Smoking is an action or habit in which a substance is burned and the resulted smoke is breathed in. The most commonly used substance is the dried leaves of tobacco plant. Nowadays, most popular form of this is cigarette. Combustion of dried leaves vaporizes and delivers active substances into the lungs. Then, they are absorbed into the bloodstream. Other forms of smoking material include pipes, cigars etc.
In Myanmar, most popular forms of smoking are cigarette and cheroot like substance (known as Say-Pot-Lape). It is no doubt that smoking can deteriorate health conditions especially respiratory system. Smoking tobacco is also a leading cause of many diseases such as lung cancer, heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, erectile dysfunction and birth defects. As everyone knows, smoking is not good for health but unable to stop smoking due to addiction. So, I want to introduce a few strategies that may help to stop smoking here.
1. Make a strong objective
In case of every addiction, strong mild is the best of the initial steps. You have to make an objective and encourage yourself to fulfill it. You may also write down the facts why you want to stop smoking and review it daily or carry it with you. You may think about these facts and your objective every time you want to smoke. A strong will is essential for stopping every addiction.
2. Make it slowly
Set a quit-smoking date. Then, abruptly try to stop smoking on that date. For serious and long term addicted persons, it is not easy to stop smoking suddenly. Make a plan to stop smoking at that day by reducing amount of daily smoking. Some methods for reducing amount of daily smoking are delaying the first cigarette of the day, smoking only half of each cigarette, buying only one pack of cigarette at a time etc.
3. With the help of friends and family members
Tell your friends, family members and colleagues about your desire to stop smoking. By this way, you can also prevent inviting for smoking or giving you a cigarette. You may also ask them to remind you that you are trying to stop smoking every time you pick up a cigarette.
4. Using another substitutes and avoiding smoking triggers
Recognize conditions in which you want to smoke and avoid them as much as possible. Make frequent visiting to non-smoking areas. Try to do something every time you have a desire to smoke. Stop taking a lighter together with you. Get up from table immediately after eating. Drinking water or tea instead of coffee or alcohol may help you from having desire to smoke.
Taking a cup of green tea after each food will reduce the craving to smoke as it can decrease mucous production of the mouth after eating. You can choose another substitute such as chewing gum as you want to smoke. You can even choose an electronic cigarette, which also present nicotine but not combusted smoke.
5. See a specialist!
Consulting with a specialist may be another good choice for you. He may give you some drugs to help you stop smoking. There are many stop-smoking drugs with FDA approval such as bupropion, which can help in controlling nicotine cravings, and varenicline, which can reduce both pleasurable effects of smoking and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Some type of nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum and lozenges are also available.
Stress and anxiety can also increase your urge to smoke. Try to keep stress and anxiety by doing something, relaxation, deep breathing, meditation or listening to your favorite music. Every hour without a cigarette is a successful step closer to your goal. Praise yourself deeply or reward yourself for every day without smoking. Keep trying to make everyday without smoking. Then, you can celebrate for reaching your objective!