Can't Stop Cigarettes? Don't Despair! New Routines.
Tobacco users aren’t just addicted to smoking or chewing; they’re also habitually addicted to the physical act of using tobacco products. Over time, smoking or chewing becomes a part of your daily routine or coping mechanism. Certain activities, routines or feelings “trigger” the urge to smoke or chew.
Triggers can be habitual daily activities, such as a morning cup of coffee or hanging out with a certain group of friends. Triggers can also be feelings and emotions, such as stress or unhappiness. Even certain times of the day can be triggers. Triggers can be a huge barrier to quitting tobacco. In order to quit successfully, you need to first determine what “triggers” you to smoke or dip. With practice, you can overcome your triggers. Eventually, it becomes easier to separate triggers and tobacco, and then finally quit for good. Here are some proven tips to help you identify and beat your triggers:
Step 1 Figure out what your triggers are by keeping a list of when you have the urge to smoke or dip.
Step 2 Make a list of the places where you would normally smoke.
Step 3 Come up with alternate ways you can approach an activity or emotion. Here are some examples.
Routine Can Be As Addictive As Nicotine
- When you’re first trying to quit smoking, wait until you finish your coffee to have a cigarette. Over the next few days, gradually increase the amount of time between finishing your coffee and having a cigarette. Eventually, with enough time between the coffee and the cigarette, you’ll discover that you can drink coffee without smoking.
- Do something else while drinking coffee, such as reading the paper or making a grocery list.
- Change the time or location where you have your coffee.
- When you’re first trying to quit smoking, don’t light up while you drink. Wait to smoke until after you’ve finished your drink. Begin gradually increasing the amount of time between finishing your drink and smoking.
- Choose a smoke-free bar or restaurant for happy hour.
- Try a different drink or switch to nonalcoholic beverages for a short while.
- Engage in another activity to keep your hands busy while drinking, like playing darts or billiards.
- When you’re first trying to quit smoking, don’t smoke directly after a meal. Wait a few minutes and then gradually increase the amount of time between your meal and cigarette.
- Keep your mind and hands busy after a meal: help with the dishes, walk the dog, play cards, check email, etc.
- Brush your teeth or chew gum directly after meals.
- When you’re first trying to quit smoking, don’t light up the moment the key is in the ignition – wait a few minutes. Over time, increase the amount of time between starting the car and smoking.
- Put your cigarettes in your purse or briefcase and then keep that in the back seat or trunk, making your cigarettes difficult to reach.
- Make a playlist for your drive and encourage yourself not to smoke while that playlist is on. Eventually, the ride will be over before you have the chance to light up a cigarette.
- Over time, your body has learned that stress creates the need to smoke or chew. Remember that your body is craving nicotine and is producing its own stress. Having a cigarette or chew is only relieving the stress your body is artificially creating.
- During stressful moments, give yourself five minutes to take deep breadths and think of something calm, other than smoking. By not smoking at the very first sign of stress, you’ll begin to break the connection between stress and smoking.
- Go for a walk instead of smoking.
- Exercise isn’t just good for the body; it’s good for the mind. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which boost your mood.
- Call a loved one who’s supporting you in quitting and talk through a stressful situation.
- Decrease morning stress by preparing the day before: make lunches ahead of time, prepare the coffeemaker and choose an outfit.
- Avoid places where you would often take smoke breaks.
Friends That Smoke
- Alert your friends – smokers and nonsmokers – of your attempt to quit smoking and ask for their support. You may even help your friends decide to quit as well.
- Arrange to meet up with friends at smoke-free places, such as a friend’s home or a restaurant.
- Make your home a smoke-free zone.
- Call or text a friend or loved one.
- Tackle chores such as laundry, dusting or vacuuming. When you’re done, you will have a clean home and will have defeated a craving.
- Pick up a hobby that keeps your hands busy, like crossword puzzles, knitting or chess.
- Exercise or run errands.
- Play a quick game on your phone or computer.
Other Help Pages
Things to Replace a Marijuana Habit
Your list may be longer, shorter, or totally different from mine. The point is to know what you’re going to do to cope with the urge. I’m sharing my list just to give you an idea of what your own personalized list can look like:
Writing helps me clarify my feelings and shut out thoughts other than the thing I’m writing about. Once I’ve written a few paragraphs, even if it’s something the rest of the world will never see, I have a feeling of accomplishment which bolsters my self esteem thereby lessening my urge to smoke.
Just like writing, reading forces my attention onto one thing and once I get into the thing I’m reading, it’s a true escape.
Exercise is great when my mind is all over the place. One of the things that always made me smoke is that I often find myself thinking about too many things at once, not knowing which thought to follow up on first. When I exercise, I let my mind go wild and after about 30 minutes of exertion, it helps to overcome the compulsion.
