Quit Smoking Without Going Bonkers

Anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows just how difficult it can be. You already know there are undeniable health benefits to quitting, otherwise you likely would not be reading this, but how to go about it. Unfortunately,there is no completely discomfort-free way. Not only are there the psychological dependencies to break, but also the physical symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability and desire to eat. Some people make several attempts to quit, then restart again, however, each attempt they make brings them a little closer to total success. So if you have not been able to completely terminate the habit, don’t despair. You’ve got lots of company and there is help to be had.

The psychological issues can be best dealt with by changing your environment and routines. For example, if you usually go outside for a smoke after meals, change the routine. If you must go outside, take a walk in a totally different area instead. Do not surround yourself with the usual after meal buddies who are smoking if you can’t deal with the temptation. Inform your friends what you are trying to do to gain their support. (If they won’t support you, look for better friends!). At coffee breaks, eat a healthy, low calorie snack instead of having a cigarette with your coffee. Remove the ashtrays from the home and make it a non smoking area. Change whatever you need to change in your surroundings to decrease the urge to smoke. If you are concerned about gaining weight, monitor your weight, and adjust your caloric intake and exercise levels accordingly. Weight gain is common due to the removal of the nicotine. But if you are forced to eat healthier and get a bit more exercise, oh well, that’s life.

Physical symptoms are very real as you have stopped adding a very powerful stimulant to your body. The anxiety, restlessness, etc. that is felt is withdrawal from nicotine. There are varying methods of treating this, ranging from nicotine patches to prescription medications to herbal remedies. The route you choose is totally personal preference as to what you feel will work best for you.

Nicotine patches work by replacing the nicotine your body would have received from smoking, and gradually decreasing that amount in increments to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. This takes place over several weeks and works well, providing you are not quitting due to an immediate need to stop the effects of nicotine, such as extremely high blood pressure. Then the patches are not for you. It is also imperative that you do not smoke while wearing the patch since an overload of nicotine can cause serious heart arrhythmias or worse. Nicotine gum may be an option if you prefer just to chew it when cravings hit.

Wellbutrin,aka Zyban, an antidepressant medication, is commonly used to help smokers quit. It helps to decrease the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, plus for some reason causes a decreased interest in smoking. Headaches, insomnia, dry mouth, and increased appetite are fairly common side effects of this drug, so something to watch for.

Natural herbs can also be used to ease the transition to being a non-smoker. Smoke Deter is one such natural product. It consists of a blend of several homeopathic ingredients formulated to deal with all the common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and there are no known drug reactions. The advantages with natural products is that you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to try it, the cost is reasonable, and there are fewer concerns about side effects.

With all that said, the thing to do is get started on your quit smoking program. Don’t procrastinate any longer. I have heard too many former smokers say that they didn’t think they could do it, but they did, and now feel so much healthier and energetic for it.