30 Jan Tips for quitting cigarettes or NRT
Smoking cessation can be tough, but it is so worth it, I promise! A little bit of pain now, for a huge gain in the future.
Don’t be afraid that you will get addicted to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), because it is so much easier to quit NRT than it is to quit cigarettes. I know of quite a few people who have used NRT for years after quitting cigarettes.
Firstly, the effect of NRT on your health is utterly insignificant compared to the health effects of cigarettes. You are not inhaling carbon monoxide, tar or any of the other 400 strong cocktail of chemicals you inhale every time you have a cigarette.
Nicotine is a poison, but NRT is so much better for you, than cigarettes, so if you find it helpful to use it while you are giving up cigarettes, then do it!
Some experts recommend using more than one form of NRT when you are quitting cigarettes. Nicotine patches are great, as they release a slow and steady stream of nicotine, but you might find that an intermittent form of fast dose NRT can help you with some of your stronger cravings.
I used Nicorette Quick Mist – Nicotine Spray. It was absolutely brilliant. The dose of nicotine gets to your brain in about 60 seconds, much more quickly than either lozenges or gum (which are also very effective), so it is very effective and very satisfying. It can really help with those tricky cravings that make giving up smoking so difficult.
Tips for quitting nicotine
Once you are ready to quit nicotine or to quit NRT, there are some things that make your life easier. Don’t forget the 4 D’s – drink a glass of water, distract yourself, deep breath or delay having a cigarette, when a craving hits.
Another good acronym is HALT. You might find that your cravings are more intense if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Try to get enough rest and to eat properly, so that your body does not get stressed and create a huge craving for a cigarette or NRT.
I find that getting outside and going for a walk can be incredibly useful when giving up NRT or cigarettes. It can give you a burst of much needed environmental stimulation and the exercise will release a small amount of dopamine that will make you feel good.
If you need to take time off work to get through the first few days or week of nicotine withdrawal, do it. You want to give yourself the best chance of success and quitting should be your number one priority. Sometimes work can be a good distraction, but if you find that you can’t concentrate and need some time, be kind to yourself. You will find that your concentration returns and that you can work just as effectively without cigarettes or NRT. In fact you may be more productive, because you don’t need to go and have a five minute cigarette break through your working day.
The final stage
If, like me, you got addicted to NRT, there are some ways that you can manage your quit of NRT so that you don’t have to suffer intense nicotine withdrawal. Using a nicotine patch (I would recommend the strongest patch – 21 mg to start), can really help to reduce the uncomfortable effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that patches are not addictive like some of the faster acting forms of NRT can be, so you can safely use a nicotine patch and when you have your NRT withdrawal under control, can gradually reduce the strength of the patch, or cut it in half and quarters to slowly reduce the steady stream of nicotine going into your system.
A forum for smoking cessation can be extremely effective, whether you are giving up cigarettes or NRT. It will consistently reinforce your mindset and the support that you will get from your peers on a forum will be absolutely invaluable.
Whatever your poison, make plans to quit and set yourself up for success. You deserve it!