Getting on with it is the most important thing. But there are tricks to make sure you don’t give in to the inevitable cravings
Quit now, rather than later
Smokers who try to gradually taper down the amount they smoke are less likely to quit than those who do so abruptly. The problem with quitting smoking is it’s something you can always do tomorrow. However, committing to a day, and making that the day, is the key to success. This is because of the way the brain learns and unlearns patterns of addiction. The urges to smoke can be unlearned, providing you never have a cigarette at those moments of temptation. But having a sneaky one now and again is just going to prolong the agony.
E-cigarettes are not common in Uganda but they are definitely worth a try. A recent study found them to be almost twice as effective at helping smokers quit. E-cigarettes contain a behavioral component, which some other medications for stopping smoking don’t have. Vaping gives people something to do with their hands.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines emphasize that behavioral support, not just pharmacotherapies, is crucial to successfully quit smoking. Whether this comes in the form of family or friends, or counselling from your local Stop Smoking service, this can help give smokers a motivation to quit.
Every smoker has triggers that make them crave a cigarette. Experts say changing your daily routine to avoid those temptations is important in the early stages of quitting. People usually smoke in a very stereotyped manner, at particular times. If you can break those routines, then you will reduce the chances of giving in to temptation and allow your brain to recover.