Tips for quitting smoking: how to organize the process correctly?

Any experienced smoker knows what nicotine withdrawal is. At least once, but he tried to get rid of a bad habit, although most of the attempts ended in failure. Maybe it is the wrong approach? In this article, we'll take a look at the best way to quit smoking and exactly what needs to be done to make it happen.

How to stop smoking?

The proportion of people who smoke on the planet is huge - it is almost 1/5 of all the inhabitants of the Earth and is constantly growing. At the same time, many people dream of quitting smoking, although far fewer actually try to do anything about it. Usually, after the first attempt to get rid of a bad habit, a smoker will be very disappointed: he is faced with manifestations of nicotine addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

In fact, the craving for nicotine is one of the strongest drug addictions, because this substance can be integrated into the biochemical processes of the body, and it is not easy to "smoke" it from there.

It is also difficult to lose the psychological desire to smoke a cigarette - a strong desire to smoke in a given situation (under stress, excitement, joy). Hence the enormous number of failures in attempts to quit smoking.

Most people who suffer from nicotine cravings wonder if it's better to quit all at once or gradually. Or maybe buy pills or an electronic cigarette or go to a psychologist to find the right motivation. There is no single answer. The approach to quitting smoking should be formed taking into account the individual characteristics of character, health, smoking experience. It is quite possible to quit smoking yourself, but only with a short experience and moderate dependence - heavy smokers are better off resorting to special therapeutic measures. Otherwise, even with successful failure, the risk of relapse is high, and this will only strengthen the addiction.

Thus, correct smoking cessation should be based on the following components:

  • Stage of preparation or motivation.
  • Actually refusal of cigarettes (better sharp).
  • Organization of proper nutrition.
  • If necessary, substitution therapy, psychological support.

Steps to quit nicotine

Most of the time, a person returns to a cigarette because he could not foresee all the nuances of parting with it in advance, did not find clear motivational reasons why he wants to do it, and also did not get the support of his loved ones. The intention to get rid of the addiction must be firm, otherwise a breakdown cannot be avoided. There are two main steps in the quitting process, each of which is detailed below.


First you need to understand yourself and find the reason why the bad habit appeared. For many, this helps to find the right motivation to quit cigarettes, because some began to "make friends" with cigarettes for company, others smoked to show their adulthood at an early age. Perhaps the need for such dubious self-expression has already disappeared, and it's time to quit.

You should also write down in a notebook what kinds of life situations make you reach for a cigarette. Whether it's going out for a smoke with colleagues, smoking while waiting for the bus, after eating, during excitement, it's much easier to know the problem from the inside and get rid of it thoroughly.

The next most important point in the preparatory stage is to provide a clear motivation that will make you stop smoking. This is incredibly important, because in the absence of a reason, already on the first or second day of giving up a cigarette, a thought like "is this torment really necessary? ". A person must know exactly why he is suffering, and the reasons must be compelling.

Common motivations for quitting include:

  • The desire to conceive a child or save loved ones from passive smoking (for example, during the pregnancy of the wife, at the birth of a baby)
  • The desire to maintain health or cure diseases that have appeared, to prolong life (usually this is the strongest motive)
  • Desire to play sports, gain a normal weight, figure, appearance
  • Love, infatuation - many give up a bad habit for the sake of relationships if the other half does not smoke
  • The desire to save money: sometimes the financial situation forces you to quit smoking


The ideal option is to stop smoking immediately, although not everyone succeeds. Therefore, for those who smoke for a long time and in large quantities, experts advise first to stop smoking for 48 hours. Then it will be possible to understand what awaits a person, and it is important to approach this from the positive side. The benefits will be huge: at the beginning of the second day it will be easier to breathe, maybe the headache will stop, because there will be no momentary vasospasm from nicotine intake.

After a successful refusal for 2 days, you need to think about continuing a healthy lifestyle. Luck will smile only at those who will take all measures to reduce nicotine withdrawal, will not allow the bad habit to overshadow consciousness and win.

In order not to go on a rampage, here are some tips for the behavior of an ex-smoker:

  1. As a depressed mood sets in, which happens to almost everyone who has quit smoking, it's worth remembering motivation and what a state of mind is: artificial, not real. It is necessary to push bad thoughts away from yourself, thinking only about the good, about the next improvement in life, well-being and health.
  2. When you quit smoking, it's best not to be alone. This is the greatest risk of smoking a cigarette, so you should engage in an active hobby with family, friends, and children.
  3. It is necessary to distract from thoughts about a cigarette. This is possible if you fully load yourself with chores: do the cleaning, wash the dishes, cook a delicious dinner, watch an interesting movie, anything, so as not to sit idle with thoughts of smoking.
  4. You often have to remember the chosen motivation and reward yourself for each new day without a cigarette, for each small victory over the next desire to smoke. The only condition is that it is advised not to organize rewards in the form of treats or other products.
  5. We need to find a replacement for cigarettes. If you want to smoke, it is safe and harmless to eat a carrot, an apple, a piece of celery or rhubarb, click seeds, drink tea with herbs: mint, algae, currant leaves, drink cold water in small sips.

