Smokaholic Central

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What is irony? Reading another one of those magazines which have multiple recipes for fruit based diet, while smoking a cigarette. You want to modify your diet to lead a healthy life, yet you do not even notice the one thing, pushing you closer to the likes of Cancer, right there in your little fingers. Believe me, it is purely psychological and not because of stress. This uber cool generation has a peculiar tendency to fall prey to such habits, out of peer pressure. Guys, smoking is not cool and you will usually only find addicts practicing it. So, if you are under the impression that you look cool with a Marlboro in your mouth, all I can say is grow a spine. India’s growing tobacco rates are good for the society  in a way. It is time you stopped. Cancer, is turning out to be a major issue, so value your lives and quit some of the habits which lead to it.

I am here to help you quit it with ten easy steps without going cold turkey.

Quit it

Quit it

1. REDUCE – Reduce the number of cigarettes per day. Do not buy an entire pack, instead buy the limited number of cigarettes you need for one day. Reduce the number gradually from 5 to 3 to 2 to 1. Plan out your smoking schedule, I know it sounds really ridiculous, but do that and stick to it. Many of you might not know this, but boredom leads to more smoking.  This leads me to my next point.

2. AVOID CRAVINGS – Keep yourself busy. Your mind has to be working on something to not invite thoughts of a cigarette. Whenever you feel like going for one, just stop thinking and start solving a puzzle like Sudoku or Crossword. So develop activities which will keep your mind and fingers occupied.

3. MILD – Change to a brand you do not like, or opt for a milder version. This is important, so that your body can gradually get accustomed to lower levels of nicotine. This eventually lowers your requirement for nicotine and makes the process easier. It will be difficult but do not give up that easy.

4. DELAY – Try and delay smoking the first one of the day. Yes the one we all crave for. The one we love taking with our tea or coffee. The one that gives us the best head rush.  On the first day, delay it by half an hour, the second day by one hour and so forth.

5. TAKE IT SLOW – Do not try to quit at one go, this is very important, especially for the chain smokers. There is a high chance that you might go into withdrawal or start smoking again. Control the impatience and the impulsiveness and go slow. Give your body time to cope with the lower nicotine intake. Take one step at a time.

6. TEMPTING – While in the initial phase of quitting, try to stay away from the smoking circles. It is important to keep temptation out of the way. Try to stay away from habits which induce smoking, for example: Drinking. Who does not like boozing and smoking together? But the tough part is to resist the temptation. Also do not make an exception and have one more than your stipulated number of smokes. You know you will not be able to stop just there.

It is burning your finances

It is burning your finances

7.  CHEW AWAY – The sudden urge to smoke is actually for short intervals, so I suggest when that happens pop a chewing gum or munch on carrots and chew away the craving! Give your mouth something crunchy to fight away the craving.

8. PHYSICAL EXERCISE – Start working out regularly because yes this is a fact, the more you work out the   more your urges reduce and it makes life a lot easier for you.

9. NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THEORY – Consult a doctor and talk to him about curbing the cravings. There are prescribed drugs to control the urges. Nicotine nasal spray and nicotine inhalers are available to make it easier. There are also various forms of NRT patches, lozenges and chewing gums available in stores.

10. YOU – Guys quitting an addiction is not something your parents and your friends have to talk you into. You must realize this yourself. You know the consequences of this habit so unless you feel the need to change it yourself no one can help you. Do it for your own self, for your health and for a longer and better life.

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The most important and honestly the only thing you need is strong will. You may be thinking, what does a random girl know about quitting, well here is the thing; I used to be a chain smoker, but it has been a year and a half since I have touched a cigarette. It will not be a cakewalk I assure you, but it definitely is easier than getting admission at IIM Ahmedabad, I can tell you that much. Do not take away years from your life because of one habit. Stay healthy and save the others around you from passive smoking. Make the change.