It’s no secret that smoking is bad for you and almost any adult smoker would quit smoking if they felt that they could. Luckily there are cigarette alternatives that can help smokers to do just that. Keep in mind that no one product or suggestion can work for everyone but with a little trial and error you should be able to find something or a combination of things that is effective for you.
These aren’t new, and they aren’t healthy but they are far healthier than cigarettes (leaving your lung function in tact) and they can reduce withdrawal symptoms when you are first giving up smoking. They come in multiple forms such as patches, inhalers, lozenges and gum, so you can choose which is most appealing to you.
Prescription drugs tend to be overused in our society and they are not without risk and side-effect. However, if you are determined to give up smoking and you haven’t been able to do it on your own; they may be beneficial as a short term solution. Bupropion is a prescription antidepressant that may help to quash cravings for cigarettes and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Varenicline tartate is another drug that may help you to quit smoking by reducing your cravings for cigarettes.
Some of you may be doing a mental eye roll right now and thinking how on earth is the ‘chore’ of exercise going to replace the perceived ‘pleasure’ of smoking. Well exercising can actually be helpful in multiple ways and researchers have found that regular exercisers have a much higher smoking cessation success rate. Exercising temporarily takes your mind of smoking, so if you find that there is a certain time of day when your willpower is at its weakest, schedule your workout for then.
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Exercise also helps to reduce stress which can help reduce stress related cigarette cravings . In addition, exercise often results in a better night’s sleep, so that you will be less likely to wake up during the night craving a smoke. Finally, exercise helps increase self-esteem and it releases feel good hormones, both of which will help you to quit
This one may also sound farfetched at first read, but at the same time rather appealing. Dark chocolate is an excellent smoking alternative because similar to cigarettes, dark chocolate helps to increase dopamine levels in your brain, with the added benefit of doing so without compromising your lung function! In addition, dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and it helps to keep your motivated, it also helps to reduce cravings, all of which will make it easier for you to quit smoking.
Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, a hot bath, cooking, a long walk…anything that you find soothing and that helps to center you and relax you, will help you on your journey to quit smoking. Since smoking is often used as a way to relieve stress and quitting smoking itself is stressful, partaking in some sort of relaxation routine daily is essential to quitting.
Some additional smoking alternatives that you may find helpful include: joining a support group (online or in person), teaming up with a friend as motivation, telling everyone about your plans to quit so that they will hold you to it, chewing on sugarless gum, sunflower seeds or anything crunchy (and healthy), journaling and avoiding tempting situations.