Let’s face it, quitting smoking can be the hardest thing that anyone can do. According to the TreatTobacco site, only a small percentage of people who smoke manage to quit for a year or more. This is true despite the fact that the ill health effects of smoking, which can be fatal, have been disseminated for decades, and advertising for tobacco products has been severely restricted for almost as long.
So why can’t you successfully quit?
Nicotine is a powerfully addictive substance. Constant inhaling of nicotine through smoking rewires the human brain to make it dependent on the substance. When one tries to stop smoking cold turkey, which most people try to do for various reasons, the cravings can be almost irresistible. The brain's pleasure centres are not getting the nicotine that you have come to depend upon.
The longer that you avoid smoking, the more the brain resets itself so that in due course it becomes the same as that of a nonsmoker. Even so, as the QuitSmokingSupport site notes, 20 percent of former smokers occasionally feel the need for a cigarette even years after they have stopped.
The reasons that smokers try to quit but fail are many and varied. One common thread seems to be that anyone in cessation who cheats and gives in to the craving, whether they are trying cold turkey or are using a step-down device such as a patch, are more likely to fail completely.
What can you do to quit once and for all?
If you are one of the roughly two-thirds of all smokers who would like to quit, how do you increase your chances of doing so? One unfortunate fact is that going cold turkey is the least likely method to successfully quit. While a few people have had the strength of will to resist the cravings for nicotine, most individuals who go this route fail or soon backslide.
However, many smokers are unaware that a number of tools exist that can help them kick the smoking addiction. A number of tobacco use cessation programs exist where you can wean yourself away from the habit under the supervision of a health professional.
A number of products also exist that can also help you step down from smoking. Patches and gum containing nicotine are available, measured in decreasing quantities so that you can gradually lower your intake without shocking your system, which would unleash cravings.
Another method to kick the smoking habit is to use a less harmful method of nicotine delivery as an intermediate step. Some people have had some success using a pipe or smoking cigars as a way to wean themselves off cigarettes. And then there is the relatively new practice of vaping.
Vaping is done by using a product called an e-cigarette. The e-cigarette is loaded with a substance called e-juice that is heated by a battery-powered device to create vapor. The vapor is then inhaled much, like smoke from a regular cigarette. It still contains nicotine to help with the addiction, however it’s tobacco free and thus a much healthier option.
There are also standard e-cigarettes which you can purchase. These look just like a standard cigarette (unlike the vape pen), which some people prefer as it adds a sense of familiarity when you are using it. But, there are far less flavours available compared to the vaporiser, so which one you choose to invest in really depends on your preferences and requirements.
If you’ve been struggling to quit for years, or are wanting to give it a try now, the use of e-cigarettes may help you considerably.