How to Quit Smoking?

The World Health Organisation says that there are over 120 million smokers in India; if you’re one of them, it might finally be time to quit.

By Adarsh Soni
31 May 2021

From that first puff in the morning to anxiously searching for smoking-friendly zones everywhere—most smokers cannot picture a life without cigarettes. So when it comes to finally kicking the bad habit, you are left with two options—quitting gradually over time or going cold turkey. While either of the methods may be adopted according to your preference, studies show that the latter is more effective. A research conducted by Dr Jixiang Tan, Department of Emergency & Critical Care Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China, states that quitting abruptly with the help of nicotine replacement therapy is the best possible way to quit smoking. Let's have a look at some of the effective methods one can adopt in order to quit smoking.

1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy

More commonly referred to as NRTs, they are designed to replace your nicotine intake in a much safer way than smoking. It’s also advised to incorporate NRTs into your de-addiction process because they lower the chance of experiencing nicotine withdrawal symptoms like irritability, restlessness, nausea, insomnia among many others. The most widely known NRTs come in the form of nicotine gums, patches, lozenges or inhalers. Thus, Nicotine Replacement Therapy is one of the easy way to stop smoking.


2. Prescription-based Medication

In the more advanced cases of nicotine dependency, doctors suggest prescription drugs like Varenicline, along with antidepressants like Bupropion or Nortriptyline to help reduce the desire to smoke. These drugs can be easily taken along with NRTs but they do come with their own set of side effects like vomiting, hallucinations, rashes etc. so it’s always advised to consult an expert before taking them.


3. Counselling

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, USA, nearly half of the cigarettes consumed are smoked by people dealing with mental health -related issues like depression or anxiety, which makes it even harder for them to quit. Psychotherapists often include methods like behavioural therapy, hypnosis and meditation to help smokers get over their nicotine addiction while also helping deal with the withdrawal symptoms that come up along the way.


4. Mobile Applications

With the advancement of technology, quitting smoking might just be a click away. We suggest ‘Smoke Free’, an app that includes over a dozen evidence-based techniques that are completely backed by science. You can easily get insights on how your craving pattern works and receive graphs to monitor your de-addiction process. If you want to try other options before making a decision, you can choose from apps like QuitNow!, EasyQuit, Kwit or Quit Genius which are the best way to stop smoking. All the applications mentioned above are available on both Android and Apple stores for free.


5. Your Personal Plan

While there are plenty of professional methods of quitting smoking, sometimes it’s the tiny things that make all the difference. Maintaining a daily journal to track your cravings is one way of keeping an eye on your triggers and coping mechanisms. Ask yourself questions like: ‘What makes me crave a cigarette?’, ‘Why do I want to quit?’, ‘Why did I start smoking in the first place?’. You can also sign up for affirmations and listen to podcasts that detail other de-addiction journeys. In the end, it’s all about tailoring a process that fits you the best.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 10 million Indians die each year due to ailments like lung cancer, throat cancer and heart attack among many others which arise because of a tobacco addiction. Not to mention the harmful effects of passive smoking you might be inflicting upon your loved ones. Quitting smoking is not an easy process, but it’s also not impossible. Remember that it's never too late to reach out for help. Save yourself, Stop Smoking!


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