The organization in one’s home reflects the organization in one’s mind. I have found that coming home to a clean living space makes me feel more calm and peaceful thus reducing the urge to smoke.
- Get Out
Simply sitting in the space where I used to smoke makes me think about getting high. When this happens, I get out of the house. Whether I walk or drive, I might not have any particular idea of where I’m headed. It’s the change of scenery that helps me get my mind off of smoking marijuana.
Smoking Marijuana: The Long Term Effects Special Video On My Health Site Page HERE Medical Marijuana Is Not The Answer!
Malcom Smith ND gives you a true professional assessment of the effects of Marijuana. You will see the ignorance of certain practitioners who approve of Medical Marijuana. You will be able to judge these issues more clearly!
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Psychologists advice you try several things that can mitigate the dependence:
- Make up a plan. Establish a deadline for smoking. Get rid of ashtrays, matches, and other things that are related with smoking.
- Change your everyday habits. If smoking is associated with a cup of coffee and reading a newspaper, take a break from those habits, in order to avoid thoughts about cigarettes.
- Chew something. Scientists believe that having your mouth occupied with sugarless gum or candy can make you forget about cigarettes.
- Drink water. Drinking water or juice will replace cigarettes in your mouth and will also help you clean your body from toxins.
- Do exercises. You can also swim, jog, or do other physical activities. It will boost your mood, and distract you from thinking about cigarettes.
- Inspire yourself. Write down all complications smoking can cause and put it in your bag or wallet. When you feel you want to puff, read this list and you will feel better.
Reasons Why Smoking Marijuana Is “Bad” For You
20 Years Of Research Sheds An Unflattering Light On Weed.
A researcher who studied the adverse effects of cannabis on the human body in 1993, wished to see how things have changed in the last 20 years, after many more studies have been carried out on the topic. Compiling research over two decades, including studies from New Zealand, Germany, and the Netherlands, his findings won’t be pleasing to smokers.
According to Hall, over the past 20 years, research on smoking marijuana has shown that:
- 1 in 10 people who regularly smoke marijuana will develop a dependence
- Driving while high will double the risk of a car crash
- Teenagers who regularly smoke are twice as likely to drop out of school
- Chronic use of cannabis as a teenager and into adulthood increases the likelihood of cognitive impairment (though the exact reason why is unknown)
- Regular smokers have double the risk of developing mental disorder like schizophrenia, especially if there is a family history and they started smoking in adolescence
- Marijuana smokers are more likely to develop chronic bronchitis
- Those who smoke marijuana as a teenager are much more likely to use other/harder illegal drugs
- A strong link exists between smoking weed and the development of cardiovascular diseases in middle-aged adults.
A very depressing mix of findings, especially, if like many of us in Montreal, you’ve been smoking weed since high school. Not all is lost though, as many academics believe many of the aforementioned adverse effects can be cased by many different factors, and not solely due to smoking weed. One example would be the likelihood of doing other drugs. It isn’t the marijuana forcing the person to try other substances, it is the environment and persons (like a drug dealer) you encounter when smoking weed that increase the chances.
Cannabis: the facts
- it makes some people feel faint and/or sick – this is sometimes known as a "whitey"
- it can make you feel sleepy and lethargic
- some people find it affects their memory, making it harder to remember things
- it makes some people feel confused, anxious or paranoid, and some experience panic attacks and hallucinations. These effects are particularly common with stronger forms of cannabis.
- If you use cannabis regularly it can make you demotivated and uninterested in other things going on in your life, such as education or work. Long-term use can affect your ability to learn and to concentrate.
Risks associated with cannabis
Recent research has helped us better understand the health risks from using cannabis. We know that:
- Cannabis affects your ability to drive. This is one of the reasons why drug driving, like drink driving, is illegal. One French study found that drivers who had been using cannabis were more than twice as likely to cause a fatal car crash.
- If you smoke it, cannabis can be harmful to your lungs. Like tobacco, it contains cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) that increase your risk of lung cancer. It can also make asthma worse, and cause wheezing in people without asthma. If you mix cannabis with tobacco and smoke it, the risks to your lungs are higher.
- Cannabis can harm your mental health. Regular use is associated with an increased risk of developing a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia. A psychotic illness is one where you experience hallucinations (when you see things that aren’t really there) and delusions (when you believe things that aren’t really true). Your risk of developing a psychotic illness is higher if you start using cannabis in your teens and if you have a family history of mental illness. Cannabis use has also been shown to increase the risk of a relapse in people who have schizophrenia, and could make existing symptoms worse.
- If you are pregnant, cannabis may harm your unborn baby. Research suggests that using cannabis during pregnancy could affect your baby's brain development. Regularly smoking cannabis with tobacco is associated with an increased risk of your baby being born small or premature.
