What Every Smoker Ought to Know About Quitting Cold Turkey

   What Every Smoker Ought to Know About Quitting Cold Turkey

You may have read recent headlines claiming that British scientists have found that cold turkey is the best way to quit smoking.  It’s enough to make you wonder how that jives with the many experts who say that quitting abruptly has only a 3 to 10% success rate.

    What Can You Really Believe?

It turns out that there’s some validity to both statements. Many adults find it difficult to give up smoking, so the relapse rate is high for any method.

   At the same time, more than 1 million smokers become tobacco-free each year.

Whether you quit abruptly or taper off gradually, there is hope. Take a closer look at the pros and cons of quitting cold turkey. Even if you’ve tried to quit smoking before, these tips can help make your next attempt more successful.

   Facts about Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey

   Look at the numbers.

   Putting the latest British study aside, most researchers have found that less than 7% of smokers are able to quit on any given attempt without medication or other help.  With nicotine replacement or other drugs, the success rate climbs to about 25%.

   Think long-term.

Maybe cold turkey isn’t the most effective option, but it is popular.  About 90% of smokers give it a try.  Consider it an experiment to find what works for you.

   Recognize individual differences.

    You may know someone who smokes an occasional cigarette or gives up the habit effortlessly.  Scientists have discovered a genetic basis for why some adults are less prone to addiction while others may need more help.

   Expect discomfort.

Most smokers experience some withdrawal symptoms.  That includes irritability, distraction, trouble sleeping, headaches, and constipation

   Tips for Quitting Cold Turkey

  Be patient.

Keep in mind that withdrawal symptoms are temporary.  They’re likely to peak within the first 3 days.  It may take a few weeks or months to wait them out.

   Understand your cravings.

Physical effects are most intense early on when your body is ridding itself of nicotine.  Psychological cravings may continue for a long time, but rarely last for more than about 10 minutes each.

    Schedule some downtime.

It’s easier to quit when you’re under less stress.  Pick a long weekend or some other occasion when you can stay home and sleep.

   Change your routine.

It’s also helpful to remove the items and events you associate with smoking.  That could mean throwing out ashtrays or leaving the dinner table right after eating.

   Introduce distractions.

Give your hands and mouth something else to do.  Knit a sweater or squeeze a rubber ball. Chew gum or munch on carrot sticks.

   Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Cocktails and Frappuccinos can aggravate tobacco cravings.  Drink more water instead.

   More Tips for Quitting Smoking

   Learn more about NRT.

If you’ve used patches and gum before without much luck, you may be surprised to learn that nicotine replacement therapy can triple the chances of quitting successfully.  Next time, follow the directions more closely, and use the products long enough to prevent relapse.

   Remember your reasons.

Stay motivated by focusing on why you want to quit.  Think about being healthier and saving money.

   Reach out for help.

Quitting smoking is challenging.  Talk with your doctor and ask your family and friends for encouragement.  Join a support group or take advantage of free telephone counseling services.

Cigarette smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death, so quitting is one of the most important decisions you can make to enhance your health and longevity.  Once you’re tobacco-free, you’ll breathe easier and reduce your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  Whether you quit gradually or cold turkey, you’ll be a winner.

One of the best ways to quit smoking is by using Hypnotherapy.  My Hypnosis program for Smoking Cessation uses three sessions.  You quit on the first session and we use the other two sessions to reinforce all the good work you’ve done and teach you relaxation techniques.  Whatever method you use, I wish you success and good health!

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About the Author Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht.

A graduate of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht., has her private practice in Milford, Indiana. She is certified in hypnotherapy by the Hypnotherapist's Union Local 472. Angie is the author of "Weight Loss Epiphany: The Workbook" and "The Pretty & Smart Planner. You can find out more about Angie and how to schedule private sessions by calling (574) 658-4686.

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