Innovative ways to beat the smoking urge

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Innovative ways to beat the smoking urge

Wednesday, 31 May 2023 | Ambarish Joshi

Innovative ways to beat the smoking urge

Owing to increasing consumption of tobacco across the world, the WHO dedicated May 31 to commemorate ‘World No-Tobacco Day’ in 1987

Consumption of tobacco is injurious to health. Everyone around is aware of this fact, however, for the majority of tobacco users, the allure of tobacco and the cravings it evokes can be overpowering.

Owing to the increasing consumption of tobacco among individuals worldwide, WHO dedicated 31st May to commemorate World No-Tobacco Day every year since 1987. However, the urge to indulge in smoking is mostly irresistible to tobacco users and thereby to battle those urges, it is crucial to bear in mind that it will typically subside within 10 minutes, regardless of whether or not you succumb to the temptation. Let us explore some innovative and effective methods that can aid you in fending off the urge to smoke or utilize tobacco when cravings strike.

Embrace Nicotine Replacement Therapy: This therapeutic approach encompasses various options, such as prescription of nicotine administered via nasal spray or inhaler, Over-the-counter nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges, or prescription of non-nicotine cessation medications like bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, etc) and varenicline. These swift-acting treatments are generally safe to use alongside long-acting nicotine patches or non-nicotine cessation medications.

 Steer Clear of Triggers – One must be aware of the triggers that prompt one to smoke. It is most likely that the potency of tobacco urges gets most pronounced in settings where one habitually smokes or chews tobacco. For instance, parties, bars, moments of stress, or while savouring a cup of coffee are likely scenarios. Identify your triggers and devise a plan to avoid them.

Social networking: The formation of social networks by persons who have successfully quit smoking, and their motivation for persons in the process of quitting may help psychologically.

Employ the Power of Delay- When struck by tobacco craving, challenge yourself to postpone its enchantment by an additional 10 minutes. During this time, engage in activities that successfully divert your attention. Consider venturing into a smoke-free zone within your vicinity. Employing these simple but effective tactics might be sufficient to surmount the craving.

Channel Your Chewing Impulses- Offer your mouth an alternative activity to ward off tobacco cravings. Chew on sugarless gum or relish a piece of hard candy or else savour the crunch of raw carrots, nuts, or sunflower seeds for distraction.

Beware of the Illusion of "Just One"- The allure of succumbing to the illusion of satisfying a smoking craving with a single cigarette is compelling. However, do not deceive yourself into believing that stopping at one will suffice. More often than not, indulging in a solitary cigarette will lead to another.

Harness the Power of Physical Activity- Physical exertion possesses the capacity to divert your attention away from tobacco or smoking cravings. Even brief bursts of activity, such as ascending and descending stairs several times, can successfully reduce the craving, or a brisk walk or jog.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health with these innovative ways depending on the individual’s preferences. Some people find success with nicotine replacement therapy, while others prefer to quit cold turkey. Several support groups can aid avid smokers in quitting. No matter which method you choose, it is important to be patient and persistent because quitting smoking is not easy, however, it is certainly worth it. for your health.

(The writer is Senior Consultant, Pulmonology, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi)

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