Have you been thinking about quitting smoking or vaping? It’s not easy to do, but the benefits are pretty damn amazing.
Consider this: quit smoking for one year, and your risk of heart problems is cut in half.
The benefits of quitting smoking go on and on. In fact, being able to go on and on in bed — thanks to your boosted sex drive, increased energy, and better sleep — is among the biggest ones! It sure won’t hurt your overall hotness to have fewer wrinkles, better teeth, a better smile, and send bad breath packing.
Think you can’t quit smoking? That’s pretty normal. It’s not the easiest thing to do. However, once you decide to want to do it, you’re one step closer. Here are some top tips from the experts at Quitnow Men, who have helped thousands of guys just like you feel better and be so much healthier.
Vaping and quitting smoking
Do you know your alien coils from your dragon coils? Or your goosenecks from your grub screws? If you do, you may be into vaping.
Trouble is, the addictive nicotine in vape juice — the liquid that gets turned into an aerosol before being inhaled — can make it difficult to stop vaping once you start. If you have nicotine cravings that interrupt your day-to-day life, or have tried to cut down on vaping but can’t, here are some tips for vanquishing vaping, and nixing nicotine, for good.
Know your triggers
Do you tend to smoke or vape outside bars, at parties and at other social events? Do you feel a powerful craving for a cigarette or a vape session after finishing a meal? Does break time at work mean it’s time to step out and light one up? These are just a few examples of “triggers” that may cause you to crave nicotine, the addictive chemical in tobacco and vape juice that makes it difficult to stop smoking or vaping once you start. These triggers can be people, places, situations, feelings or moods. Knowing your triggers will help you avoid them or find ways to handle them.
Tips to stop cravings
Short but intense urges to smoke or vape can be beaten by using the “4-Ds” strategy.
Delay: Because cravings rarely last more than a few minutes, wait 5 minutes when you feel the urge to smoke, and the feeling will pass.
Distract: Do something else to take your mind off of your desire to smoke, such as going for a walk or munching on some crispy carrots or celery.
Deep breathing: Inhale through your nose and hold it for a count of 5. Slowly breathe out through your mouth for a count of 7. Repeat a few times to reduce your cravings, stress and anxiety.
Drink water: Replace the smoking or vaping habit with a healthy one. Drinking water will change the feeling and taste in your mouth and will actually help reduce cravings.
Methods to stop smoking
There are many effective ways to quit smoking and vaping, and no one way works for everyone. Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) such as patches and chewing gum, as well as a prescription for smoking cessation, can help reduce cravings and boost your chances of quitting. Research shows that the effectiveness of medications and NRT can increase by combining it with telephone counselling.
On that note, in BC you can simply dial 1-877-455-2233, or anywhere in Canada dial 1-866-366-3667 to connect with a specialized expert who can assess your readiness to quit, help you pick a Quit Date, and help establish a quit plan that includes tips and tools to get you ready. Once your Quit Date arrives, your free coach will call to check on your progress, review the challenges, reinforce your reasons for quitting, provide new coping strategies, and help you get back on track if you’ve had a slip. Learn more here.
Where to get help to quit smoking
Quit Buddies: Whether it’s a friend, family member or co-worker, a Quit Buddy is someone you can count on to support you in your journey to kick the habit. If they’ve quit smoking or vaping themselves, all the better, but what really matters is that they’ve got your back.
Text support: Texting QUITNOW to 654321 will launch a free three-month mobile texting service that sends you supportive messages and quit tips based on your Quit Date.
Celebrate your success!
Pat yourself on the back! Tell people how long you’ve gone without smoking or vaping. It’s an awesome achievement, and you have every right to be proud.
Do you have a nifty tip for quitting smoking or vaping? Tell your DCM buddies all about it in the comments below!
This article was originally published on January 17, 2019.
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. He’s been covering men’s health for over 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and National Post newspapers.