14 Mar more tips for quitting cigarettes with NRT
When the time comes to step down on nicotine patches (if you are quitting cigarettes with NRT), it is important to cut yourself some slack. I suggest that you lower your expectations about what you are likely to achieve in the week following a reduction in the strength of your nicotine patch.
Nicotine is a very powerful drug. And even in small quantities it can have a significant effect on your concentration. Be kind to yourself and give yourself some time to get back to firing on all cylinders.
Follow the instructions when quitting cigarettes with NRT
I would also suggest staying on each level of nicotine strength for at least as long as the packet directions suggest. I know there is a tendency to want to rush through and get the nicotine out of your system. While that is a laudable aim, I would suggest being patient with your recovery. It takes time to break the connections in your mind between your triggers and smoking cigarettes. That is the whole point of the nicotine patches. They give you time and space to build a new neural network that does not include smoking a cigarette as a response to any given problem, emotion or triumph.
When people rush through their nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), they can find that they are craving cigarettes and struggling to cope with the romancing of a cigarette that can happen a month or so after your quit date. If you have an appropriate level of NRT, you will find that the cravings are more manageable, and when you do get to that romancing stage, you are more likely to mindfully flick those thoughts away.
No such thing as ‘just one’
The other thing to keep in mind when you are quitting cigarettes with NRT is that ‘just one’ will probably unravel your whole project, eventually. I have had the experience myself and witnessed it in others, where some weeks after quitting, you may slip up and have just one cigarette. The problem is that all the receptors in your mind wake up at that point. It may not happen instantaneously, it may happen over a period of many weeks, but I have seen the addiction creep back in. There is no such thing as ‘just one’. Cigarettes travel in packs.
Do yourself a favour and remain true to your abstinence. It is the only way.