The turn of a new decade, filled with hope and promise, and then it began. Wildfires spreading across vast areas, political unrest, and of course the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s safe to say that 2020 has been far from ideal for almost everyone across the world. But now, coming towards the end of the year, there is still a chance to make 2020 memorable for a positive reason. Make this the year you quit smoking for good.
Where to start?
Like all addictions, quitting smoking is never easy, and the longer you have smoked, the more dependent you become. However, it is not impossible, and with the right information and guidance, you can ditch the cigs once and for all and enjoy a fulfilling smoke-free future.
So, with this article, we’re going to provide you with all the information you need to feel comfortable enough to start this incredible journey.
Cold Turkey or Nicotine Replacement?
The main reason that people become dependent on smoking is due to the highly addictive nature of the nicotine that cigarettes contain. Due to this fact, breaking the habit can be very difficult. With that said, as noted by The National Institution for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) anyone that smokes should be advised to quit and helping them find the best way for them to do so is vital.
Finding the right method for you can be hard, but there are plenty of options available, each with their own pros and cons. Below we will go into more detail about a few of the options available to enable you to make your own decision.
Going cold turkey is when a person decides to abruptly stop taking a drug in an attempt to remove their dependency. In the case of smoking, the drug in question is nicotine. Though this method is undeniably the ideal option, it is not for everyone and can often lead to relapse due to some of the side-effects that can come with it.
- Withdrawal symptoms usually peak within the first 7 days of cessation. Quitting cold turkey gets you over the hump faster compared to cutting back on gradually using nicotine replacements.
- Your body will begin to benefit from being nicotine-free sooner rather than later.
- Withdrawal symptoms may be more intense than with gradual cessation. Common nicotine withdrawal side effects include:
- intense cravings for cigarettes
- feeling down
- difficulty sleeping
- trouble concentrating
- increased appetite
- cough or sore throat
- changes in bowel habits
- It’s not easy and requires a lot of willpower, especially if you’ve smoked for a long time.
- For some people, pairing an abrupt quit date with NRT may increase their chances of staying quit.
The term “cold turkey” is believed to be an Americanism dating back to around 1920, probably from the phrase “to talk cold turkey” “to speak bluntly about something unpleasant”. Source: Dictionary.com
E Cigarettes / Vaping
In recent times, e cigarettes have quickly become one of the most popular quit smoking aids and have helped millions across the world to give up cigarettes for good. Though they are not completely harmless, they do not contain either tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most damaging elements in cigarette smoke. Furthermore, the eliquid used with ecigarettes or vaping devices are sold at varying nicotine strengths. This allows someone to reduce their nicotine impact gradually until they feel comfortable to stop all-together. See what the NHS says about using ecigarettes to quit smoking.
- According to a number of leading healthcare experts, including the Royal College of Physicians, vaping is around 95% safer than smoking.
- Control over nicotine intake and the ability to gradually reduce your nicotine levels over time.
- Control the amount of vapour produced with adjustable devices.
- Keep cravings under control and replicate smoking habits.
- Relatively inexpensive. Starter kits available from as little as £5.99.
- Strict regulation on all eliquid and vaping devices.
- Overwhelming choice
- Intimidating technology that often needs a lot of explanation.
- Youthful perception
- Uncertain health risks
- Scary headlines
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT is the name given to a range of medications that delivers a low dose of nicotine without any tar, carbon monoxide or other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.
NRT is relatively easy to get hold of and is available from most pharmacies, as well as on prescription from a doctor or NHS stop smoking service.
NRT is available as:
- skin patches
- chewing gum
- inhalators (which look like plastic cigarettes)
- tablets, oral strips and lozenges
- nasal and mouth spray
Each type of NRT has it’s own pros and cons and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else. To help decide which is best for you it is worth discussing them in more detail with a healthcare professional.
Treatment with NRT usually lasts 8-12 weeks, before you gradually reduce the dose and eventually stop.
Where to go next?
Now that you are tooled with information about some of the methods available to help you quit, it’s time to get started on your smoke-free adventure. Once you have decided the best option for you, we recommend you do some further research to ensure you are prepared. We won’t lie, whichever route you take is likely to be difficult, however, as they say, the best things in life don’t come easy.
Before we go, we have one question for you. Are you ready to change your life and turn the tide in 2020 and make it a year to remember as the year that you achieved something truly incredible?
Is vaping right for you? If so, check a range of starter kits and bundles, brought to you by Vapemate, one of the UK’s leading vape retailers.