Nicotine creates a chemical dependency, which forces the body to develop a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times. Unless that level is maintained, either through smoking or chewing tobacco, the body starts to go into a withdrawal.
In just 10 seconds after a smoker inhales, the nicotine level in their body peaks but quickly wears off, causing them to constantly seek the pleasurable feelings associated with this high. When a person chooses to stop consuming nicotine, their body will begin to develop physical symptoms during the withdrawal stage, leading many people to seek alternative methods and support to minimise the unpleasant process.
Know Your Triggers
Cigarettes and smoking isn’t just physiological addiction; it is also psychological addiction. For many people, smoking is a habit that is linked to specific daily routines and activities. It may be lighting up with your morning coffee, an activity you turn to when you are feeling anxious, or a way to take a midday break while at work.
Situations like these are known as trigger moments, and finding ways to overcome them without turning to nicotine is one of the hardest parts of kicking a nicotine habit. To prevent unnecessary challenges, you can change your daily routine, avoid social environments that could trigger the urge to smoke, and spend as much time as possible in smoke-free zones where temptation will be out of sight.
Build a Support System
The first thing you should do once you decide to stop using nicotine is to make those closest to you aware of your intentions and goals to build a support system around yourself. The people who are part of this circle can offer support and keep you accountable when you start to slip. Furthermore, sharing your goals and intentions with others allows you to celebrate the progress you make down the road.
Seeking therapy for addiction through local rehab centres, free and confidential call lines with experts or via therapy sessions will allow you to learn valuable behavioural tools and healthy coping mechanisms, further supporting your journey.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
The aim of NRTs is to reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop smoking. When used properly, they can make a significant difference in helping you quit once and for all.
Many NRTs are readily available at pharmacies and supermarkets and can be obtained without a prescription. These include patches, gum, inhalers, lozenges and oral sprays. You may need to test a few methods before finding one that best suits your personal preferences.
For some, an effective method to beat a nicotine addiction for good is temporarily switching to e-cigarettes or vapes. While these devices contain nicotine at various levels and intensities, the thousands of harmful and toxic chemicals in regular cigarettes are completely eliminated.
This strategy should be discussed with your primary doctor first, as they will be able to provide important information and advice which will assist you in lowering your intake and ultimately stopping completely.
The Cut-Down Method
Some people hoping to break their nicotine addiction have found it helpful to set a quitting date and gradually reduce their intake in the days leading up to it. It is not as effective as quitting straight away, but it is an excellent place to start if you are not ready to quit immediately.
In the days leading up to your quitting day, you can either slowly increase the time between each cigarette or reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. What you choose is personal preference, and both effectively reduce your consumption until you quit entirely.
Find a Replacement Hobby
This strategy is all about distraction. Find a hobby you enjoy doing that is easy to pick up and put down whenever your cravings become hard to manage. These could include completing crosswords, knitting or reading your favourite novel.
They will keep your hands and mind busy while you work through your cravings and can be carried around on your person outside the house if needed. Avoid choosing activities like playing action-packed video games as it is more likely to raise your blood pressure and create triggering emotions.
For those who do not find success in the traditional methods, seeking out alternative ways to assist them in breaking their nicotine habit may be the solution they are looking for. These can include hypnotherapy and acupuncture.
While there is no clear evidence to prove the success rate of these methods, many have benefited from their effect.