Smoke Free Blog

Tips on how to quit smoking

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What to Expect When You Decide to Quit Smoking: Common Withdrawal Symptoms of Quitting Smoking

Many smokers have no idea what to expect when they decide to quit smoking. Going off nicotine is stressful enough on its own. Adding the physical and emotional symptoms of quitting smoking makes it even more challenging. It is essential to get prepared for the reactions that are likely when you quit smoking. Knowing how your body will respond can help you keep motivated about the decision, without experiencing the harsh consequences of the symptoms of quitting smoking.

The symptoms of quitting smoking are mostly connected to the so-called nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Each person experiences unique discomfort and side effects when quitting smoking. Those quitting smoking side effects can be mildly annoying or especially difficult to cope with. Summing up the experiences of all former smokers is a difficult task, since some individuals report a number of quite unusual side effects connected to their nicotine withdrawal. One thing is certain – quitting smoking can be an exceptionally challenging task. Still, the right kind of motivation and emotional state will help you overcome the hurdles connected to the first few weeks after you quit smoking.

Symptoms of Quitting Smoking #1: Respiratory Symptoms

Naturally, the lungs and the respiratory system are most affected by smoking, especially if the nicotine addition has been ongoing for many years. Once you decide to quit smoking, the lungs will begin repairing themselves and getting rid of all the toxins accumulated inside the tissue. The result will be quitting smoking symptoms that resemble flu or a respiratory disease like bronchitis. In order to remove all of the accumulated tars and toxins, the smoker is likely to cough up phlegm. Very often, ex-smokers will experience shortness of breath and chest tightness in the first weeks of quitting smoking. The coughing may get so intense that it may even cause chest pain. A sore throat and stuffy nose may also feature among the symptoms of quitting smoking soon after that final cigarette. These symptoms of quitting smoking are something normal. They will last for several weeks until the lungs undergo their repair process.

Symptoms of Quitting Smoking #2: Mouth Ulcers and Bleeding Gums

Mouth ulcers rank high among the popular symptoms of quitting smoking. The problem with this quitting smoking side effect is that the ulcers can be exceptionally painful and difficult to cope with. The ulcers appear most commonly in the case of people using nicotine gum in their attempts to quit smoking. Most researchers believe that the absorption of nicotine in this form could be responsible for the appearance of the painful sores in the mouth. Vitamins and topical treatments applied to the ulcers can minimize the pain experienced as a result of this quit smoking withdrawal symptom. Gum bleeding is another typical side effect of quitting smoking, as well. This problem can be overcome through an increased intake of vitamin C supplements or foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines, kiwis and tomatoes.

Symptoms of Quitting Smoking #3: Nausea, Heartburn, Weight Gain and Diarrhea

It turns out that the symptoms of quitting smoking can affect the digestive system, as well. Though the number of ex-smokers who experience such problems is smaller, these quitting smoking side effects should not be underestimated. When you quit smoking, you are likely to experience nausea due to the sudden decrease in the amount of nicotine the body gets. The good news is that the nicotine withdrawal symptom will last solely several days. Heartburn appears occasionally, as well, though researchers have no explanation of this symptom or whether it is connected to a specific method of quitting smoking. Diarrhea may be another digestive symptom experienced by those who try to quit smoking, regardless of the method. These digestive symptoms are somehow uncommon but many people who try to quit smoking will report weight gain as one of the most common side effects that are unconnected to the respiratory system. Nicotine has been recognized as an appetite suppressant. In addition, many smokers will need to chew on something like candies, crackers or chocolate in order to resist the temptation to light a cigarette. Exercising more often and decreasing the amount of food as the cravings start to subside can help you cope with the weight gain. Read More

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Fallen Off the Quit Smoking Train – Here’s How to Get Back On!

