Smoking tobacco is terrible for your health — that's no secret. Tobacco contains myriad unhealthy chemicals, many of which increase your risk of cancer. Smokers are also at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, COPD, and infertility. Yet, quitting smoking is incredibly difficult.
In a 2015 survey, 68% of smokers reported that they wanted to quit — but many turn back to smoking due to cravings and stress. Are you one of those people who have tried to quit, only to start smoking again? Don't give up! Read on for some strategies to help make your next attempt the one that sticks.
Use Compounded Nicotine Aids
Nicotine replacement products, like gum and patches, are available over the counter. These products work by supplying your body with nicotine to hopefully ward off the nicotine cravings that you get when you quit smoking. They do work for some people, but if you have tried several of these smoking cessation aids to no avail, you're not alone.
Nicotine replacement patches can cause skin irritation, and nicotine gum can cause headaches and heart palpitations. Side effects like these can make nicotine replacement products less appealing, which may ultimately encourage you to return to smoking.
A good alternative is compounded nicotine lollipops. Available by prescription only, these lollipops provide you with a slow flow of nicotine to curb cravings. They won't irritate your skin or deliver that super-quick nicotine hit you might get with gum. Plus, they keep your mouth and hands busy at the same time, which can help curb your physical urge to complete the action of smoking.
Attend Group Therapy Sessions
If you tried to quit on your own last time, enrolling in a group-based program could make all the difference during your next attempt. People who participate in group therapy are more likely to quit than people who use self-help programs alone.
Group therapy gives you the opportunity to receive support and encouragement from others who know what you are going through. Many group-based smoking cessation programs are overseen by healthcare professionals, who can answer your questions and provide accurate advice.
Change Your Environment
Many people find certain aspects of their environment to be triggering. You may see an ash tray and feel triggered to smoke, or you may smell smoke on your jacket and feel the urge to light a cigarette. Spend a day or two changing and cleaning your environment to eliminate such triggers. Some tasks to tackle include:
- Throw away all ash trays and lighters, including those in your home and car
- Replace your furnace filter to better remove the smoky scent from your home
- Launder all of your clothing to remove smoke smells
- Have your carpet and upholstery cleaned to remove odors
- Throw away all cigarettes and empty cigarette packages
Additionally, consider adding some motivational items to your environment. An encouraging note on the counter that says "your health is your priority" or "don't give up now" may help curb a craving, for example.
Substitute New, Healthy Habits
At the end of the day, smoking is a habit — a very addicting habit. Forming new habits can help you put the habit of smoking behind you. Settle on just two or three new habits that appeal to you, and that will help improve your health overall. Some healthy habits to consider include:
- Keep track of what you eat in pursuit of a more balanced diet
- Train for a 5K race by running or walking every day
- Meditate for 10 or 20 minutes every morning
- Eat some cut-up veggies every time you have a craving
Quitting smoking may difficult, but with the right strategies, you can do it. Contact Camelback Compounding Pharmacy to learn more about prescription nicotine replacement lollipops and how they can help you.