Congratulations! You’ve decided to quit smoking.
Ending a bad habit can be a tedious but rewarding process. It requires commitment, consistency, and control. Quitting smoking is no different but there are some misconceptions about what is helpful and what may cause unnecessary strain on the process. You might have gotten advice from friends about how they stopped a bad habit, but remember that each bad habit is different from the next. What works for them may be detrimental to you, and vice versa. It’s important to be mindful about what you choose to do during this time so below is a list of do’s and don’ts that will guide you on your next steps.
Do Provide Yourself a Substitute for Tobacco
If you miss the taste or the feeling of putting something in your mouth routinely, there are various replacements that can help you. A popular replacement is gum. It keeps your mouth busy and chewing, while also being a low-maintenance and easily accessible item in most spaces.
Others might substitute with eating certain foods like pickles, carrots, apples, or hard candy. It might help to use them all, switching them up from time to time so your brain doesn’t get bored with the taste.
Another substitute, specifically for the sensation of having something in your hand, is holding a pencil. It may feel ridiculous, but holding a pencil or pen can keep your hands busy and aid in not wanting to grab another cigarette.
While you’re holding the pen or pencil, you may even think about writing down how you feel, and the cons of smoking a cigarette as a reminder.
Don’t Use Nicotine as a Substitute
I know it’s tempting to use nicotine gum or patches to help you quit smoking but this substitute is a double-edged sword. Besides the fact that there are no studies that prove these methods are a good deterrent, replacing nicotine with nicotine is not solving the problem. It’s just giving you nicotine in a different form.
If you want to quit smoking AND stop your nicotine addiction, using nicotine patches and gum will only mildly help with the former.