Quit Smoking: How to Lose the Addiction

When someone realizes that they need to stop smoking, and want to switch to an alternative such as electronic cigarettes or a patch, there is a process that everyone needs to learn about. The first thought that will go through a person’s mind is whether or not they believe they can do it, but really the most important thing to think is that whether you think you can or not, you have to stick to the process to insure your future health and to eliminate the habit you have formed over the years.


The majority of smokers realize at some point that they have to transition away from cigarettes because they are very unhealthy. When they make this realization they usually try to quit cold turkey the first time. However, the much easier way to get yourself off of cigarettes is to switch to a substitute so that you never consider cigarettes in the future. This substitute needs to be effective and your process for switching needs to be equally as effective, because although getting off of cigarettes is doable, it is never simple.


Every product you use will help you wean yourself off of nicotine, but what is it exactly? It is important to know what you are facing, and in the case of getting off of cigarettes, that means learning what nicotine is.

Nicotine is an alkaloid (many are toxic) found inside nightshade, which is a type of plant. In each cigarette you smoke there is on average 1 mg of nicotine. If a human consumed 50 mg in one sitting, than they would most likely die.

Studies have confirmed that over the years, the amount of nicotine found inside cigarettes has risen on a yearly basis. This means that although someone may want to stop smoking, every year they are becoming more and more addicted to cigarettes. It is a particularly hard addiction to break because it offers the body a mesolimbic pathway, which generates euphoria. In other words, you feel like you are being rewarded when you give your body nicotine.

The First Steps

When you first decide to give up smoking, there are a few things you need to do immediately.

First, you have to have a moment to yourself where you need to be consciously aware of how difficult it will be to give up smoking, but you must also tell yourself that you will not buckle under the pressure.

The second thing you have to do is get support. The best way to do this is by joining a support group. It is always a good idea to be around someone that is dealing with the same situation that you are. However, having anyone that you can discuss your problem with is better than nothing. Make sure that there is someone in your corner.

Replace the desire

An oral fixation is defined as the desire to put something in your mouth. The most common times to have an issue with oral fixation are when you are a baby, and when you quit smoking. However, this is something that has to be handled in a calm and adult manner. Whenever you feel like you need to have something in your mouth, starts out with something long lasting like a piece of gum, but eventually brings it down to taking a sip of water. Eventually, the feeling will pass.

Keep yourself busy. If you are bored and have nothing to do the craving will be worse. The best idea is to give yourself a busy immediate schedule and then try to slowly remove things over the course of time. When you are first quitting, healthy diet and attitude is essential. You need multiple points in the day when you can feel good about yourself and what you are accomplishing.

Tobacco Alternatives

As much as a good diet, exercise and oral replacement may help, strong addictions are better weaned then quit immediately. The best way to do this is by switching to tobacco alternatives. There are three major versions of this to consider, patches, gum, and electronic cigarettes.

The Patch

The patch was originally developed in the 1980s and is used as a form of nicotine replacement therapy. All you need to do to use it is stick it on your arm and wait. The patch will release small amounts of nicotine into your body through the skin. This process will help reduce your craving so that the need for cigarettes is less all consuming.

The Gum

The gum is another form of nicotine replacement therapy that was developed around the same time as the patch. The difference with the gum is that it is chewed at certain times during the day and reduces a fairly high amount of nicotine into the body. One piece equals between one and two cigarettes in Nicotine content. However, the gum is also sold in different strength levels, so it gives you a process to slow down.

Electronic Cigarettes

The other alternative that offers support is the electronic cigarette. Although the e-cigarettes don’t always offer any nicotine to the user, it does offer very similar smell, taste and feel. They are designed to look like cigarettes, although some are also modeled to look like pens or other items. With diet, exercise and a busy schedule, e-cigarettes may be the thing that helps keep you calm when you crave cigarettes the most. Electronic cigarettes are intended only for use by people trying to quit smoking. Although manufacturers have claimed they are safe, the FDA issued a warning about potential health risks related to electronic cigarettes.

By following all of these clues and steps, it is very possible to quit smoking, and with some help support from others you should find yourself smoke free. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is a difficult process and that when it seems too hard to continue there are things you can do to distract yourself, because eventually, it will get easier.

Sean Aviles is a freelance writer and self-proclaimed cigar aficianado. He frequently writes articles for Blu Cigs, an e-cig company.

Eric Venker, M.D.

View posts by Eric Venker, M.D.
Eric Venker, M.D., is the Chief Operating Officer of Roivant Sciences.

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