Cigarette addiction is one of the hardest habits to beat. A lot of smokers want to quit smoking. Most don’t succeed.
Non-smokers and smokers alike underestimate the addictive nature of nicotine. Nicotine dependence is one of the most difficult addictions to quash and attempt to quit can lead to unpleasant withdrawal side effects.
If you have repeatedly failed to stop smoking cold turkey, you may want to try another approach and try to phase out your smoking habit slowly. For some, it is a less painful way of giving up your beloved cigarette rituals and works better than the popular cold turkey method.
Here are five tips on quitting smoking gradually.
Study Your Smoking Pattern
In order to stop smoking gradually, you need to first get to know your own pattern of smoking. Different people smoke for different reasons and therefore have varying smoking habits. Some people enjoy a cigarette as soon as they wake up. Others like to light up with a cup of coffee. Smoking habits come as different as smokers themselves. The question you need to answer is “What is yours?”
Break Up Your Goals
Instead of telling yourself you want to quit smoking entirely, set small goals and limits and slowly ease yourself towards an eventual stop. For example, if you smoke a cigarette every couple of hours, then increase the time between your smoke breaks to two and half hours, then up it to three hours. Slowly but gradually increase the number of hours you go without cigarettes.
Establish Smoke Free Zones
The idea here is to move smoking out of your normal life. If you are a bedroom smoker, you may want to start there by making it your first smoke free zone. Wash everything that smells like cigarettes. Move ashtrays out and put your cigarette pack elsewhere.
Gradually increase your smoke free zone to include your entire home, car, and other important personal spaces.
Tell your friends and family that you are trying to quit smoking. If any of them smoke, tell them to stop lighting up in front of you.
Set a Realistic Pace
Only you know what smoking means to you personally. Some people can quit fast. Others take up to six months or more. It is important to remind yourself that quitting is a long term commitment. Be patient. Allow time for your mind and body to adjust to each new goal you set for yourself. You will know when it is time to move on to the next one when you stop fighting strong urges to go back a step and become comfortable with your current nicotine intake.
In the end, your success in quitting smoking depends on how determined you are to stop. The bottom line is, smoking is extremely bad for your health and isn’t doing your wallet any favors.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
But you already know that.