Everyone knows how harmful smoking is. And yet most people find it incredibly difficult to give up addiction. This is one of the reasons why more than 1 billion people worldwide smoke. The good news: it pays to stick with it! In fact, on average, it takes about 30 attempts before someone successfully becomes a non-smoker. In this article, we present some effective methods that can help you quit smoking permanently.
Don’t smoke on a schedule
The power of habit often thwarts aspiring nonsmokers. Simply quit? Easier said than done. But with the right attitude and thorough preparation, you can give up cigarettes for good. The following points are particularly important:
Why do you want to quit?? Whether the main reason is health, money, or the risk of secondhand smoke from your loved ones, it helps to be aware of your motivation. Think of a nice picture of your new, smoke-free life and call it to mind in critical situations.
Tell friends, acquaintances and colleagues at work when you will stop smoking. Ask them not to smoke in your presence and not to offer you cigarettes. You can also make a perseverance bet.
Create a smoke-free environment
Without lighters, matches and ashtrays, it is harder to reach for a cigarette. If you usually reach for a cigarette in certain situations such as z. B. If you’ve been smoking while hanging out with friends, you can make a conscious decision to avoid them for a while.
Think about alternative behaviors for situations where you usually reach for a cigarette. This is how you could z. B. When tense, knead a stress ball or drink a large glass of water instead of your morning cigarette.
Define subgoals and consider rewards for milestones such as 1 week or 1 month of not smoking. That can z. B. be a shopping trip or a visit to a spa. Such plans give your motivation an extra boost, especially in difficult times.
Plan for setbacks
Smoking cessation is a process. A slip is not a shame, but (unfortunately) completely normal. Whether this means that the whole project of not smoking has failed is up to you. Consider beforehand how to evaluate a possible cigarette and how to proceed with your plan in this case.
By the way: The withdrawal symptoms (described in more detail in our article on the benefits of not smoking) are often less severe than many smokers fear! Usually the physical dependence is overcome after a few weeks, sometimes even after a few days.
Quitting smoking with therapeutic help
Behavioral therapy can help those who want to quit on their way. The patient and therapist work hand in hand to overcome both the physical and mental or. Dissolve social dependence on cigarettes. Group therapies based on science have also proven helpful.
Many health insurers participate in therapeutic interventions aimed at quitting smoking. But even if this is not the case: The money invested in therapy is often recouped in a very short time when you give up several cartons of cigarettes. You can find recommended cessation programs in your area on the joint information website of the German Federal Center for Health Education and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ).
Smoking cessation with medication
Medication can increase chances of successfully quitting smoking. There are 2 substances approved in Germany that do not contain nicotine: Bupropion and varenicline. It requires a prescription and the cost is not covered by health insurance companies. They also have some unpleasant, albeit temporary, side effects. The intake should therefore be accompanied by a doctor in any case.
The active ingredient bupropion is used both for smoking cessation and against depression. Exactly how it works is not entirely clear. Possible side effects include dry mouth, nausea, indigestion, headaches, dizziness and insomnia. People under 18, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with epilepsy, bipolar disorder, or eating disorders are not allowed to take bupropion.
This active ingredient mimics the effects of nicotine. At the same time, it reduces cravings and physical cravings for a cigarette. Side effects are similar to those of bupropion and it should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. If you have pre-existing kidney conditions, the application must be adjusted accordingly. Taking varenicline together with alcohol is very dangerous.
Nicotine patches, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes can also help people kick the smoking habit. You can read more about this in our article on nicotine replacement products.
Particularly promising is the combination of a smoking cessation drug with behavioral therapy. At Kry, you can get advice from a doctor about which approach is most likely to work for you personally.
Whether it is your 1. or your 30. Trying is: we wish you success in quitting smoking!