We’ve heard it before, “Smoking is bad for your health.” You know the consequences of smoking, and you know you should quit, but you don’t know where to start. We want you to be successful in your attempt to stop, so we’ve put together a list of treatment options to support you on this journey.
Are You Ready?
If you’re not ready to seriously quit smoking, chances are you won’t. Ask yourself if you’re truly ready to start this process. If the answer is yes, you’re in the right place! If the answer is no, give yourself grace and think about what’s stopping you.
- Prescription Drugs and Quit Smoking Products
a. There are several ways to address smoking cessation. The most common form of cessation support is prescription drugs and quit-smoking products like patches, lozenges, sprays, and gum. All quit-smoking products contain small amounts of nicotine to control nicotine cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. Keep in mind that each method has its own set of pros and cons. However, these products are useful because they are easy to use, fast-acting, and are generally safe to combine with other quit-smoking products.
b. Medications like Chantix, Zyban, and Low-Dose Naltrexone are used to suppress cravings and reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Consult with your doctor about which medication may be beneficial for you.
a. Food is medicine! Cigarette cravings and weight gain are common experiences when quitting smoking. By learning what to eat, you can reduce cravings, supply your body with nutrient-dense foods, and avoid rebound weight-gain from emotional over-eating.
b. It’s important to keep easy-to-make and ready-to-eat snacks with you as you start decreasing your nicotine intake. Snacks such as fruit, vegetables and hummus or nut butters, nuts and Greek yogurt are easily accessible foods that supply sweetness and crunch to distract your body from cravings. Talk to your doctor about dietary modifications to better support your cravings, replenish micronutrients such as Vitamin C, Zn, and Iron and maintain a healthy weight
- IV Therapy
a. Utilizing intravenous vitamins, electrolytes and minerals assist recovery and detoxification pathways that have been depleted over time from chronic nicotine use. IV therapy is extremely useful because the nutrients and vitamins bypass the first stages of digestion and are immediately absorbed into the blood. The goal of IV therapy is to support the body on a cellular level during the cessation process.
a. The NADA protocol was designed to treat several forms of addiction by addressing anxiety and stress that may encourage the need for nicotine, reduce cravings, neutralize withdrawal symptoms, reduce the need for pharmaceutical intervention, promote restorative sleep and enhance a sense of well-being. Acupuncture has been used successfully for decades as adjunctive treatment to smoking addiction. Treatments vary depending on the person and their level of addiction.
a. Traditional talk therapy has been proven to increase the likelihood of successful cessation by exploring the underlying triggers, traumas, and behaviors that encourage and strengthen nicotine dependency. Although addiction is experienced in a physical way, the reasons behind the addiction are primarily mentally or emotionally driven. Hypnotherapy, Biofeedback, and talk therapy/ support groups are helpful because they address the cause of the smoking habit and provide alternative coping mechanisms to help break the addiction.
- Throw away your smoking paraphernalia such as lighters, matches, and ashtrays.
- Move! Re-direct your energy into becoming more active to distract your mind from cravings and create healthier habits.
- Hydrate! Unfortunately, you will experience withdrawal symptoms once you decide to quit. As your body starts to detox, you need to stay hydrated to flush toxins that have been stored in the body.
- Plan, plan, plan- Think of snacks and activities you can do to re-direct your focus when you have sudden cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Remember, this is just as much of a mental process as it is a physical one. If you are prepared with snacks and other distraction techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, listening to music, going for a walk, or calling a supportive friend or family member, you are less likely to give in to those cravings.
- Set boundaries! Stay away from smokers or places that allow smoking. This will trigger you!
- Make a list of reasons to quit. Remind yourself WHY you quit and all of the benefits of leading a life without cigarettes. This will keep you grounded during weak moments.
- Give yourself grace. Quitting is hard. Acknowledge when you are struggling and don’t beat yourself up. This is a process, and it looks different for every person. Take things one day at a time and remember why you decided to make this change.
If you’re looking for help to quit smoking, call 480-588-6856 for a free brief meet and greet with one of our naturopathic doctors.