Quitting smoking is hard, but you didn’t need us to say that to you. It’s hard because of all of the chemicals found in a single cigarette. Those chemicals work together to send a lot of signals to the brain at once. Over time, the brain gets addicted to that rush of signals, and it’s very hard to break the addiction. You might see other people that can start and stop smoking and think “Hey, I could do that!” Really, you can’t — and these people that tell you that they can give up smoking whenever they want are generally very light smokers that have not been smoking for a long time. If you really want to beat your smoking habit for good, you need to make sure that you don’t try to pick it up again. You will ruin your odds of getting over the addiction if you do this.

So, where do you go from here? You might be asking yourself that and feeling pretty ashamed of going back to those cigarettes. Don’t do that to yourself — if you shame yourself into anything, you’ll carry around too much guilt. Many smokers have to try to quit several times before they’re actually successful.

What you need to do is find a path to quitting smoking that works for you. We definitely recommend using e-cigarettes in order to get you in the right frame of mind. If you use e-cigarettes, you have a choice between going with the ones that have nicotine and the ones that don’t. The non-nicotine ones give you the pleasure of putting something to your lips and the sensation of a very fine vapor coming out. There is no smoke and no flame, so they are permissible in places that you normally couldn’t smoke at. Being able to smoke virtually everywhere is definitely a pleasant surprise — which is why e-cigarettes are so popular!

If you don’t want to go down this path, you might want to explore the more psychological side of why it’s so difficult for you to quit smoking. Many former smokers never realized that they have so much that determines their own path into smoking, always just assuming that there wasn’t really anything wrong with them at all. However, journaling can reveal to you exactly why you became a smoker, and any emotions that you assign to smoking. Does smoking make you feel good after a long day at work? You might want to try to switch to physical activity instead. You can get the same type of rush through working out without the harmful aftereffects of smoking. Read More

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What Can Prescription Drugs Do For Your Stop Smoking Campaign?

There are quite a few drugs available to help you stop smoking. This can be a relief for smokers that have tried to drop the habit for a long time and never been able to do so. You have to make sure that you actually get the assistance that you need rather than just thinking that something won’t work for you. You also don’t need to be embarrassed or feel ashamed if you haven’t managed to quit smoking yet. A lot of people have to come to it in their own time, and that means sometimes just going through the motions until you figure out what you need to do next. You need to believe in your heart that a day without tobacco will be possible for you.

So, let’s get into the drugs that you can turn to help you stop smoking, shall we?

The first thing that you need to know is that there are really only two that seem to come up in the conversation. The most popular one is Chantix, which is a medication that helps you stop smoking. You can still smoke while the drug builds up in your system, which is something that many smokers find pleasing. They can smoke for a little while and then ease down once the Chantix works with their body to release them out of the bonds of nicotine. You’re still going to have to have the willpower and desire to make changes, but many find that it’s easier to quit smoking when you can get the chemical assistance from the Chantix.

Another drug that comes in handy is Zyban, which is actually the identical twin of Wellbutrin. Zyban is what’s prescribed for those that want help with their stop smoking campaign, but we put both names here just so you have them in reference.

Now, one thing that you might wonder after all of this interesting information is why nicotine is so hard to beat in the first place. Well, one thing about nicotine is that it releases dopamine in the brain. This is a pleasure substance, which makes you feel good. It reduces anxiety and tension and it can even suppress appetite. This is often why smokers who are trying to quit find themselves constantly eating or putting things in their mouths – they want to feel good, they want to know that they have things under control. So you are building a reward system — when you get nicotine, you’re happier. When you don’t have nicotine (like when you run out of cigarettes and you don’t have the money for more) — you’re cranky and upset, you’re irritated and you’re very hungry. Your body is screaming for nicotine because it wants that dopamine release. This is something that can be hard to deal with. Read More

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Are Anti-Smoking Medications Really Effective

One of the big things that you might have to tackle in life is giving up smoking. Smoking is something that can really keep you from the things that really matter in life, like friends and family. Not everyone wants to be around a smoker, as it impacts their own health. If you’re tired of having to smoke by yourself to keep from disturbing people, you might have made the decision to quit smoking.

