When a smoker decides to take the leap of faith into the ex-smoker’s world, he will encounter certain challenges that are easier to overcome if he knows what to expect. Cravings is the most common tobacco cigarette smoking withdrawal symptom. Here is what you can do about it:
- Occupy yourself with something until it passes (usually 3-5 minutes).
- Start a chore from your To Do list.
- Think of something else to concentrate on.
- Drink water, chew some spearmint gum.
- Eat a fruit.
- Take a few long, deep breaths.
- Brush your teeth.
- Remind yourself that these cravings will diminish after a few days.
- Smoke (vape) a low-nicotine or nicotine-free electronic cigarette or take a nicotine substitute if you must.
- Go for a walk in the park, take a cool shower or take a nap.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Inhaled tobacco smoke causes physical dependence and unpleasant symptoms. Reduce these symptoms with a nicotine replacement such as nicotine gum, nicotine patch or a e-cigarette. Nicotine replacement therapy doubles your chances of successfully quitting smoking. The patch for example, slowly diffuses nicotine through the skin. It is obtained without a prescription, and so are electronic cigarettes. E-Cigarettes exist with or without nicotine, which is delivered to the lungs through water vapor from evaporated propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. Electronic cigarettes are over a thousand times less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.
Smoker’s most common replies to nicotine replacement therapy:
- “I am opposed to the idea of using a medication to help me stop smoking.” There is no shame in using a drug to alleviate the symptoms of tobacco withdrawal. Sometimes our cravings are stronger than our will and help may be necessary.
- “It does not work.” Although many scientific studies have shown that these products are effective, they are not a guarantee of success. Their use does not exempt you from making an effort to change your habits and stop smoking for good.
- “I can easily quit smoking without using such products.” Misplaced pride can lead to relapse. These nicotine replacement products double your chances of success when used wisely. Put all the cards in your hands!
- “These products are too expensive.” It is true that these products are expensive but they are much cheaper than what you spend on cigarettes every single year.
- “I fear the side effects of these products.” Nicotine substitutes such as electronic cigarettes, the patch or nicotine gum, have very few side effects, and these effects are commonplace. The patch may cause itching or a skin rash. The gum may sometimes cause indigestion and the e-cigarette in rare cases may cause throat irritation in those users who are sensitive to PPG (alternatively glycerin-based e-cigarettes are also available). It is important to know that nicotine replacement therapy is not nearly as hazardous to your health as smoking is. In particular, it does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.