As anyone who is a smoker can tell you, once the habit gets its claws into you, it becomes nearly impossible to shake.
In fact, the idea of quitting can be so discouraging — the “quick and easy” method is anything but and further attempts to kick the habit can result in failure. The addiction can make you feel as though you’re destined for a lifetime of despair (and related health problems). You feel as though the monkey could be on your back forever, no matter what.
The use of tobacco products is a worldwide health concern. Smoking-related diseases kill about 443,000 people each year in the United States alone and close to 50,000 of those deaths will occur as the result of second-hand smoke. Smoking also increases your risk of dying from every type of cancer as well as cardiovascular problems like heart disease. It is considered not only physically, but mentally addictive. All this certainly isn’t new information, so it only makes sense that more attention is paid to ways to get people to kick the habit.
Most smokers will readily admit they will need to take a few tries before they can quit altogether. Sadly, some never will. There are countless ways to quit that have been mass-marketed. Some with proven success and others with a little more skepticism. From the quick and easy to the long-term commitment… from the electronic cigarette to the tried-and-true nicotine replacement gums and patches, you won’t find any shortage of ways to butt out, and to add to the burden, you need to want to quit.
I’m all for natural methods, and there could be a fix that is sitting in your fridge right now. There is a good chance you have never looked at it as a way to quit smoking.
You know the sweet and sour summer drink as a refreshing addition to your backyard relaxation routine. But consider another potentially life-saving way to use it. A study published in 2012 showed that taking a gulp of lemonade when you feel the craving for a cigarette could boost your self-control and take the edge off of the craving.
The secret is the glucose or natural sweetener found within the lemonade. The University of Georgia conducted the study where a series of self-control tasks was issued to a sample group of 51 students to see if a mouth rinse with glucose boosted attention and energy. They gargled and completed the tasks. Results showed that study participants who rinsed with the lemonade-glucose solution, rather than an artificial sweetening agent, were significantly faster at responding to each of the self-control tests.
The interaction of glucose on the tongue can lead to an increase in impulse control. However, researchers say the results have only been tested on short-term impulse control and long-term effects have yet to be seen. So that swish of lemonade could keep the craving at bay for a few minutes or even a day — so why not give it a try?
If you are looking for a solution to last the long haul though, there are definitely other options that better suit your needs.
If you are trying to quit smoking, the all-natural lemonade approach might not cut it to keep the nicotine monkey off your back for years to come. The Lung Association has a list of methods that have shown the most promise for smokers, and I run a smoking cessation clinic myself. First and foremost, pick a quit day and stick to it, no excuses. Make sure you choose more than one method to quit so they can work together to keep you on track. If one method slips, the other can pick up the slack. For example, the gum and patch together have shown more success because one backs up the other.
Bottom line? If you are looking at your pack of smokes and need a short detour or a boost to your willpower, grab the lemonade!
For long-term potential to quit, speak to your doctor about methods to keep you from puffing and add years to your life.
Related reading: 10 Best tips to quit smoking