Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tips for quit smoke

Tired of the same old quitting tips? How will you navigate the up to 72 hours needed to reach peak withdrawal and again reside inside a nicotine-free body? The below cold turkey tips are vastly different from the advice rendered by those advocating months of using worthless and ineffective nicotine replacement products, nicotine that undercuts success and is costing lives.

1. The Law of Addiction – “Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.” It’s rooted in studies finding that lapse equals relapse for nearly all quitters.

Nicotine dependence is real drug addiction. While most walk away from trying to cheat when quitting feeling like they have gotten away with it, we cannot cheat the design of brain circuitry whose job it is to make activating events nearly impossible in the short term (the time needed for recovery) to forget or ignore. And it wouldn’t be long before we found our brain wanting, plotting to obtain, or even begging for more.

The natural insecticide nicotine has de-sensitized and rewired your brain, causing it to grow millions of nicotinic receptors in at least eleven different regions. Although nicotine’s arrival is accompanied by alertness, not intoxication, numbness, euphoria or a racing sensation, the wanting you’ll feel for that next fix flows from the same dopamine pathways as the wanting felt by the alcoholic, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine addict.

Treating true addiction as though some nasty little habit capable of manipulation, modification or control is a recipe for relapse and an early grave. Fully accept who we are, real drug addicts. It can be our most liberating moment ever. Accept that there is no such thing as just one, that one will always be too many, while thousands never enough.

Remember, half of adult smokers continue to smoke themselves to death. They lose an average of 13-14 years of life (U.S. male & female rates). Your smoking deathline — the point beyond which the damage done makes quitting and regaining full life expectancy impossible — is approaching. It’s time for quitting games to end. Nicotine dependency recovery truly is all or nothing. And there’s one rule which if followed makes failure impossible: no nicotine today!

2. Measuring Victory – Forget about quitting “forever.” Like attempting the seemingly impossible task of eating an entire cow (steer), it’s the biggest psychological bite imaginable. Why not instead eat one nice juicy steak at a time. Adopt a realistic and do-able victory yardstick that celebrates freedom an hour, challenge and day at a time. If you insist on seeing success only in terms of quitting forever, then on which day will you celebrate? Who is coming to that party?

3. Emotional Recovery – Chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine is one of the most intense, repetitive and dependable relationships you’ve likely ever known. It has infected almost every aspect of your life and thinking. Be prepared to experience a normal sense of emotional loss when quitting which transports you through six very different phases: denial, anger, bargaining,  depression,  acceptance, and complacency. This emotional journey is normal and a necessary part of recovery.

4. Do Not Skip Meals – Each puff of the stimulant nicotine was your spoon releasing stored fats and sugars into your bloodstream via your body’s fight or flight pathways. It allowed you to skip meals without experiencing wild blood-sugar swing symptoms, such as an inability to concentrate or hunger related anxieties. Why add needless symptoms to withdrawal? Instead, learn to spread your normal daily calorie intake out more evenly over the entire day. Try hard not to skip breakfast or lunch. It’s not about eating more food but less food more frequently.

Drink plenty of acidic fruit juice the first three days. Cranberry is excellent and a bottle will cost less that a pack of cigarettes. It will help to both accelerate the up to 72 hours needed to remove the alkaloid nicotine from your bloodstream, and help stabilize blood sugars. Take care beyond three days as juices can be rather fattening.

Man free of smoke tips

You’ve decided to quit smoking. Congratulations! Your first day without cigarettes can be difficult. Here are five steps you can take to handle quit day and be confident about being able to stay quit.

1. Make a Quit Plan

Having a plan can make your quit day easier. A quit plan gives you ways to stay focused, confident, and motivated to quit. You can build your own quit plan or find a quit program that works for you. Check out SmokefreeTXT, QuitGuide app, or a quitlinelike 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) to get started. If you don’t know what quit method might be right for you, visit the Quit Smoking Methods Explorer to learn more. No single approach to quitting works for everyone. Be honest about your needs. If using nicotine replacement therapy is part of your plan, be sure to start using it first thing in the morning.

2. Stay Busy

Keeping busy is a great way to stay smokefree on your quit day. Being busy will help you keep your mind off smoking and distract you from cravings. Think about trying some of these activities:

  • Get out of the house for a walk.
  • Chew gum or hard candy.
  • Keep your hands busy with a pen or toothpick, or play a game in the QuitGuide app.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Relax with deep breathing.
  • Go to a movie.
  • Spend time with non-smoking friends and family.
  • Go to dinner at your favorite smokefree restaurant.

 

3. Avoid Smoking Triggers

Triggers are the people, places, things, and situations that set off your urge to smoke. On your quit day, try to avoid all your triggers. Here are some tips to help you outsmart some common smoking triggers:

  • Throw away your cigarettes, lighters, and ash trays if you haven’t already.
  • Avoid caffeine, which can make you feel jittery. Try drinking water instead.
  • Spend time with non-smokers.
  • Go to places where smoking isn’t allowed.
  • Get plenty of rest and eat healthy. Being tired can trigger you to smoke.
  • Change your routine to avoid the things you might associate with smoking.

 

4. Stay Positive

Quitting smoking is difficult. It happens one minute… one hour… one day at a time. Try not to think of quitting as forever. Pay attention to today and the time will add up. It helps to stay positive. Your quit day might not be perfect, but all that matters is that you don’t smoke—not even one puff. Reward yourself for being smokefree for 24 hours. You deserve it. And if you’re not feeling ready to quit today, set a quit date that makes sense for you. It’s OK if you need a few more days to prepare to quit smoking.

5. Ask for Help

You don’t need to rely on willpower alone to be smokefree. Tell your family and friends when your quit day is. Ask them for support on quit day and in the first few days and weeks after. They can help you get through the rough spots. Let them know exactly how they can support you. Don’t assume they’ll know.