However, how do you actually quit smoking when it feels like all of the cards are stacked up against you? Indeed, you know more than anyone else that smoking is an addiction. It might not be that you really want to keep smoking, but you’ve noticed that when you don’t have that cigarette you’re not the lovable and fun person that your friends and family are used to. Any smoker that’s run out of cigs and not had the money to take care of the problem can definitely relate to this!

One path to recovery might be medication, but it begs the question: are anti-smoking medications really effective? The answer is like many things in life: it really depends.

You see, it depends on you and how committed you are to giving up smoking. The best medicine in the world cannot break a mind that’s determined to keep doing whatever it is that it wants to do. If you really want to keep smoking, you’re going to keep smoking. So before you do anything that involves prescription drugs, you will need to make sure that you are truly dedicating yourself to quitting smoking. That will make it easier to deal with the medication and the side effects that might be associated with it.

Of course, a lot of us don’t really want to stop and think about the side effects that might be waiting for us when we go with these types of medications, but the truth of the matter is that it’s really something that you will want to think about before you get too committed. If you aren’t careful and think about the side effects, you’ll end up doing something that’s going to cost you dearly in the long run — why would you put yourself through that?

The best place to start with your doctor. Talk to your doctor and show them that you’re really committed to getting things taken care of. Read More

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3 Steps to Helping Your Friend Quit Smoking

If you’re not a smoker, then congratulations — you’re avoiding a very bad and very expensive habit. However, chances are pretty good that you know quite a few smokers in your life, and not all of them really want to stay smokers. The truth of the matter is that once you’ve been a smoker for so long it can be really hard to actually do the things that you know that you need to do in order to quit.

Thankfully, you can help them start down the path to a smoke-free life, if they really want to do that. Now, you will have to make some concessions. If they really want to keep using nicotine, then you might need to go with patches instead of having them quit cold turkey.

Yet could there be a better way? Actually, there can. Let’s get on with those steps first.

First and foremost, you will want to sit down with your friend and explain to them that they you really do want to help. You want to make sure that they understand that your focus is on them, not just your hatred of smoking. If people feel like you’re judging them, then they aren’t going to be receptive to anything that you really have to say. It’s just better in the long run to focus on getting everything else in place — like their goals. You will want them to start dreaming about all of the things that they can have by moving towards a smoke free life. Let them write it down. In fact, if you can get them keeping a daily journal about how they feel about giving up smoking this can really help.

Now, the next step is that you will need to get them to either taper down, or quit completely. Tapering gives them the ability to keep smoking, but they smoke les sand less with time.

The final step is to track progress until they have a smoke free life. Yet it’s in this last step that we actually get the real secret that a lot of former smokers are turning to: electronic cigarettes. It’s really all about trying to get that type of result for yourself — you might think that it’s not necessary to turn to electronic cigarettes, but you’re not a smoker either. Smoking is a social pleasure as well as a physical need after the addiction sets in. Even if you break the physical addiction, people still want that feeling of smoking. That’s why it’s so pleasurable, and also so very hard to give up smoking.

Instead of shunning your friend, you might want to read up on electronic cigarettes yourself. You can get a non-nicotine version for yourself and a nicotine version for your friend. The vapor that comes from the e-cigarette helps give you the illusion that you’re smoking, while you’re not taking in all of those harmful chemicals. There is no smoke and no flame, which means that you can actually smoke indoors. If you live in an area that bans smoking indoors, then your friend will love the e-cigarette. Now they can come visit you and still feel like they’re smoking — while saving a lot of money in the process. As you might imagine, the e-cigarette is a lot less expensive because you get a lot more “uses” from the rechargeable cartridges than you would with a normal pack of cigarettes. Once you smoke them, they’re gone for good and you have to go right back to the store and get more — at a premium, of course.

Overall, it will take a while before your friend really embraces a smoke-free life. But if you support them through the entire process you can really get a lot done in a short amount of time for your friend — how cool is that?