Products And Aids To Help You Quit Smoking
Kicking the habit for good.
We all know smoking harms your health and decreases your life expectancy, so why do people still do it? Quitting smoking is no easy feat, and many tobacco users struggle to make a lifestyle change.
In the past, it was incredibly difficult to quit tobacco and stay away from it for good. Today, plenty of effective quitting tools make it a whole lot easier.
If you want to enjoy a healthier lifestyle and stop worrying about what your daily habit is doing to your body and mind, this guide will help you quit smoking for good.
The truth - and nothing but the truth - about smoking
It seems crazy that a few decades ago, people didn't know the true impact of smoking. Soldiers would be given tobacco as part of their duty rations, and TV shows like Mad Men depicted people puffing away in pretty much every public setting.
Tobacco companies would advertise their cigarettes, touting the health benefits with doctors - and even Santa appearing on large posters.
But that all changed during the 1950s and 1960s when numerous health reports finally identified the dangers of smoking.
You can see some of the reports and anti-smoking advertisements here.
Smoking causes lung cancer
One of the most worrying aftereffects of smoking is lung cancer. While it can occur due to other factors, Cancer Research estimates that a whopping 79% of all lung cancer incidences are fully preventable.
Lung cancer also develops over time, so a person who started smoking heavily when they were 16 and is now in their 30s will have a much higher risk than a light smoker.
The United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition states that lung cancer kills 35,000 people each year in the UK and accounts for one-fifth of cancer-related deaths.
The fact is, even light smoking can skyrocket your cancer risks, so it's worth quitting.
Unfortunately, lung cancer isn't the only potential consequence of smoking, as it also increases the risk of developing other cancers, including:
- Rectum and Colon
Cardiovascular disease is a general term that refers to any disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. The most common type of cardiovascular disease is coronary disease, which occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked or narrowed.
Other types of cardiovascular disease include stroke, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmia. While there are many different causes of cardiovascular disease, some of the most common risk factors have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking.
Diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease usually depend on the specific type of disease. In many cases, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and getting more exercise can make a big difference.
Lung disease and breathing conditions
Smoking is responsible for various breathing conditions, including bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, including tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.
These substances damage the lungs and airways, making it difficult to breathe. People with smoking-related breathing conditions often experience shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.
Smoking also increases the risk of developing pneumonia and other infections, so quitting is the best way to protect your health.
Gum disease and tooth decay
Your gums and teeth are also at the mercy of your smoking habit, which might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Smoking damages the gum tissue and makes it more difficult for the body to fight off bacteria.
Smokers are also more likely to develop plaque, a sticky film that contains bacteria and can cause inflammation of the gums. Over time, this inflammation can damage the bones and connective tissue that support the teeth.
There are numerous chemicals in tobacco, and many of them compromise your body's production of collagen and elastin, two essential proteins that maintain your skin's youth.
Smokers look naturally older than non-smokers, but quitting can prevent this.
Preparing to quit smoking
There's no easy way to quit smoking because it's a huge lifestyle change that will be a shock at first. However, willpower and dedication can help you, and you should remember that you're quitting to prolong your life, save money and be healthier.
Before we cover which tools are best for quitting smoking, it's important to remember that having the right mindset is the most important thing.
You can rush in blind, but you'll find it hard to manage, so take some time to plan and think about why you're giving up tobacco.
Remember the benefits of quitting cigarettes
Quitting smoking offers many benefits, and keeping these in your mind can help you stay strong when you begin to doubt yourself. Some people like to make a list, so whenever they feel like lighting up, the list is there to save them.
Here are just some of the many benefits of giving up smoking.
Prolong your life
As we mentioned before, smoking decreases your lifespan, but you can get those years back when you quit and stay off of cigarettes.
Reduce your risk of severe conditions
Ex-smokers also have a much lower risk of developing cancer and other conditions such as COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. You can also look after your heart and have a lower stroke risk further down the line.
Improve your appearance
We all care about how we look and want to make the best of ourselves, but smoking doesn't help matters. It creates premature wrinkles and makes people look older in general.
However, quitting can improve your skin's elasticity, making it appear more youthful.
Enjoy a better social life
The great thing about society today is that non-smokers significantly outnumber tobacco users. It's no secret that tobacco smoke clings to your clothes and hair, which some people find impossible to tolerate.
Also, the ban on smoking in public areas means that heavy smokers will lose out on social activities - especially heavy smokers that can't go for a couple of hours without a cigarette.
Set up a money jar
Setting up a money jar is a great way to keep you motivated through quitting. Take the money you'd usually spend on cigarettes and place it in the pot each time you'd usually buy a new pack.
