Tobacco is a serious but preventable risk factor for the heart diseases. It has a large habit forming potential. The strong addiction to smoking needs equally strong motivation and determination to get rid of this habit. But it is not an impossible task. Those who on this habit have no option but to get rid of this addiction if they wish to prevent heart and lung problemsand to avoid expensive cardiac surgery like cardiac bypass or angioplasty in the future.
A smoker has to makeup his mind to quit smoking. It has to be 100 percent, as anything less that this would not do. It should be understood that it is far easier for a confirmed smoker not to smoke a single cigarette than to struggle with a reduced number. Thus one has to aim at quitting completely. There is nothing like a “reduction in smoking”.
The rewards of quitting smoking are enormous. The extra risk of heart problems start reducing the moment you stop smoking and it should practically disappear in two to three years.
If you can stop smoking and throw away your pack of cigarette for good, nothing like it. If not, you can do it in two or three stages, but with a clear resolve that the goal is complete abstinenceand under no circumstances the interim stage be allowed to become the goal.
It is a fact that one cigarette leads to another, because it not only satisfies the craving for the nicotine but also produces craving for more. You would have noticed that when you get up in the morning the craving for the cigarette is the minimum. but after the first smoke the craving increases. It is therefore important to recognize that the easiest cigarette to resist is the first cigarette of the day. Similarly if you are confined to bed due to some illness and have not smoked for a few days, the craving appreciably diminishes.
Thus, if you cannot stop smoking all of a sudden, then you should do it in 3 stages.
In the first stage reduce the number to exactly half, realizing fully that this is a temporary and merely the first battle against tobacco. Continue this for a month. You’ll notice that craving for the cigarette has considerably reduced.
In the second stage, reduce the number of cigarettes to 4 or 5, and continue for another month. At this stage you’ll find that the craving has become so little that it is not difficult to stop the cigarette smoking.
In the third or the final stage, take the final plunge and say goodbye to smoking forever. Do not keep any cigarettes at home. Throw away all the things like ash trays, cigarette tighter or anything that may remind you of smoking.
Make your house a real Non Smoking Zone
In the first few days you may need some substitute like chewing gums or cardamom. Make use of them but be sure not to allow any temptation to overpower you to take to cigarettes.
It should be understood that the nicotine addiction is like any other addiction and can wake up again any time if you smoke even one cigarette. You may be tempted to argue with yourself that you will only smoke 3 or 4 cigarettes a day. But this does not work. It has worked with no one and it would not work with you also. The four cigarettes would soon become 40.
Once you have stopped smoking it should be complete abstinence forever.
Whenever you have that craving, try deep breathing when either standing or sitting. Having a glass of water and exercising also helps to decrease the craving.
When you feel like taking tobacco, think of your children and the effect on their future if you develop any of the dangerous diseases caused by tobacco.
Use the 4 Ds when the craving for smoking/tobacco hits you:
Do something else
Delay smoking/tobacco consumption
Use positive self-talk.
Practice relaxation techniques (yoga, walking, meditation, dancing, music etc.) every day.