Quitting something is easier said than done. While old habits might die hard, taking the first steps and remaining dedicated to your goals is the key to changing them for good.
It might seem as though quitting smoking is a monumental task at first, until you see how the small steps are easy to accomplish.
Highly effective smoking cessation programmes place great importance on breaking down the ultimate goal of stopping smoking into bite-sized steps you can easily achieve. You will often see a ‘start-to-finish’ path or a list of things you can do in most of these quit smoking strategies.
In today’s post, we’ll learn about five common steps you can follow to get started and resist the urge to smoke.
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1. Set a Date to Finally Stop Smoking
You’re well on your way to wellness by the time you realise the dangers of smoking and want to stop. It’s natural to doubt if you can stop smoking during your first attempt, but it’s more important that you try your absolute best.
Prove your commitment to quitting by setting a last day of smoking. It could be a week from now, but it should not go beyond two weeks from the date you decided to quit. Two weeks applies enough pressure to motivate you, but not stress you out during the preparations.
You’ll need to inform your loved ones about your decision to quit. More importantly, you need to condition yourself to gain the confidence and capacity to push through all the steps of the stop smoking strategies you’re using.
2. Identify and Avoid All Your Triggers
The smoking withdrawal timeline is usually between two weeks to a month of stopping. You’ll struggle most with the first few hours and days without cigarettes, so make sure you know exactly what triggers you to smoke, and try to avoid these things as much as possible.
Many successful ex-smokers used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products and nicotine vaping products (NVPs) sold in pharmacies to handle their cravings and make things a little easier.
What Are NRT Products?
NRT products are lozenges, gums, inhalers, patches, and other products designed to give you a small dose of nicotine during withdrawal. By cushioning the impact of withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings when quitting, NRTs are designed to wean you off nicotine and help in your smokefree journey.
NRTs might be effective for some, but they don’t work for everyone. If a GP deems NRTs lacking for your particular case, they may prescribe nicotine vaping products (NVPs) sold in pharmacies.
What Are NVPs?
Pharmacy-sold NVPs use medical-grade ingredients and are manufactured with very strict standards in every aspect. Unlike illicit vapes, pharmacy NVPs have been rigorously tested for inhalation safety and are locally insured.
Pharmacy NVPs also mimic the hand-to-mouth gesture of traditional smoking, making them a suitable replacement whenever you feel the urge to smoke, such as with your morning coffee or after eating.
The latest Cochrane Review has found high-certainty evidence that NVPs are more effective than NRT in helping people stop smoking.
3. Have a Tailor-Made Smoking Cessation Programme
The big picture is always overwhelming, but seeing small steps makes the ultimate goal much easier to reach.
Many ex-smokers have found great success with the help of GPs. These professionals show you the steps towards successfully quitting the habit. You can think of them as hiking guides – it’s easy to get lost and stumble without an experienced guide.
GPs can create a smoking cessation programme with all of your particular needs and essentials considered. They can help you assess if NRT products are enough to make you quit, or if you should consider NVPs from pharmacies to have the best chances of stopping for good.
4. Join a Stop Smoking Community
Having a friend and a supportive community during your quit journey has been proven to help you deal with cravings faster. In fact, the more friends you have on your path to wellness, the better chances you all have of stopping smoking.
Stop smoking communities and organisations team you up with people who can understand what you’re going through. Any friend can listen, but an empathetic community that knows your struggles can give you useful advice for your betterment.
Also, a stop smoking community can assign a quit mate that you can call and talk to when withdrawal symptoms overwhelm you, and you’re edging closer to buying ciggies.
5. Reflect and Meditate On Your Goals
Studies have shown that meditation has a key role in the quit journey. By meditating on your goals, you maintain your focus by understanding your body’s needs as you filter out its wants.
Meditation lets you realign with your goals, especially if you pair it with journaling. Writing about your troubles with withdrawal and how you dealt with it lets you meditate.
It might seem like nothing at first, but both writing and meditation let you internalise your goals and keep your mind strong as you continue to kick the habit.
Quitting seems like a huge undertaking when the big picture looms over you. But, by breaking it down into simple steps and finding the right people to help you, it becomes much easier to finally end your relationship with ciggies and live a smokefree, healthy life.
We know you’re reading this because you want to know the best strategies to stop smoking for good. We hope you found this information useful. Right now, you’re actually in the right place if you want to quit completely.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.