Over time, you'll see the money accumulating, and it will keep you motivated - especially when you can spend it on a new wardrobe or holiday.
Let your support network know you're quitting
Never underestimate the power of a strong support network. Things will be difficult when you quit, but if your family, friends and even work colleagues are there to help, it will be much easier.
Plus, you'll have an excuse for your bad mood, and people will understand your needs more.
Can I quit cold turkey?
Some people see what their smoking habit is doing to them and decide to quit cold turkey. Trying to quit smoking cold turkey can be tricky, and specialists have conflicting opinions on whether it's the best method.
A study published by CNN states that going cold turkey is the best way because people are less likely to continue to rely on nicotine.
However, the Truth Initiative highlights that cold turkey rarely works because it requires so much willpower and concentration.
Could you quit cold turkey? Let's see.
Do you have the willpower?
Imagine throwing your cigarettes away one day and saying that's it. You'd have to find another way to occupy your hands and deal with the withdrawal symptoms alone.
Some people quit smoking cold turkey, and they're successful - but it ultimately depends on how committed you are and how your body responds to the lack of nicotine.
Are you willing to substitute one addiction with another?
When you give up smoking and go through nicotine withdrawal symptoms, you might find you switch the addiction to something else.
For example, some people miss the hand-to-mouth action cigarettes offer, so they switch to eating sweets or crisps.
In time, this can lead to a dependence on food, which brings about new problems.
Quitting cold turkey can be too challenging
Nicotine addiction is serious, especially as nicotine is available in every supermarket or corner shop. Quitting can be challenging at best, but it can also seem impossible when you have a stressful day.
The fact is, it's so common to fall off the wagon, but taking a more strategic approach can protect you from giving into cravings and help you remove the many chemicals, carbon monoxide and tar from your life.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
For many years, nicotine replacement therapy has been the gold standard in smoking cessation clinics. Tobacco use exposes people to dangerous chemicals, carbon monoxide and tar - all contributing to the numerous health issues that smokers are susceptible to.
The idea of nicotine replacement therapy is simple; people use different tools to get the nicotine hit but don't have any carbon monoxide, tar and chemicals.
While nicotine is highly addictive and can impact brain development in young people, it's not responsible for the negative impacts of smoking.
Also, doctors prescribe it because nicotine can keep people off of cigarettes, which will benefit their health.
Studies show that NRT can be an effective way to stop smoking for good, but they work best when combined with different forms of treatments (Nuffield Primary Health Sciences).
There are many products and aids to help you quit smoking and satisfy your nicotine cravings. Let's take a look at each.
Nicotine patches are a type of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). The adhesive patches deliver a steady supply of nicotine through the skin for up to 24 hours.
You can buy patches over the counter, which can be effective as part of your stop-smoking plan. However, they do come with some side effects, including:
- Skin irritation
The nicotine patch is fine for some people, but heavy smokers might find it doesn't deliver the experience they require to deal effectively with their smoking habits.
Smoking is a hand-to-mouth action, and while these patches are great options, other nicotine replacement products offer a more interactive experience.
Nicotine gum and lozenges
Next, we have nicotine gum and lozenges, both practical quitting tools and offer more hand-to-mouth action. With nicotine gum, you chew it to activate the nicotine, then let it sit inside your cheek for half an hour before removing it.
Lozenges work slightly differently as you leave them on your tongue and let them dissolve slowly.
Nicotine lozenges are available in either 2mg or 4mg nicotine strengths and are available in mint flavour, while gum comes with a fruity flavour too, which is popular for many people.
Nicotine gum and lozenges can cause side effects, including dizziness and stomach upsets. However, the most prominent issues come with overusing the products, which is easier than it sounds.
Some people find they become sick because they turn to nicotine gum and lozenges every time they have a slight craving, whereas patches offer a regulated and prolonged dose.
Nicotine nasal spray
Nicotine nasal spray is available from smoking cessation management services, but it's usually only given to people who have trouble with traditional nicotine replacement therapies.
The nasal spray contains nicotine as the active ingredient, which is absorbed through the lining of the nose. It's a quick way to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and studies show that it can be an effective method when used as a follow-up treatment from nicotine patches (NCBI).
Of course, the major drawback is that spraying nicotine up your nose isn't for everyone. Some people experience a burning feeling and watering eyes, so this therapy isn't for everyone.
Nicotine inhalers deliver a small, measured dose of nicotine to the lungs, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Smokers get some of the nicotine they crave without the toxins and chemicals from cigarettes.
Also, inhalers offer hand-to-mouth action smokers miss. You can get them on prescription from your local stop-smoking clinic, and they're one of the more effective tools available.
