Ready to Quit Smoking?

Finally gathered the courage to tell yourself that it’s time to STOP smoking? Here’re some tips that will help you to stop lightning up.

By Edeline Anne Gohquit-smoking

When it comes to quitting cigarettes, here’s the first rule you should follow: don’t go cold turkey!

Experts suggest that you shouldn’t opt to quit cold turkey as most smokers are both physically and psychologically addicted and a relapse is likely to occur. According to Health magazine’s online portal, only 3 to 10 percent of all quitters are able to stop smoking cold turkey.

However, every smoker is different hence, it is important to find a method that you’re most comfortable with to ensure your campaign to quit is successful. If you would like to opt for outside help, there are both conventional and unconventional methods for you to consider.

Remember, seeking help does not make you a weaker person. In fact your decision to quit this deadly habit makes you a better person and proves your love for the people around you as well as yourself.

Here are some Quit Smoking Tips :

Over-the-counter Aids

In many cases, quitting an addictive substance like cigarettes, out of the blue and without any help, can cause fairly severe withdrawal symptoms. Feeling agitated, experiencing insomnia or even depression are some examples. To help alleviate these symptoms some people choose over-the-counter (OTC) aids.

OTC aids include nicotine gum, lozenges or patches, which can be found in most pharmacies. There are various brands and doses available so be sure to speak to a medical professional about which OTC aid is best for you.

Also, just like any treatment, thoroughly read instructions and any information given to you before you begin. If you have any questions, be sure to clarify them before continuing with treatment.

Hypnosis

In hypnosis, a hypnotherapist verbally guides your subconscious mind to change your behavior. A hyper-responsive, hyper-attentive state is induced during which your subconscious mind is at its most suggestible state and then the hypnotherapist proceeds to replace harmful or unwanted thoughts with positive, healthy ones such as “I am uninterested in cigarettes” or “I should never touch another cigarette because one is all it takes to restart the addiction”.

These thoughts ideally take root in the mind to guide behaviour. Before opting for this treatment, make sure that you get in contact with a certified, qualified hypnotherapist. Keep in mind that hypnosis may not be for everyone. Due to insufficient research and evidence on this treatment method, it has yet to be approved by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Auricular Acupuncture 

If you are searching for a more traditional method to quit, you might want to consider acupuncture. Some studies show that this technique has a long-term effect on smoking cessation. A study published on the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine entitled “Effect of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction” found that this method of treatment, when done over a period of time, reduced the participants’ urge to smoke as they found the taste of tobacco to be unpleasant.

Another article titled “Auricular acupuncture, education and smoking cessation” also noted that acupuncture and education — either separately or in combination — significantly reduced smoking. Auricular acupuncture is a method, which focuses on presumed anti-smoking acupoints that are stimulated by acupuncture. You may come across many centers offering this treatment but be sure to choose carefully to ensure that the help you receive is from a professional and certified practitioner.

Behavioural Support and Interventions

This method is one of the most popular methods to help combat an addiction. It is found to have small but important effects on smoking cessation and works great with other methods as well, such as OTC aids. Behavioural support can be done in person or over the phone and requires the positive support of everyone around you.

Intensive interventions on the other hand include individual counselling, group counselling, and telephone counselling. You can look up a smoking cessation clinic or quit-line to get help or get coaching and counseling from your primary care doctor. Malaysia’s Ministry of Health has set up 300 quit-smoking clinics around the country. To find out more about where you can get help, visit the Malaysian health education portal at www.infosihat.gov.my.

Positive Competition

Are you a competitive person? If you are, why not search for a ‘quitting buddy’ to help you out with your goal? Take up a challenge with your colleague, friend or family member who is also interested in quitting cigarettes. In fact, a summary of a study published on the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine about smoking cessation among male employees in Malaysia showed that participants with higher support from co-workers demonstrated a higher likelihood of quitting.

So, work hand in hand with your ‘quitting buddy’ and try spicing things up by introducing a fine if one of you picks up a cigarette again.

There are tons of ways to quit smoking and to remain cigarette-free for the rest of your life. So, be a good example to your peers, colleagues and your loved ones by taking this wise step

Facts about Quitting

Here are some findings researchers around the world have found from their studies about smoking cessation:

  • Presence of other smokers at home lowers a person’s chances of quitting due to smoking cues
  • The success of smoking cessation is higher among those with a good social support at work
  • There is less success in quitting when the smoker is subject to long hours at work, an environment of conflict and stress and heavy physical workload.
  • The success rate of quitting climbs when the smoker gets advice from a doctor as opposed to a friend or family member.
  • Banning smoking at home and the workplace contributes to successful smoking cessation.

*Information derived from www.infosihat.gov.my

Did You Know?

If you quit smoking before you turn 50, you’ll cut the risk of dying in the next 15 years by as much as half compared to those who keep lighting up.

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