Many people with drug or alcohol addictions are also addicted to cigarettes. However, while they spend a lot of time recovering from their substance addictions, they may not be so willing to give up their smoking habit just yet. Many cling to this habit and use it as a crutch while they are recovering from their drug or alcohol addiction. Nevertheless, this is just another addiction that needs to be overcome because smoking can be as lethal as drugs or alcohol in terms of health.
Deciding to Quit Smoking
If you have been leaning on cigarettes during recovery, it is understandable that you may be reluctant to let go, but the reality is that if you do not quit, you are putting your health at risk. And because you have already conquered one addiction, you should be more than capable of putting smoking behind you too.
As you know, the hardest part of any recovery from addiction is making the decision to stop. But once you do make that decision, you can begin a new chapter in your life; one that will help you to feel and look so much better.
Reasons to Quit
You are probably fed up with trying to find places where you can light up. Or maybe, you are sick and tired of waking up every morning and feeling as though you are about to cough up a lung. You will know how damaging smoking is to your health and how much better off you will be when you quit. Below are just a few more compelling reasons to stop smoking:
- You will automatically reduce your chances of getting a stroke, heart attack and certain cancers
- You will have more energy and will find it easier to breathe
- Your skin and hair will smell better and will look healthier
- Your blood pressure will be lower
- Your food will taste better
- You will have more money to spend
- Your home will not stink of cigarettes.
Preparing to Quit
When it comes to quitting a habit like smoking, it makes sense to be prepared. The first thing to do is to take a good look at your smoking habits as this will help you to identify key times when you are more likely to reach for a cigarette. By analysing your habit, you can see what triggers your need to smoke.
For most people, smoking is something that they do automatically without even thinking. Many reach for a cigarette as soon as they wake up while others have to have a cigarette as soon as they finish a meal. By tracking your habit for a couple of weeks, you will be surprised at what you will learn about the when and why you smoke. Think about what drives you to smoke; for example, is it purely habit or do you experience intense nicotine cravings. Do you need to smoke because you need to do something with your hands, or is it something you do when you feel stressed?
Changing Your Habits
Once you have a clearer picture of your smoking habit, you will find it easier to change your behaviour. Think about the reasons you want to quit – it could be for health reasons, or maybe smoking has become too expensive. Maybe you want to save up the money you usually spend on smoking and put it towards a holiday for you and your family; perhaps you wish to quit in order to make your family proud. Whatever, the reason, write it down on a piece of paper or card and carry it with you at all times. Look at the card every time you reach for a cigarette as this may help you to think twice before lighting up.
Use tools and techniques that you learned while recovering from drugs or alcohol and apply these to the task of giving up smoking. Imagine yourself as a non-smoker and keep telling yourself that you do not smoke. Picture yourself not smoking, enjoying the taste of your food, and having more energy to enjoy activities with your family.
When you believe that you are ready to quit smoking, it is time to set a date. Remember, there are many tools that you can use to help you quit including nicotine gum and patches, smartphone apps, cognitive behaviour therapy, and counselling.
If you need help with quitting, contact us here at Addiction Helper and we can provide you with information and advice on the best methods. We can also put you in touch with a therapist or counsellor if you want to talk to someone about how to quit.
Psychotherapeutic and behaviour modification therapies are effective treatments for those who wish to quit smoking. At Addiction Helper, we work with a number of organisations where you can access these treatments. We can even put you in touch with a fully qualified hypnotherapist or acupuncturist if you prefer.
You already know that quitting a habit is a tough process. But you also know that you are capable of doing so. Having already overcome at least one addiction, you are in a perfect position to quit smoking and know what to do when cravings occur.
Think about keeping your mind and hands busy. If you need to chew on something to stop you smoking, try to chew on gum or vegetables instead of reaching for something sugary and calorie-laden. When you feel the urge to smoke, find something to do like taking a bath, going for a walk, or calling a friend for a chat. Distracting yourself can help to keep the cravings at bay.
Alternatively, call us here at Addiction Helper if you need someone to talk to or if you require advice on quitting smoking.