Benefits of Quitting Marijuana
What are the benefits of quitting Marijuana? There are more upsides to quitting weed than you probably realize.
Reasons to Quit Weed and Succeed:
Save Money. Most chronic pot smokers buy in quantity (the smart ones) and probably spend on average about $10–$20 per day depending on availability and which dealer is answering the phone. Follow my suggestion about saving your weed money for six months, or until you are positive that you have kicked your pot "addiction".
Increased Stamina. Smoking is death on your lungs. No question. If you’re a chronic, then your lung capacity is down and you probably can’t run two blocks without feeling like you are going to give birth to a lung baby. Pathetic. This is not healthy and lack of exercise is the leading cause of serious health problems of every kind.
Your Loved Ones. I promise you -no family member or close friend wants to see you stumble through life in a cloud of pot smoke*. My habit was very hard for my family to accept. As a result, my relationships suffered. I avoided situation where i knew i could get high. As a result, I missed burying my childhood pet, Heath. I will never forgive myself for that. Heath deserved better from me. Quit weed for your family. They want the best for you.
*For some – the situation is the opposite – family members are encouraging and supporting the pot lifestyle. We cover this on other pages.
Sleep Better. It’s a well known fact that smoking weed before bed interrupts or disrupts your natural sleep cycles. even though you have convinced yourself that you can’t sleep without it, you are actually sabotaging your healthy sleep rhythms every night. After you quit weed, you will get better rest, feel less stressed and have more energy throughout the day. Getting the proper amount of sleep is a key factor in staying healthy, reducing stress, and ultimately living longer.
Anxiety Disorder. It’s a fairly well documented fact that long time weed smokers can suffer severe anxiety disorder after quitting smoking weed. Treatment for anxiety is incredibly difficult and complicated to implement. The longer you wait to quit, the more you increase your chances of becoming an unfortunate statistic. I’ve interviewed people who suffer from post marijuana stress disorders, and I’ve read about many cases.
Uncontrollable Mood Swings. If there’s one truth you should admit to yourself, It’s that your weed habit has made you a moody person . When you’re high, you’re normal. When you’re not high, you’re terrible. Get real, you don’t want to be that person. I’ve been that person, and until after I quit weed I couldn’t admit it to myself. It’s the truth for most pot-heads. I’ve known enough people like this, and they all think they’re fine all the time, or attribute violent mood swings to external factors.
Social Retard or Recluse. It happens to just about every chronic – you simply cannot handle social situations without getting high. This inevitably leads to avoidance, which eventually leads to a much more reclusive lifestyle. Your social outings become limited to pot friendly places with pot-friendly people, but more often than not you just stay at home by yourself. This happened to me for years. I just stayed home and got high and whittled away the hours tinkering with this and that, or entertaining myself with video games, TV, music and movies. More often than not I was alone. Social situations became scarier and scarier as I fell out of practice and spent more time being selfish.
Wasted Time. What would you do if you could get back all the time you’ve spent trying to track down a gram? I have spent more hours driving around, speed dialing different dealers, and sitting by the phone than I care to remember. Every chronic has the same story. Buying weed isn’t like going to the corner store and getting yourself a six-pack. It’s all about chasing around some distasteful character who has you eating out of the palm of their hand. Unless of course you have a Marijuana Dispensary nearby. If that’s the case you just have to plan around business hours, so you can skip 11 and go to 12.
Pot just isn’t that good most of the time. Admit it. How many times have you smoked really good weed or really good hash. Not that many I’m willing to guess. The truth is, you can’t just get what you want, It’s what they got… which most of the time is kind of low grade weed, or hash that is cut with something horrible that you’d rather not know about. I can think of a few times that I smoked really good pot or hash, but most of the time, it was moderately disappointing. Unless of course you have a Marijuana Dispensary nearby. If that’s the case, skip 12.
I encourage you to try Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking,
the world's most effective quit smoking program by former chain smoker (100 a day)
A simple, drug-free approach is entirely unlike conventional cessation methods which rely on substitution and willpower. Instead, Allen Carr's Easyway understands that while nicotine addiction and withdrawal exist, the real problem when it comes to quitting are the beliefs smokers have: that the cigarette helps them relax, or cope with stress, or that they will be deprived of some tremendous benefit, pleasure or crutch when they quit. We tackle the beliefs and fears that make quitting difficult, enabling smokers to radically change the way they think and feel about smoking, so the desire to smoke is removed. And with no desire to smoke there is simply no need for either nicotine replacements or willpower.
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Benefits of Quitting Smoking
When you quit smoking, you’ll start to see health benefits almost immediately — and the longer you stay away from cigarettes, the bigger the benefits get. This chart from the CDC shows what to expect.