Quitting nicotine has been compared to quitting a heroine addiction. The brain reacts to both similarly, making the mental addiction last even after the physical addiction has passed. I won’t list all the negative effects of smoking since you would have to have been living in a cave for the past twenty years to have missed all that. I will list the smokers who are considered most at risk for negative consequences of smoking:
Women using birth control pills
Those with family history of heart disease
People with high blood pressure
People with high cholesterol
Very thin people
Daily alcohol users
People with smoking diseases
People working with toxic chemicals
People having surgery
People with ulcers
Type A personalities
Whether you are among that list or not, you have a lot of options when it comes to quitting for good.
One of the best things you can do when quitting smoking is drink plenty of water. Water is believed to help with the withdrawal symptoms and lessens the time necessary for the nicotine to leave your body. People who have quit smoking report much better success if they drink lots of water.
Another tip is to focus on the positive. What are the benefits of smoking for you? Put reminders of these benefits all over your home, car, workspace, etc., as constant reminders. Negative images are not as effective and bring you down. And, yes, you can tell that nagging friend I said that.
Acupuncture and EFT have been shown to be quite effective in efforts to quit. Lobelia is a common herb used to quit smoking. It is important to keep in mind, though, that lobelia is toxic in certain doses. So, make sure you know how to use it before you use it, and make sure it is right for you. St. John’s Wort is also used by some to manage the emotional effects of quitting. Keep in mind that St. John’s Wort interferes with some medications, including birth control pills, and is not right for everyone. Again, be sure to seek professional advice before taking any supplements or embarking on any therapies.
Smoking is an addiction. So, the benefits of having a support group cannot be overstated. There is a smoking cessation group at the hospital in Bloomington. Here is where you can get local assistance: http://www.smokefreebloomington.org/
Elson Haas, M.D., provides some really good nutritional information for people who are trying to quit nicotine. He writes, “A detoxifying diet to help the body be more alkaline supports the elimination of smoking toxins and reduces cravings” (Haas & Levin, 2006). When I work with clients, I give them a full list of alkalinizing foods and acidifying foods to help them in achieving an alkaline diet. Here are some general rules. Eat more fruits, vegetables, greens, lima beans, millet, figs, raisins, carrots, celery, and almonds. Eat less meats, sugar, wheat, bread, baked goods, beef chicken, eggs, milk, and cheese.
Haas recommends 1000-2000 mg, up to 6-8 grams daily of Vitamin C, 15000-25000 IU, up to 50000 IU mixed carotenoids, 5000-10000 IU Vitamin A, 15-60 mg zinc, 200 mcg selenium, and/or 400 IU Vitamin E.
His other recommendations include cutting down on other addictive substances, using the buddy system, making use of your support system of empowering friends and family, keeping busy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of rest, creating rewards for success, distracting yourself when cravings occur, and avoiding daily patterns associated with smoking.