If you’re determined to quit smoking, you’ll discover significant benefits to your health. This journey requires support and suitable methods to obtain long-term sustainable results. Within minutes of quitting smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure begin to regulate, and a couple of weeks later, you will experience improved circulation, increased lung capacity, and reduced coughing and shortness of breath.
As the years go by, the benefits of quitting smoking increase. One year after quitting nicotine dependence, the risk of coronary heart disease reduces by 50%, and the risk of a heart attack decreases dramatically. After five years of quitting smoking, the risk of cancer is reduced by half, and within two years, the risk of stroke decreases to the level of a non-smoker.
At Integrative Health Center, through technology and certified professionals, we have the tools to help you quit smoking. No matter your age or how long you´ve been smoking, there is always a way to recover. In this blog, you will learn 15 tips to quit smoking to give you the foundation to begin the journey.
TMS Therapy to Quit Smoking
Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a scientific breakthrough. This non-invasive procedure authorized by the FDA uses painless magnetic fields near the patient’s scalp that generate focused pulses. It’s similar to an MRI, except TMS stimulates brain areas associated with the nicotine reward system. There has been no evidence of side effects related to TMS to date, which makes it a highly safe and sought-after method.
TMS therapy has shown a substantial increase in success rates in quitting smoking and treating depression and OCD. Each procedure lasts an average of 18 minutes, being fast and effective. TMS significantly decreases nicotine cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse while providing mental clarity and renewed motivation.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) involves replacing nicotine from cigarettes with nicotine found in other forms, such as tablets, nicotine patches, lozenges, sprays, or nasal inhalers. Using different nicotine forms to quit smoking helps relieve withdrawal symptoms, urges, and cravings. Still, it does not eliminate the habit nor control the stress and negative emotions that fighting nicotine dependence can cause. NRT is a safe and effective therapy. However, this method can increase effectiveness combined with other ways, such as TMS.
Going “cold turkey” means quitting cigarettes abruptly, without any gradual tapering or assistance. Many people succeed in quitting smoking by willpower alone. However, this method to quit smoking is not for everyone, as studies have shown that there is a better chance of avoiding relapse with professional help.
If your motivation is high and you want to quit smoking immediately, the “cold turkey” approach is practical. In addition to quickly reducing the amount of nicotine in the body, this method helps you have fewer nicotine cravings than gradually tapering off.
The downside of “cold turkey” is that this method is much more challenging and does not consider the physical and psychological needs involved in nicotine dependence. As a result, people who opt for this method to quit smoking tend to relapse weeks after and are more irritable, which affects their relationships.
Gradually Reducing Consumption
Gradually reducing consumption is a method where a person begins to set limits on nicotine consumption. In this approach, people set times to allow themselves to smoke a cigarette.
This method reduces the number of cigarettes over time, making it practical and sustainable.
When reducing consumption gradually, it is essential to have a support system, such as family and friends, to help you stay on track and meet your goals. Gradual nicotine reduction does not address the psychological impact of quitting, so experts recommend combining this method with TMS therapy for an extra boost.
Prescription Medications to Quit Smoking
Varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban) are medications approved by the FDA to replace nicotine in cigarettes. These medications require a doctor’s visit to receive a prescription. Like the nicotine substitutes mentioned in tip number two, prescription medications to quit smoking relieve cravings and urges to smoke, ease withdrawal symptoms, and even make smoking less satisfying. Still, they do not help control the habit or stress.
One of the disadvantages of medications is their side symptoms. Varenicline, for example, can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, difficulty sleeping, and constipation. You must follow your doctor’s instructions when taking these medications.
Other ways to replace cigarettes without using nicotine include items to keep your mouth and hands busy. Some people are used to smoking in specific situations, such as when talking on a cell phone. Having something handy to distract you from the urge to smoke, like chopsticks, straws, cinnamon sticks, pencils for doodling, or a squeeze ball, helps reduce smoking in these specific situations.
Exercise and Relaxation Techniques
Physical activity and relaxation techniques are strong allies in quittin smoking, as many individuals tend to smoke in times of stress. Additionally, quitting this habit produces stress. Activities such as yoga, getting a massage, mindful breathing, and exercising complement other smoke-quitting methods and increase their effectiveness.
Support Groups to Quit Smoking
Some options for support groups for people looking to quit smoking include online communities, mental health professionals, family, and friends. Support groups to quit smoking are strong motivators for people quitting smoking; these groups help keep you on track toward your goal and see how much progress you have made.
Hypnosis and Psychotherapy
Over time, people have used hypnosis as a method to quit smoking. However, as an experimental science in which each professional uses different techniques, conducting studies to demonstrate its effectiveness has been challenging.
Through hypnosis, a certified professional alters your consciousness to eliminate subconscious beliefs and attitudes that hinder your efforts to quit smoking.
Acupuncture and Cold Laser Therapy
Acupuncture is a Chinese and Japanese medicinal practice where the medical provider inserts thin needles into specific body areas for healing. Like hypnosis, people have employed acupuncture to aid in quitting smoking over time, yet there is limited evidence supporting its effectiveness.
On the other hand, cold laser therapy resembles acupuncture, as it involves using cold laser beams on specific body areas. Although some participants herald this therapy’s success, no scientific evidence corroborates it.
Magnetic therapy consists of placing two small magnets in the ear opposing each other. Many companies sell these magnets online because they help to quit smoking, but no scientific evidence supports this method’s effectiveness.
Make Your Environment Smoking Free
Some places, such as bars, nightclubs, or cafes with smoking areas, can make you more likely to smoke. Staying away from these places while trying to eliminate nicotine dependence will increase your chances of success. It is also important to avoid visiting family and friends who smoke.
Herbs and Supplements to Quit Smoking
Dietary supplements don´t need FDA approval, as they are not medicines. Many supplements on the market claim to help you quit smoking, but there is no evidence that they are effective or safe. Be sure to read their ingredients before consuming them. Most of these products contain combinations of herbs but no nicotine.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients identify the triggers of their nicotine dependence, such as places, people, or situations that incite this behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy also helps to learn stress management and relaxation techniques. Combining this method with NRT or medication has shown remarkable results in quitting tobacco.
Keep Track of Your Rewards
In addition to all the health benefits of quitting smoking, there are other advantages, such as money savings and the improved appearance of hair, nails, and teeth. Keeping these benefits in mind will serve as motivation to continue with the journey of quitting smoking. You can even use the money you used to spend on cigarettes to get something nice.
Integrative Healthcare Center is Here to Help
Quitting smoking is a process that requires a lot of motivation and support, but it is possible. Most importantly, you choose the suitable methods to do it and focus on the benefits for your health and your family’s well-being. Integrative Healthcare Center offers the support you need to eliminate nicotine dependence. With our TMS therapy and your determination, you can successfully quit smoking! To access our services, call us at (855) 599-9987 or leave your information here.