The nicotine inhaler has some side effects, but they're the same as other smoking cessation products. Overall, nicotine inhalers can be an excellent choice, but they still fail to offer the flavour of vaping products.
Medications are also available for people who struggle to quit smoking, but only if other methods fail to work. Varenicline (also known as Champix) was a popular medication, but it's currently unavailable due, and there are no apparent signs of it making a comeback in the future.
Bupropion (or Zyban) is a prescription medication available for smokers with a doctor's prescription, and it does make a significant difference in how people respond to their cravings.
The medication is primarily an antidepressant, but specialists believe it helps reduce withdrawal symptoms by treating the addictive triggers in the brain.
While Bupropion can help with your physical withdrawal symptoms, it doesn't replicate the hand-to-mouth action you'll miss, so it's best combined with NRT products.
E-Cigarettes can stop your nicotine cravings and replicate smoking
In the past, people had fewer options for quitting smoking, but electronic cigarettes provide a new lifestyle for heavy smokers who previously failed with nicotine replacement therapy.
Invented in 2007, e-cigarettes are nicotine delivery devices that don't contain carbon monoxide or tar. They use a battery-powered heating element, which turns the oil into a vapour, allowing users to inhale the nicotine but still be smoke-free.
While vaping does introduce users to some chemicals, specialists agree that it's a lot safer than smoking. In fact, the NHS claims that all vape devices are 95% safer than cigarettes, which is hugely beneficial for people who struggle to give up.
There are numerous devices available for former smokers, including:
- Vape Pens: Also known as starter kits, these pens are compact like cigarettes and deliver a substantial amount of flavour and vapour.
- Disposables/Pods: Convenient and easy to use, disposable and pod devices come with pre-filled e-liquid.
- Mod Kits: Mod devices are for more seasoned vapers, as they deliver a more substantial throat hit and are more customisable.
The benefits of e-cigarettes
Vaping also offers numerous benefits to smokers and can be more effective than other fast-acting NRTs.
E-liquid is safer than tobacco use
E-cigarettes allow you to get your nicotine fix without exposure to the harmful toxins found in cigarettes. They contain no tobacco, have fewer chemicals, and will enable you to choose your preferred nicotine strength.
Manufacturers use propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine as bases and nicotine and flavourings. However, purchasing e-liquids from a reputable manufacturer is essential, as some brands might use harmful chemicals or substandard ingredients.
Vaping is more effective than traditional nicotine therapy
Intense cravings are difficult to deal with, and studies suggest that vaping has a higher long-term success rate than other therapies. A comprehensive report released by GOV.UK discusses how effective vaping can be.
Other studies reveal that smokers are at least 8% more likely to abstain from cigarettes than people using nicotine replacement therapy (BMRC).
So, vaping could be the perfect solution if you want to reduce cravings and still enjoy a steady dose of nicotine.
You get more flexibility with vaping
With so many vape kits and e-liquids available, it's easy to forget smoking and embrace the vaping experience. The tobacco flavours come to life with e-cigarettes because they don't mask the woody and caramel notes.
You can also choose between numerous flavours, which replicate sweets, drinks, desserts and fruit, so many people find they consume less sugary snacks, as they get the taste of their favourite treats from vaping.
As you become more accustomed to vaping, you'll be able to gradually reduce sudden cravings for nicotine and lower your strength, making vaping the perfect way to leave tobacco behind for good.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, but it's not always easy. If you're looking for a holistic approach to quitting smoking, some methods will help you reduce stress.
Identifying the triggers that make you want to smoke, such as stress and boredom, means you can work on techniques to minimise your cravings.
Some popular holistic therapies include:
- Hypnotherapy: Hypnosis helps you change your thinking and accesses the subconscious mind. When performed by a specialist, it reduces cravings and keeps you focused.
- Yoga: Yoga combines physical exercise with breathing and meditation, giving participants a sense of peace and inner well-being.
- Acupuncture: One of the most popular holistic therapies, acupuncture relaxes your body and can help you control cravings.
Stop smoking today and give yourself the future you deserve
There's no doubt that smoking causes so many health risks; every time a person lights up, they're essentially decreasing their lifespan. Giving up is one of the most positive changes any smoker can make, and it makes a significant difference to your general health - and lifespan.
Vaping is hugely successful, and many ex-smokers live happily without tobacco. If you're ready to start your journey, 88Vape can help you every step.
We offer a range of cost-effective vape kits and e-liquids that will help you quit smoking and save a lot of money.
Please feel free to browse our website or contact us if you'd like support with choosing the right products for your needs.
What will you do with your newfound freedom? Once you quit smoking, anything is possible.