The last cigarettes given away, the ashtrays put away, no more lighter in your pocket – from now on you are Non-smoker and want to stay that way. How you successfully navigate this path depends on a few important Rules of conduct from.
Remember: smoking is an addiction. The decisive factor in banishing cigarettes from your life once and for all therefore begins with a conscious decision: I want to quit!
Smoking – the cause of many diseases
Smoking is unhealthy. Everybody knows that. Lung disease (z.B. COPD), cardiovascular diseases, vascular diseases. The list is long. Cancer, especially lung cancer, is also due to smoking in many cases. The ingredients in cigarettes are to blame: Nicotine, tobacco, ammonia, arsenic, butane – about 4.800 chemical substances, over 70 of which are carcinogenic or suspected of being carcinogenic 1 . For your body it is one poison cocktail.
Also heart attacks can have their reason in smoking and the associated blood circulation disturbances. Smoking during pregnancy also harms the unborn life. If anything positive can be said about smoking, it is that it boosts metabolism (and that is why many smokers have problems with weight after quitting).
The first 10 days are decisive for giving up smoking. Once you get past those, you’ll be well on your way to being a non-smoker forever. Because after 10 days you will have the worst Withdrawal symptoms behind you. your body goes into regeneration. That sounds hopeful? It does, especially if you are in the right phase of your smoking life. Check yourself!
The four phases of the smoker
1. Phase "stable Smoking time"
You smoke without giving it much thought – you’re long past that stage, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place.
2. Phase "Awareness"
Thoughts like "Does it really have to be?" – "All these bad consequences!" – "And my cancer risk?" are setting in.
3. Phase "Resolution"
To the thoughts come reasons – a smoking stop becomes especially often a success, if you can write down all the good reasons and read them over and over again.
4. Phase "Get active"
Really quit smoking now! Now all you have to do is decide on a method.
What is the best way to stop smoking??
Two Methods for the Nicotine withdrawal there are:
- Quit method:
The smoker simply stops smoking immediately. A fixed date is set, all paraphernalia (cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters) disappear from the home. There is now an alternative for the beloved smoke break (z.B. open the window and take a few deep breaths or stretch your body).
The closing method is the best choice if you are pregnant. The moment you know this, cigarettes have no place in your life anymore. Consider the damage to health that the fetus may suffer. And also what you save! The money you used to spend on cigarettes can now be invested in decorating your child’s room! Because smoking is now a thing of the past. you have something much nicer in mind for the future!
- Reduction method:
The smoker smokes less and less until he finally quits completely.
It is up to you to decide which method is the most promising for you. There is no guarantee of success, only the firm Will, to get rid of nicotine once and for all. And you have! Please take it one day at a time and reward yourself at night for sticking it out, z.B. with a brisk walk, a visit to the cinema or simply a delicious, low-calorie meal.
Measures for a smoke-free life
There are a number of Measures against smoking, which often work best when combined: z.B. Hypnosis or Acupuncture and in addition Seminars (Self-help group, anti-smoking programs or behavioral therapies).
Some measures mainly affect the physical withdrawal symptoms Against:
- (Prescription) medication (only under medical supervision)
Other measures aim more at mental stability:
- Non-smoking groups and seminars (z.B. from health insurance companies)
- Behavioral therapies
- Apps that show you how much money you’ve already saved or. how much your risk for various diseases has been reduced.
Many health insurance companies offer special Smoking cessation programs on, often a combination of behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy. The success rate is 20 to 40 percent – that’s more than other methods like z.B. of the quit method (only 6 percent success rate).
E-cigarettes, light cigarettes, or herbal cigarettes are sometimes touted as a lower-risk alternative to traditional smoking. But they are not. They serve the addiction center of the brain and are not healthy at all. Perhaps less harmful, but even there the experts are not sure.
Stop smoking – What to do about withdrawal symptoms?
Poor sleep, nervousness and then a huge appetite! The scale already shows the first kilos too much. Fellow men complain about your bad mood. withdrawal symptoms belong – more or less massively – to each smoking stop.
What actually happens in the body when it suddenly no longer receives nicotine?
Nicotine ensures in the brain that the Messenger substances Adrenalin, dopamine and serotonin are released. Above all, dopamine, the happiness hormone, provides a a feeling of reward. However, the body constantly needs more nicotine, to produce these positive feelings, because especially for dopamine the body has developed additional receptors during the whole period of active smoking. They are now suddenly ‘unemployed. If the nicotine stays away, the brain therefore reacts with Stress. A good 48 hours after the last cigarette, the lack of nicotine becomes unpleasant. Typical Symptoms are:
, Irritability and nervousness increase
- The Ability to concentrate diminishes
- The Appetite increases
- The psychological stress caused by withdrawal also causes symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, diffuse anxiety, palpitations, or depressed or aggressive moods
Against these withdrawal symptoms, however, you can immediately treat:
- Sleep disorders can be treated with mild remedies such as Valerian influence for a short time. Even a little reading before going to sleep, a hot bath or a little Wellness can provide the necessary relaxation. If you wake up frequently at night, it is better to get up consistently, drink something warm and then go back to bed. If worries plague you, write them down (z.B. a to-do list for the next day) and then consistently forget about them until the next morning.
- Plenty of exercise fresh air and sports have an effect on dopamine levels in the brain. Physical exertion also leads to a feeling of reward. Every smoking cessation program should therefore include an exercise program. This provides distraction, strengthens the body and also counteracts weight gain.
- Against concentration difficulties help Relaxation exercises, z.B. Yoga or autogenic training or even simple breathing exercises.
- You can curb the increased appetite. Crisp Vegetable sticks or Chewing gum distract (also from the appetite for sweets). Eat a conscious diet: healthy, varied, and as low in calories as possible.
- Works against mild depression St. John’s wort good. However, it takes a few weeks to get the slight mood-lifting effect. In addition, St. John’s wort is often known to interact with other medications, which even in low concentrations, e.g., can lead to a feeling of being sick.B. in herbal teas, can occur. In case of doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If you use nicotine patches, Nicotine sprays, Consider nicotine gum or lozenges, you should first consult your doctor and exclude possible contraindications.
Smoking stop – so it goes on
No matter which method you succeed with and whether you need a group or drug help. you can stop smoking and Staying a non-smoker! This is as much a lifelong program as your previous smoking career. Here are a few tips that will do you good: