4. Quit smoking together
Tell your friends, family and colleagues that you are going to try and quit smoking. This way you can receive support and encouragement from your surroundings, especially when you feel tempted to smoke. 👨🏾🤝👨🏻👩🏾🤝👩🏼
5. Avoid triggers
Alcohol can make it more difficult for you to keep the goal in sight, which is to quit smoking. Some good advice is to initially avoid or limit alcohol. Other triggers can be the cigarette you usually smoke together with a cup of coffee. One tip is to try and switch to tea for a few weeks.
If you usually smoke after meals, then find something else to distract yourself:
- Brush your teeth
- Take a walk
- Chat with a friend
- Chew something
Phone and chat support
The impact of mental stress can be significant and draining for anyone who is quitting smoking. Preventing the body from ingesting tobacco can play tricks with one’s mind and allow disobedient emotions to pop up and create chaos. In these situations, it’s really comforting to talk to someone who listens. Someone who understands what you are going through and who can give you both support and good advice.
Quit smoking services often offer free of charge services to people who want to quit smoking or stop using snus. Many of these help lines have both telephone and chat services, allowing you to get customised support from a tobacco cessation expert with experience from the health service sector.
People who have used a quit smoking service find them highly effective. Based on results from self-assessments, about 35% of smokers become tobacco free after having used the service for 12 months.
You can also consult:
- Health care clinics
- Certain regional quit smoking services
- Health services online
- Various online discussion forums for people in the same situation
- Quit smoking groups that arrange support and therapy meetings get-togethers.
The difficulty of quitting
When Karl Olof Fagerström worked with drug addiction in the 1970s, he was surprised that so many of them told him that it was just as difficult to quit smoking as it was to quit drugs.
– I thought it sounded strange, because at that time smoking was mostly considered an ugly habit and those who had difficulty quitting were weak-willed or had a bad character, says Karl Olof and continues:
– But if you managed to break a drug addiction, you couldn’t be weak-willed, could you?
He therefore began to study the research that was available, to find out the reason why it is really so difficult to quit smoking.
A smart help on your journey to becoming smoke-free!
When you stop smoking, using snus or other tobacco products, you may experience a wide range of withdrawal symptoms. These can be psychological or physical symptoms and can often be combined with intense nicotine cravings. You may also be extremely irritable and short-tempered. It is not unusual to feel down – depression is a known withdrawal symptom. Mood swings, including anxiety and difficulty concentrating, are also known to occur. But, they are all temporary.
Physical withdrawal symptomsmay include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Increased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Digestive issues
Withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant and make it very difficult to maintain your motivation to stay smoke-free. But, they will pass and dealing with them will get easier after the first few days.
One day at a time – that’s how you conquer nicotine withdrawal
How long do nicotine withdrawal symptoms last? It is different for everyone. Some people may experience mostly physical withdrawal symptoms, while others will notice that withdrawal has a greater impact on their mental state (stress, anxiety). Physical symptoms typically last just a few days – it is the psychological symptoms, created by the habit itself, that can take much longer to eliminate.
Let’s take a look at what nicotine withdrawal feels like, day by day:
- You will typically notice physical withdrawal symptoms within 4 to 24 hours after your last cigarette, snus pouch or other tobacco product
- Physical withdrawal symptoms tend to be the most intense after three days without nicotine
- Over the next three or four weeks, physical symptoms gradually disappear
- Mental withdrawal symptoms are more complex and depend on what your social and behavioural triggers are
How can passive smoking cause problems with my health?
Inhaling second hand smoke is, in principle, the same thing as smoking yourself. Those who are passive smokers can inhale just as much of the harmful substances and toxins that are found in tobacco smoke as the smoker receives. If you are also sensitive to smoke, then it can also feel uncomfortable and irritating. Naturally, it doesn’t smell good either. The smell also gets stuck in the non-smoker’s clothing and hair, just as easily as it does in the smoker’s.
Common symptoms or problems that can occur are:
- irritated eyes
- stinging sensation in the throat
- shortness of breath
The amount of smoke and how long you are subjected to it is directly decisive to how many negative effects a person risks to their health. The following risks are present when a person is in the vicinity of a smoker:
- Exposure to tobacco smoke during a long time can lead to a greater risk of lung cancer of 20 percent
- The risk of having a heart attack increases by 30 percent
- For persons with heart disease, passive smoking can increase the risk of angina pectoris
- Asthma and allergies can be worsened by tobacco smoke, just as the risk of chronic respiratory illness is increased
Do you smoke but want to minimise the health risks to your surroundings and your family? Remember to:
- Always try to smoke at a sufficient distance from others, especially children
- Try to change your clothes after you have smoked, fabric that has been smoked in carries the harmful substances from the smoke along with it
- Try replacing the cigarette with a smoke-free nicotine drug, such as lozenges, nicotine pouches or nicotine spray. These will take the edge off your cigarette cravings and have a major advantage that they don’t bother anyone else.
Tip: When you have been smoke-free for 48 hours, treat yourself to a very good meal. Perhaps you should try out a restaurant you have been curious about for a long time, or try flavourful food again with your new sense of taste. You will be astonished!
3. Cough and sore throat
When you quit smoking your damaged cilia begin recovering. It can cause a tickle in the throat and it may also feel irritated. You can have a cough and the mucous you cough up can be discoloured. But don’t let that scare you! It is your lungs that are clearing themselves and the discomfort will disappear. 😉