Sports can help you not to smoke again: swimming, running, walking, as well as various relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and even hypnosis. Also, experts advise brushing your teeth more often, using mint mouthwash, using aromatherapy at home to distract yourself from a bad habit. We must not forget to reduce visits to places where other people smoke, it is not necessary to provoke yourself unnecessarily, especially in the first weeks after quitting.

"Anti-nicotine" nutrition and weight gain

As you know, when you give up a bad habit, many begin to gain weight. But this does not happen at all from a lack of nicotine, but from a sharp change in eating habits. If the previous hunger could well be replaced by a smoke break, now it seizes a person with a desire for revenge. In an effort to "tap" the stronger urge to smoke, most lean heavily on crackers and chips, sweets and candy, nuts and seeds. Almost all of these foods are high in calories and sometimes downright harmful due to the abundance of trans fats and preservatives. Thus, a fast set of 8-10 kilograms is the fault of another bad habit that has come to replace smoking.

Former smokers often increase their total caloric intake by increasing the number of meals, eating at night, organizing second breakfasts and additional snacks. Overeating is often also due to an improvement in appetite, because regular smoking is not in the best shape.

There is only one way out of this situation: control the intake and consumption of calories, eat only healthy foods, rely more on vegetables and fruits so as not to smoke again. It is better to refuse potato chips and crackers in favor of fresh carrots, apples, apricots, cucumbers, prunes, etc.

Some foods rich in ascorbic acid are necessary to compensate for an acute deficiency of ascorbic acid and also help improve a person's well-being. These include raspberries, currants, citrus, spinach, sauerkraut, etc.

There are also some nutritional recommendations that will help you survive nicotine withdrawal more easily and quickly without gaining weight or feeling bad:

  1. Give up too strong tea, coffee abundance, replace them with mineral water, juices, so as not to damage the vessels already affected by cigarettes.
  2. Do not abuse salty, spicy, fried and smoked foods due to irritation of the taste buds and increased urge to smoke.
  3. There is more fiber, as it will help quickly remove the breakdown products of cigarette smoke from the body.
  4. Don't drink alcohol. Alcohol, especially strong, contributes to the loss of control over the situation, while the risk of smoking is huge.

What is the best way to quit smoking, abruptly or gradually?

give up smoking

The experts' answer is unequivocal: you must stop smoking immediately. Of course, heavy smokers, whose experience is estimated at decades, will not be able to cope with the habit so easily, but they should seek medical help. The doctor will select the best way to quit smoking, but even in such a situation, the person will most likely be offered a one-time refusal with therapeutic support.

When a person gradually quits smoking, reducing the number of cigarettes per day, switching to light brands, he only prolongs his torment.

The body strongly resists, not receiving the usual dose of nicotine, as a result, you have to fight literally constantly, every hour, feverishly counting the smoked and remaining cigarettes for the day. In any case, this will lead to a breakdown or an imperceptible increase in the number of cigarettes, and the fight against the bad habit will not take a single step. In addition, light cigarettes contain much more harmful substances that replace the somewhat reduced nicotine content, and the harm to the body can be even greater. There is another drawback to gradual rejection: neither mental nor physical dependency is reduced. So, does a smoker need extra suffering, besides, it does not bring any benefit to his body?

Separately, it is worth noting electronic cigarettes. This modern device, contrary to advertising, does not contribute at all to quitting smoking. Of course, due to the absence of tar and acrid smoke, harm to health is reduced, the lungs are cleared, coughing is stopped, and the skin is cleansed.

Dependence on an electronic cigarette remains, because nicotine continues to enter the body, and over time its dose increases due to the possibility of smoking even in the workplace. Therefore, with a strong desire to recover without harm, there is only one option - to quit smoking once and for all.

Antinicotinic agents

Many, in an effort to quit smoking, buy nicotine patches, gum and lozenges. Such preparations contain the minimum amount of nicotine that will enter the body and reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. The use of such funds makes sense, but only for heavy smokers. During treatment, you can get rid of psychological dependence: going out for a smoke, smoking after eating, during stress. But expecting drugs to do everything for the smoker is not worth it.

Sooner or later, a person will still have to give up nicotine, which is built into the receptors and leads to strong physical dependence. Therefore, pills and drugs are only auxiliary methods of getting rid of a bad habit, nothing more. If you apply them correctly and do not increase the dose, but reduce it, then some relief from the task will be achieved, and together with your own desire and willpower, everything will work out!