Quitting smoking is far from easy. In fact, according to statistics from the FDA between 55% and 70% adult smokers have attempted to quit in the last year with only 8% being successful. From this already modest number, most are only able to stave off cigarettes for six to 12 months. Typically, the reason why most smoking cessation attempts fail is that the experience can be unpleasant while the body readjusts. Fortunately, there are methods to make this experience smoother without the need for medication or prescriptions:
Switch to nicotine alternatives
For many smokers, the withdrawal symptoms that come after cessation are what make the experience the hardest. These symptoms (which include irritation, headaches, and a dry throat to name a few) are usually brought on because the body has become dependent on the nicotine that cigarettes provide. As such, an effective way to help the body wean off this dependence without triggering withdrawal symptoms is to switch to nicotine alternatives first.
Nicotine alternatives are available in many forms, but among the most convenient and discreet are nicotine pouches. The ZYN pouches featured on Prilla show how these alternatives are tobacco-free. This means they don’t come with the same nicotine content that most smokers are trying so badly to avoid with cigarettes. At the same time, since pouches can be slipped under the lip relatively easily, they are practical solutions whenever a cigarette craving hits. Lastly, pouches come in flavors such as Peppermint, Citrus, and Cinnamon, so smokers can also alleviate smoking-related halitosis while they slowly ease themselves off nicotine.
Reduce your stress levels
Whether smokers admit it or not, smoking cigarettes is usually a self-soothing act. This is why during stressful times, smokers are quick to pull out a cigarette or two. While it’s easier said than done, it’s important to reduce stress so as not to tempt smokers to revert to old habits. This can mean simply trying to adopt a calmer mindset or even avoiding common stressors altogether. Sometimes this may mean removing yourself from certain situations like tense work meetings or arguments at home. But in the long run, by doing this it means reducing the chances of thinking about smoking.
As an added bonus, being less stressed is also good for the lungs, which is undoubtedly the organ most affected by smoking. As we explain in a previous article on “How to Help Your Lungs Recover”, stress compromises the lungs, and can even make certain pulmonary conditions like asthma much worse. Therefore, by reducing your overall stress levels, that’s one less reason to resort to smoking and a holistic way to help the lungs recover.
Adapt your daily diet
Eating, like smoking, can drastically affect your physical and mental well-being. During a smoking cessation program, it’s not uncommon that people use food as an outlet. But instead of just using food as an alternative coping mechanism to smoking, they can be further optimized to dull withdrawal symptoms and inhibit cravings altogether. According to these diet tips listed on VeryWellFit, foods that are crunchy and rich in fiber are great additions to a smoking cessation diet. This is because they keep the mouth busy and make you feel full which reduces cigarette cravings. At the same time, snacking on fruits that have antioxidants and vitamin C is also said to help prevent smoking cessation withdrawals because they help replenish any nourishment that smoking depletes. Inversely, foods like candies, sodas, and meats may heighten cigarette cravings because they allegedly make the taste buds register cigarettes positively. That said, smokers don’t have to totally eliminate or excessively add any one food. Rather it’s about finding a healthy balance that supports cessation.
Add regular exercise to your routine
A natural way to get past cigarette cravings is with exercise. Not only does exercise provide an outlet for energy that would otherwise go towards smoking, but it also strengthens the cardiovascular system that could’ve been affected by smoking. Specifically, exercise suggestions from Smokefree state that even short periods of aerobic exercise can reduce the urge to smoke. These include walking, swimming, running, dancing, or cycling. Furthermore, withdrawal symptoms and cravings can even be curbed up to 50 minutes after exercise. Lots of smokers find that they’re unable to exercise for more than a few minutes at a time, but studies suggest that even three 10-minute sessions provide the same benefits. So this is worth keeping in mind.
Finding the right approach to smoking cessation is different for everyone. While it may be easier for others, the important thing is to not go back to cigarettes even when the going gets tough. Although it will be hard initially, sooner rather than later, sticking to natural smoking cessation solutions can help you break the smoking cycle forever.