To stop smoking drugs
and to remain smoke-free, it takes willpower and determination. While it's perfectly OK to be proud of oneself for coming this far, there's still work to be done. Now that the worst part is over, it's time to concentrate on staying smoke-free for life. Below are five tips to help former smokers maintain their status.
Watch Out for Craving Triggers
Smoking causes substantial changes within the body, and the human brain gradually acquires a craving for nicotine. Certain places, events, people and situations can trigger an overwhelming craving, even years after becoming smoke-free. That's why it's important to never smoke again, even if one hasn't taken a puff in years.
After someone quits smoking, cravings often hit at roughly the same time of day. Some people have a hard time resisting temptation at home, and others find it difficult when others are smoking. By identifying triggers, one can be prepared when sudden cravings strike.
Resist the Temptation
It can be tempting to take "just one puff" when cravings hit, but urges typically diminish as time goes by. It's important to resist the craving for a cigarette, and having good coping skills can help one make it through the hardest times. By taking a few deep breaths or going for a quick walk around the block, the cravings can be reduced or eliminated.
As one goes through a few days and then weeks without a cigarette, they should stay upbeat. Don't think of stopping smoking as an all-or-nothing proposition, and don't blame oneself if a slip-up occurs. Take smoking cessation day by day, and treat it as an educational opportunity.
Time for a Reward
It's difficult to Quit Smoking, and staying smoke-free can be an important accomplishment. The occasional reward can be a powerful motivational tool, and it can make the entire effort seem worthwhile. Rewards don't have to be tangible, though; a movie night with a friend or a nice hike can be great stress relievers.
Build a Support Group
Even after one has remained smoke-free for a period, triggers and cravings can still arise. When it happens, it's OK to rely on someone else for support. Asking for help doesn't imply weakness, and it's totally normal. In many cases, talking about nicotine addiction can help one identify what's causing the cravings. Smoking cessation happens daily, and it's important to celebrate achievements both large and small.
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