To quit smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and longevity. The best way to quit smoking cold turkey is to develop a detailed action plan and stick to it. Here are some tips to help you get started.
In this article:
How To Quit Smoking For Good
What Happens After You Quit Smoking?
What happens to your body when you quit smoking? You’ll immediately notice significant changes to the way you think and feel. After just one day, your blood pressure will drop, and your oxygen levels will rise. This will give you more capacity for physical activity.
In the next few days, your senses will heighten, but you may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These can include mood swings, cravings, and headaches.
In the first nine months, your breathing will gradually improve. Your lungs will repair the damage done by the nicotine, and you’ll be less prone to lung infections. When you reach the one-year mark, your risk of developing coronary heart disease will have decreased by half.
Five years down the road your arteries and blood vessels will expand to their original healthy widths. This reduces the risk of blood clots and stroke. The effects will continue for every year you stay smoke-free.
Ten years will halve your risk of developing lung cancer as well as significantly decrease your chances of having pancreatic, throat, and mouth cancer.
At around the 15- to 20-year mark, your risk of developing life-threatening smoking-related diseases will be equivalent to that of a lifelong non-smoker.
6 Ways to Quit Smoking
There are different strategies to quit smoking, and one of these is to do it cold turkey. These ideas may help you achieve that:
1. Identify and Remove Triggers
Sweep your home, office, and car for cigarettes, cigars, ashtrays, and objects and odors related to smoking. If your housemate is a smoker, avoid being around them when they smoke. As you progress on your journey to a smoke-free life, you’ll eventually be able to resist temptation even when someone else lights up.
2. Take It One Step at a Time
Very rarely will you find a chronic smoker who successfully quits on the spot without slipping up. Smoking is an addiction, and stopping takes time. The first two weeks will be the greatest challenge, and overcoming the first few months requires discipline.
There’s no exact timeline to quitting smoking. Understand you will have cravings even months or years down the line. As you transition away from smoking, these temptations will lessen in frequency and intensity. Eventually, they’ll disappear altogether. Stay focused on the end goal and know some days will be harder than others.
3. Forgive Your Mistakes
As you learn the ways how to quit smoking cold turkey, chances are you’ll find yourself lighting up again at some point. As long as you recognize your error and act to prevent it from recurring, you’ll stay on track. Keep a list of reasons you want to quit. Refer to it whenever you find yourself craving a cigarette. Consider joining a support group either online or in person. Surround yourself with people who support your initiative. Be patient and never take a small mistake as a failure. Keep pushing forward. Eventually, you’ll reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Let the Cravings Pass
A typical cigarette craving lasts only three to five minutes. When you find yourself in this predicament, find other things to do. Go for a walk, meditate, or watch a movie. You can play with your dog or call a friend. Teach your mind and body that you don’t need to smoke to live a full life.
5. Avoid Situations That Can Lead to Smoking
Many situations and environmental factors can persuade your brain to crave smoking. A helpful strategy to quit smoking is to avoid them. Be wary of parties, bars, and other social gatherings. It’s natural to light up when you’re in these types of crowds. Have a contingency plan in place. Bring a friend to keep you in check. Consider opting out of these events for the first month or two of your journey.
Other situations to stay away from include going out with friends who are on a smoke break or hanging out in locations where you used to smoke. Resist the urge to smoke as part of your morning or nightly routine. Find alternative activities to replace smoking.
6. Try Different Strategies
No matter how long you’ve been a smoker, you can quit. The key is finding the strategy that works best for you. Some effective tactics include exercising, finding a new hobby, or using nicotine replacement therapy. You can also chew gum and join a support group. Take the first few months as an experimental period. Note your successes and mistakes. Keep chiseling away at the problem until you find the best strategy.
What is the single best thing you can do to quit smoking? Check out this video by DocMikeEvans:
There’s no one-size-fits-all method to quit smoking, but many people can do it cold turkey. You can do it, too. All you need is to plan ahead and take steps to keep yourself on track. Get help to quit smoking if necessary. Inspire yourself with what happens when you quit smoking. By knowing what to expect and trying out different strategies, you’ll have a much higher chance of kicking the habit once and for all.
Have you tried quitting smoking cold turkey? What did you do to succeed? Share your experiences and tips below!
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