Q. How can I stop smoking?
There is no simple way to stop smoking and there are different approaches to it. But the one thing in common of those who do quit is an iron clad will to make it happen. That has to be the one thing one must have to stop this very tenacious habit. It also helps to resolve before God that one will never do it again. It is best to do it cold turkey and not do a tapering job. When you quit you must quit the whole habit and not try decreasing the number you smoke per day. And if you do slip up one or two times, not to despair but to re-resolve that the slip-up was your last. It takes a full commitment to never smoke again. I have listed some really good tips from the Seventh-day Adventist world famous Stop Smoking Nationwide program. A few of the most important tips are to drink plenty of water, avoid caffeine and eat a plant-based diet. Here are the tips:
- Get plenty of rest. Smoking is one of the hardest addictions to overcome and you need all the energy you can get.
- Addictions may be related to brain chemistry imbalances. Good nutrition is very essential, especially during the time you are trying to form new patterns of behavior.
- Some habit patterns such as smoking often have triggers that go along with them. For example, sitting in a favorite chair or getting a cup of coffee, then automatically reaching for a cigarette. Try to look for these trigger emotions or habits that go along with your smoking so that you can avoid them.
Avoid being around others who smoke while you are trying to break the habit.
- Decide on a stopping date. Tell others when it will be so they can encourage you.
- Throw all your cigarettes and any related items such as your lighter or matches away. Do not put them where you can get them again “if you need them”.
- Do not drink or use any beverages or medicines that contain caffeine or alcohol. During the time you are trying to break your cigarette habit, using any other addicting substances will cause you to be less successful. In addition, this is a good time to strongly consider giving these habits up also, as they are strong stimulants to smoking.
- Drink plenty of water and juices during the first week you are quitting. Try to drink at least 6 glasses of water per day. Getting the nicotine out of your system is helped with increased amounts of drinks that do not contain caffeine or alcohol.
- At any time during the day that you are at work and crave a cigarette, take a drink of water and go for a 10-20 minute walk. If you are at home, take a cool shower. It is difficult to smoke while in the shower.
- Eat simple foods such as salads, fruits, vegetables, and whole wheat breads. Avoid overly spicy and rich foods because they may contribute to the craving for a cigarette. Avoid foods made with white flour, white rice and refined foods. Without the complete vitamins, especially B vitamins, the body often develops cravings.
- Do not skip breakfast and then go for a “coffee break”. This is a sure time to need a cigarette. Instead, eat a hearty breakfast of cereals, fruit and whole-wheat toast. Avoid high fat foods such as bacon and eggs and pastries.
- Go to bed early. An adequate rest may naturally help to reduce the need for a cigarette to keep you calm.
- Thoroughly air out your house; sleep with the windows open.
- Don’t wish that you could have “just one more smoke”. Remember that you have just given up a disgusting habit that could kill you, and gained a freedom that will be with you for life, and improve your health dramatically.
- If someone knows that you smoked in the past and offers you a cigarette, tell them that you are an ex-smoker. This reinforces your decision to be a non-smoker.
- Ask God to help you. Many people fail at quitting smoking, but God honors those who trust in Him and he will supply all your needs, and help you overcome this habit if you ask Him.