5 AnswersDo you smoke, chew, or use tobacco products in any other way? Then you are addicted. The other way is throw away the cigarettes or chew, or whatever, and see if you can go without them with no consequence and no problems and cravings for a long period of time. Try it for a week at a time. If you can go a week at a time without needing nicotine, you are no longer addicted and you might as well quit smoking, or chewing, or whatever way you are getting tobacco.
1 AnswerAmerican Cancer Society answeredStaying quit is the final, longest, and most important stage of the quitting process. You can use the same methods to stay quit as you did to help you through withdrawal. Think ahead to those times when you may be tempted to smoke, and plan on how you will use other ways to cope with these situations.
More dangerous, perhaps, are the unexpected strong desires to smoke that can sometimes happen months, or even years after you've quit. To get through these without relapse, try these:
• Review your reasons for quitting and think of all the benefits to your health, your finances, and your family.
• Remind yourself that there is no such thing as just one cigarette -- or even one puff.
• Ride out the desire to smoke. It will go away, but do not fool yourself into thinking you can have just one.
• Avoid alcohol. Drinking lowers your chance of success.
• If you are worried about gaining weight, put some energy into eating a healthy diet and staying active with exercise.
3 AnswersDr. Theodore D. Richards, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredCertain foods and beverages are thought to help you kick the smoking habit. Some foods, such as non-carbonated beverages like water and juice, fruit such as apples and bananas, dairy products like milk and cheese, and some vegetables like carrots and celery, can make cigarettes taste awful. Avoid foods that make the taste of cigarettes enticing, like alcohol, coffee and meat. There is some evdiance to support that foods like oats, oranges, spinach and brown rice help to overcome cigarette cravings.
7 AnswersGetting past those urges to smoke is probably the single biggest challenge in quitting tobacco. Everyone who's managed to quit has a favorite tip that worked well. Try some of these:
- Avoid triggers - the things that make you want a cigarette, such as being around other smokers, having an alcoholic drink, or drinking coffee.
- Chew on something, such as sugarless gum, sugar-free candy, a carrot stick, or even a straw.
- Breathe deeply in and out ten times.
And remember, urges pass, usually, in just a couple of minutes.
3 AnswersSure. Smoking is usually a social habit, and the hardest part of quitting is changing habits associated with your smoking. Alcohol may also decrease your ability to say no. Look at other habits that you do with smoking and change them to help you quit.
It is the dopamine in your brain. Your nicotine puffs release dopamine and your body craves that dopamine release. The same thing with heroin, it causes dopamine release too. There is no harm in having nicotine patches tapered in a steady way to help get rid of your addiction. That is, the usual 1 pack per day smoker needs 21 mg of nicotine initially, 14 mg 2 months later, and 7 mg 2 months after that, to get rid of the nicotine addiction. No harm in doing that. Nicotine is okay - and it is much better than the cigarettes. The hydrocarbons in tobacco and in other things you smoke, are what cause the cancer, immune dysfunction, arterial aging, and even the back pain that smokers have.
Smoking serves as the classic example of addiction because not only is it legal, but also detrimental to your health as soon as you puff (unlike other addictions, which in a non-addictive form may be okay in moderation, such as alcohol).
It's a maladaptive response to stress or something else that is bothering you. Why maladaptive? Because when you finish the cigarette or the jaw of tobacco, the stress or boss is still there. And while the hydrocarbons do damage to the rest of your body, the vehicle of nicotine is the addictive part. Regardless of how nicotine reaches the bloodstream, it's distributed through the brain and body where it activates receptors called cholinergic receptors. Nicotine changes these receptors so that a regular user needs to continue to get nicotine to have normal functioning of the brain - and stopping can trigger withdrawal symptoms. Plus, nicotine stimulates the release of the reward-seeking chemical dopamine - which supports the pleasure that many smokers feel, and which makes it so dang hard to stop.
That underscores the point that addictive behaviors can change our brain chemistry in ways that makes the addiction nearly impossible to break.
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1 AnswerIntermountain Healthcare answeredThink about the situations, people, places, and feelings that often lead you to reach for a cigarette (or a can or pouch of tobacco). These are your triggers. Some common triggers are finishing a meal, talking on the phone, or being around other people who use tobacco.
You probably can't avoid your triggers entirely. But you can take control of them before they take control of you. When your trigger hits, do something else instead of use tobacco. Sometimes it's just a matter of having something in your mouth or your hand.
Look at the list of common triggers and substitutes. Map out your own trigger taming plan.
- finishing a meal
- talking on the phone
- being around friends who smoke
- feeling stressed or bored
- riding in the car
- sitting on the porch at the end of the day
- going on a break from work
- feeling angry or lonely
- chewing some sugar-free gum
- going someplace where you can't use tobacco
- sucking on a straw or toothpick
- brushing your teeth
- fiddling with a paper clip
- having a cup of tea or a glass of water
- going for a walk
- squeezing a rubber ball
- doing some deep breathing
- having a healthy snack: carrots, raisins, sunflower seeds
- playing cards or computer games
- calling a friend to talk
2 AnswersSmoking from a hookah can still lead to nicotine addiction. While the water acts as a filter, it does not filter out many of the toxins, including nicotine. Research has shown that daily hookah smokers have the same nicotine levels in their bloodstream as someone who smokes 10 cigarettes per day, which is more than enough to spark addiction.
1 AnswerPenn Medicine answered
While nicotine leaves your system within a few days of quitting, the effects of nicotine on your brain are more long lasting than that. Your brain needs time to heal, sometimes up to a few years. During that time, it's not uncommon to feel a subtle desire to pick up a cigarette. A slip is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign that your brain hasn't finished healing yet. A slip doesn't mean you are a smoker again. It is simply the time to ask for help and get back to quitting.