What Is Smoking Cessation?

Smoking is highly addictive and causes many health problems due to a large number of harmful toxins present in cigarette smoke. It is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Stopping smoking is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but with the right methods and support in place, you can have a successful journey in becoming smoke-free for life.

Smoking has become a major public health issue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills nearly 6 million people every year. In addition, it causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and other illnesses.

Smoking is bad for your health. If you smoke, you should quit immediately. The sooner you stop, the better off you’ll be. There are various ways to quit smoking; from nicotine patches and gum to hypnosis or acupuncture treatments.

There are also professional services available such as those at Quitline or counseling by medical professionals. You may want to talk to your doctor about your situation before starting any treatment. 

When deciding on which method to use, it’s best to choose something that offers help along the way so you can stay motivated and focused. Some medications may interact with some types of tobacco products, sometimes causing unpleasant side effects if combined. Be sure to consult your doctor for tailored advice and methods that will help you quit smoking. 

Today, we are here to talk about smoking cessation and walk you through the different methods you could use to quit smoking. Use this guide to find out what it is and learn more about smoking cessation. 

Overview Of Smoking Cessation 

Smoking cessation is the process of quitting smoking. Because smoking is very dangerous to an individual’s health and because cigarettes contain a substance called nicotine which is highly addictive and causes dependence, successfully stopping smoking can be a goal that is very difficult to achieve. 

Even though smoking cessation might be hard to keep up with, it is not an impossible feat and is definitely worth the effort to prevent serious diseases and premature death. There are many different research-proven methods to undertake when you decide to quit smoking which will increase the likelihood that you will put down the cigarettes for good.

Statistics About Smoking

Around 14% of American adults, equivalent to around 34 million adults, currently smoke. Also, around 16 million adults in the U.S have contracted a disease related to smoking. 

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S, with around 480,000 U.S citizens dying every year from smoking-related illnesses. Some very common smoking-related causes of death include heart disease, lung cancer, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Around 41,000 smoking-related deaths are a result of passive smoking (or second-hand smoke). 

Ways To Stop Smoking

There are lots of different smoking cessation methods to help you quit for good. You can use willpower alone (also referred to as the cold turkey method) by slowly decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked and therefore lowering the amount of nicotine needed to satisfy cravings until the number of cigarettes has been lowered to none. 

This is the most difficult of the methods and requires serious dedication and self-motivation. It can be a stressful process, and lots of people need to try quitting smoking a few times before they have a successful and final attempt. There are lots of other ways to quit smoking that may increase your success rate. 

It’s important to think about your individual needs when selecting a smoking cessation method, and most importantly, you should keep trying different methods if you fail with one. The following methods have a higher success rate for most people than willpower alone.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy 

Nicotine patches and gum give the body nicotine to combat physical cravings. Nicotine replacement therapy gives you progressively smaller amounts of nicotine until the body’s dependence is gone and you can go completely without.

Medications

Smoking cessation medications such as Champix (Varenicline) and Zyban (Bupropion) work by blocking nicotine receptors and therefore decreasing the satisfaction obtained from smoking, which can in turn significantly decrease cravings.

Support Groups

Smoking support groups can be attended regularly as a preventative method or even just when cravings hit. Telephone lines are also available. The support obtained from others who are also going through the process of smoking cessation can be really helpful.

Biofeedback Strategies

Biofeedback strategies are where you learn more about the dangers of smoking. By focusing on the impact smoking has on your physical health, you can motivate yourself to quit. This has been proven to increase motivation to quit smoking, as many people become shocked to learn about the impact smoking has on their bodies. 

Hypnotherapy 

Using the power of suggestibility can help motivate people to quit smoking. The incorporation of hypnosis in smoking cessation can increase the success rate of quitting. Hypnotherapy doesn’t work for everyone, but it is worth trying it if you have had success with it in the past. 

Stop Smoking Challenges

Smoking cessation challenges such as The Great American Smokeout can increase motivation and create social support for people to quit smoking. Be sure to keep an eye out for information about any upcoming challenges that you can take part in. 

Family And Friends

Telling friends and family of the intention to quit smoking is important in enlisting their support. The support of family and friends can help keep cravings at bay, for example by maintaining a smoke-free house, or friends not smoking in front of the person quitting.

Counseling

Smoking cessation counseling is a great way to discuss cravings, triggers, and to receive advice on how to avoid or overcome them. Combining counseling with other smoking cessation methods is a great way to increase the success rate of quitting smoking for good. 

How Long Does It Normally Take To Stop Smoking?

Someone who is quitting might have to take multiple attempts to stop before they quit smoking for good. Around 68% of adult smokers report that they want to quit smoking. It is estimated that around 7% of smokers can quit without any smoking cessation aids. 

In comparison, around 25% of smokers who used medication stopped smoking for around 6 months or more. The process of quitting smoking is different for each individual, but by incorporating the right stop smoking methods you can greatly increase your success rate. 

Research shows that nicotine might be as addictive as drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Because of this strong addiction, it is usually very difficult to stop smoking permanently. Lots of smokers who have decided to quit end up starting smoking again as a result of stress, withdrawal symptoms, or even the weight gain that might occur after giving up. 

With dedication, quitting smoking for good is possible, as more people in the U.S. have successfully quit smoking than the number of people who are current smokers.

Using Therapy To Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult, yet most beneficial things you will do. For people who would like to quit, but are struggling with cravings, it may be a good idea to consider therapy for more support. 

There isn’t a number one method to success, but combining therapy with other methods increases your chances greatly. Spending a longer period in treatment and incorporating more time, effort, and a variety of quit methods should increase the likelihood that you will give up and maintain your non-smoker status for life. 

Therapy is a great way for individuals to understand the causes that maintain their smoking habit, and how best to combat them. 

For example, therapy may help you to see that stress is a major trigger for your smoking habit. Because you have identified the trigger, you can incorporate coping strategies into your daily life which replace the unhealthy habit of smoking in difficult situations. 

If you find in therapy that you have a mental health problem such as anxiety (which can increase the desire to smoke) you may be able to discuss new ways to decrease the impact of your mental health on the urge to smoke. If you deal with the symptoms of a mental health disorder, the urge to smoke may be greatly reduced. 

Creating an awareness of what triggers influence your habit is an important way to help you quit smoking. A helpful type of therapy is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), where reframing strategies are explored to help you deal with negative thoughts and emotions which may hinder your smoking cessation progress. 

Engaging in CBT (combined with other methods if they are useful) will help to increase your success rate. You can even look into residential treatment centers, which are a more intensive method of getting rid of your smoking habit. 

Conclusion

Although quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you might do, it is the single most important thing you can do for your health. 

Smoking cessation brings a host of immediate benefits such as increased lung capacity, better circulation, more energy, and better appearance, and also significant long-term benefits such as a reduced likelihood of developing serious diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease which may lead to premature death. 

There are lots of different methods you can use to quit smoking for good, from nicotine patches and medication to therapy and support groups. 

You should consider your own needs and preferences when selecting a smoking cessation method to find something you will stick to and increase your chances of success. Even if you don’t succeed the first time, it’s important to keep trying new methods to quit smoking, as it will increase your life expectancy drastically. 

Josh
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