7 tips to help you quit smoking quicker
Quitting nicotine is a top priority for many adult smokers, with studies revealing that over 780 million people want to quit worldwide. From an improvement in the overall state of health and wellbeing to the money saving factor, switching to a nicotine-free life brings heaps of benefits. That being said, we know that quitting isn’t always a one-attempt win; in fact, studies reveal that the average quitter tries at least twice before successfully kicking the habit.
With the global smoking cessation market being expected to reach a staggering $63.99 billion by 2026, there is no wonder that finding the best ways to become nicotine-free can be tricky. From nicotine free gum, to patches and even hypnosis, there are many ways that promise to help you quit smoking.
Here at ripple, we know that the path to a nicotine free life isn’t always a steady journey. The creation of our nicotine-free, non-addictive, plant-powered diffusers happened following our dad’s 40 year nicotine addiction. We’re passionate about helping people onto healthier habits, which is why we’ve rounded up some tips to help you quit smoking.
Your health will improve big-time when you manage to ditch that nicotine habit; in fact, smoking increases the risk of you developing over fifty serious health conditions, such as coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to name a few. Additionally, smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer worldwide, with tobacco being known to kill over 8 million people every year - out of which, 1.2 million die from being exposed to secondhand smoke. That being said, the combination of harmful chemicals tobacco is often mixed with doesn’t affect your just your lungs and respiratory system; in fact, smoking can have long-lasting effects on your whole body, affecting everything from your skin, to your mental health and even your sex life.
HOW YOUR BODY RECOVERS
Whilst the effects of smoking are extremely detrimental to your body, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll be rewarded almost instantly after deciding to stub that last cigarette out for good. In fact, your heart rate returns to normal as soon as twenty minutes after your last nicotine encounter, and after 20 years, your risk of developing any smoking-related conditions is the same as a non-smoker’s. For extra motivational brownie points, your mood is bound to considerably improve when stubbing it out; in fact, studies reveal that stopping smoking can be as effective as antidepressants. Your skin, sex life and even social life are also bound to see brighter days, with smoking being a known complexion enemy, sex drive killer and social intruder.
With so many reasons to quit smoking, there is no wonder why many smokers attempt to find ways to kick nicotine out of their lives for good. However, the addictive nature of the substance can make the switch to a healthier lifestyle extremely difficult. Studies revealed that nicotine is more addictive than heroin, with the drug being absorbed into the brain in a super-speedy 10 seconds. The withdrawal symptoms from nicotine are pretty pesky themselves, with smokers experiencing everything from flu-like aches and discomfort, to sleep problems and excessive irritability. Dr. Neil Benowitz, nicotine researcher at the University of California, explains that, like with every drug, nicotine use releases dopamine, which makes its use pleasurable; ‘when you stop smoking, you have a deficiency of dopamine release, which causes a state of dysphoria: you feel anxious and depressed’, he details.
That being said, according to Gary. A. Giovino - another nicotine researcher at State University of New York, ‘the longer you’re off cigarettes, the more your brain goes through neural adaptation’. This helps you recover, and, eventually, stay nicotine free for life.
Are you ready to start that nicotine free journey? We’ve rounded up 7 tips to help you get there quicker:
1. Timeline it with a quit smoking app!
Making yourself a quitting smoking timeline can work wonders in keeping you motivated! Being aware of the recovery process your body is going through can work wonders to help you stay nicotine-free, especially with many of the changes happening in a few weeks’ time. Here’s a lil’ breakdown of the benefits:
- 20 minutes: Heart rate + blood pressure return to normal
- 8 hours: half of the nicotine + carbon monoxide in your bloodstream are gone!
- 12 hours: your heart has to pump less hard to get enough oxygen to your body
- 24 hours: the chances of a heart attack already start to lower
- 48 hour: your sense of taste & smells improves
- 3 days: your lungs start to recover and you have more energy
- 3-9 months: your immune system begins to recover, which means you’ll be less sensitive to catching a cold!
- 1 year: your risk of heart disease halves
If you need a bit of help to keep track of your nicotine-free goals, there are many quitting apps that help you keep track of your progress and give you real-life updates of your mini-milestones.
2. Check out the smoking cessation aisle!
Due to the difficulty of quitting smoking, there are many ‘stop smoking aids’ available on the market that can make the process easier. From nicotine patches that can help you keep those smoke cravings in check, to nicotine inhalers that allow you to gradually decrease your intake, there are many products designed with quitters in mind. Whilst everyone’s dream scenario would be to manage to quit nicotine cold-turkey, products like the ones listed above can make your transition to a nicotine free life a lot easier, especially during the beginning stages.
3. Indulge in some aromatherapy!
With the world of aromatherapy being bigger than ever (the market is predicted to reach a whopping $3.7 billion by 2028), it comes as no surprise that the ancient practice has found a place in the array of ways to quit smoking. From essential oil diffusers to sleeping pens that promise to banish restless nights, the growing trend has pushed many brands to think outside the box when bringing out relaxing remedies to help calm our busy brains. The vicious cycle of nicotine tricks your brain into thinking smoking is the answer to your mind serving you anxious thoughts at the speed a light, which is why the journey of quitting feel daunting at times; this is where incorporating a soothing practice like aromatherapy into your life can really help you keep cool, calm & collected.
4. Embrace the process of quitting smoking with patience
Patience is key when working towards your nicotine free goals: unfortunately, cravings don’t just stop overnight. The oh-so-mood-wrecking nicotine withdrawal symptoms you might experience might play tricks on your mind, so remember to take time for yourself and remind yourself that many people don’t find it easy to quit smoking. This means you’re already moving mountains, even if you have just started the journey! Remember all the progress you’re making already whenever you get any smoke cravings!
5. Look into stress management techniques
Whether that is the above-mentioned aromatherapy practices that allow you to harness the benefits of essential oils, or simply finding yourself (nicotine-free) social settings to help distract your mind, there are many ways to infuse that lil’ bit of self love into your quitting journey. From healthy eating to getting enough sleep and exercising more, there are multitude of mini-coping mechanisms that can help you better deal with the stress of quitting.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
From expert help, to smoking cessation forums (reddit has thousands of stories around quitting smoking) or even asking your friend to hang a picture in your room of a 10-year smoker’s lungs (hey, whatever floats your boat), there is no shame in reaching out to those around you whilst quitting nicotine. The world’s pretty clued up on how the process can wreak havoc on your mental health, so you’re guaranteed to receive some support from other fellow quitters amongst your friends and family.
7. Find a quitting buddy
Having a friend to embark on this new nicotine free journey can serve as a stellar quitting aid; from keeping each other motivated, to simply knowing someone else is going through the same pesky nicotine cravings and outbursts of stress can feel somewhat comforting. Plus, you can be each other’s designated quitlines for when the going gets tough and give each other the anti-smoke pep talk you both need.
And there you have it: our round-up of tips to help you say f**k nicotine and be free of the pesky chemical for good. We know that the path to ditching nicotine (for good) is never easy. We hope your quitting journey is as smooth as possible, and wish you the best in your new, nicotine-free life! Here’s to plant-powered puffing only 🤞