Congratulations on quitting smoking! You’ve got a tough journey ahead, but the future looks bright when you lay down the cigarettes and take back control of your life. You’ll get your hygiene, your heart and lung health, and your confidence back in just a matter of months.
Luckily, quitting smoking doesn’t have to take forever. With so many resources, alternative tobacco products, and our quick guide, you’ll be smoke-free and happy in no time. Here are five things that you shouldn’t do when you quit smoking.
#1. Hang Out With Smokers
One of the first things to do when you stop smoking is to distance yourself from other smokers. Whether it’s your friends, family, or work colleagues, stay away from the smokers in your life until you’re clear of your cravings. That doesn’t mean you have to cut off all contact, but if you see them smoking, go the opposite direction!
The smell of the cigarettes will ignite your cravings, and seeing someone you care about enjoying one can make you want to cave even more. Stay away from cigarettes as much as possible during your quitting process. This means the stores you visit as well. If your gas station carries your favorite cigarette brands, avoid it if you can.
2. Have “Just One” To Curb The Cravings
Nicotine addiction is a difficult habit to break. Your brain becomes chemically addicted to nicotine, and you’ll start to experience withdrawal symptoms when you quit cold turkey. Some symptoms include mood swings, frustration and anger, depression, anxiety, increased heart rate, and more.
It can be incredibly difficult to abstain from smoking just one cigarette to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Your brain will come up with plenty of reasons why it’s ok, why just one won’t hurt, and why you need it to quit. You don’t need it, and just one cigarette can cause you to spiral and take steps backward back towards your nicotine addiction.
When you feel you need a cigarette, there are a few things you can do. You can chew on mints, try non tobacco chew or other alternative products, or even drink a soda.
#3. Make Excuses
It’s crucial to your quitting efforts that you don’t let your brain make excuses for having another cigarette. Or rather, recognize that your brain is making excuses and actively ignore them or distract yourself. A good way to distract yourself from nicotine cravings is to get active. Once you stop smoking, your lung capacity will return, and you’ll be able to go hiking, running, and maintain a healthy workout routine.
Getting physical exercise will help release endorphins as well, which helps improve mood and can actually help curb your cravings. Not to mention, smoking for an extended period of time probably left you a bit out of shape. So, there’s never a better time to get in shape, quit smoking, and get your health back!
Understand that addiction isn’t something you can just shut off overnight. You’ll experience all kinds of cravings during your journey, and your brain will come up with a thousand reasons why you need a cigarette. This is what makes alternative tobacco products so great. You can maintain your ritual without the dangers of tobacco/cigarettes.
#4. Go it Alone
Nobody can do everything alone, and quitting an addiction is almost always easier when you’ve got a support group to help you. Whether you join a tobacco-free group online, go to a support group in town, or simply form a group with your friends, having support can make the journey that much easier and even increase your chances of success.
If you find that you’re experiencing extreme mood swings or depression, you might want to seek the support of a professional counselor. Otherwise, there are plenty of online groups and resources available to make your quitting journey a little less lonesome. Thousands of people quit every day, you can too!
#5. Switch To Other Tobacco Products
Many smokers have a tendency to switch to other tobacco products in order to quit cigarettes. This is a mistake, as it doesn’t address the actual problem. Tobacco-free products are much less harmful and can actually help you quit smoking. If you switch to tobacco chew or even vape pens, you may never actually quit tobacco at all!
The Bottom Line
Quitting smoking is quite the journey, but you don’t have to do it alone! There are support groups and online resources that can help you along the way, and if you follow this guide and avoid our five dont’s, you’ll be tobacco-free in no time.
As soon as you quit smoking, your body will begin to heal itself, and within a few months’ time, you’ll be back to normal! Take back your life, it’s time to put down the cigarettes and embrace a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle.