Many would like to quit smoking. Just how do you do it We asked experts which method is most effective
You’ve been thinking about quitting smoking for a long time, but somehow it never works? You are not alone there. According to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 28 percent of smokers have tried at least once to get rid of their vice.
However, 73 percent of the smoke stoppers then relapsed. And that’s why 25 percent of British in total still smoke, and 23 percent of women (as of 2020). This is why it is so difficult to quit smoking.
How can I quickly become a non-smoker?
The most important prerequisite for renouncing the glowing stalk is one’s own will: “A smoker has to come by itself and have the desire to become a non-smoker,” says the Berlin psychologist Hans-Joachim Ruhr.
But of course there are tricks and strategies to tackle the matter promisingly. We have collected them for you.
When is the best time to quit smoking?
The best time to quit smoking is on days when you’re really fed up with the smoke. “When a day like this comes, you should take the opportunity to quit smoking immediately, without intent, without planning. It works amazingly well,” says Dr. Christoph Kröger, head of the Munich Institute for Therapy Research. Put simply: Use your current disgust and cultivate it!
Incidentally, consciously provoking this state of total oversaturation proves to be less successful: Although there have been attempts to let people who want to quit smoke until they feel sick, the relapse rate was too high to recommend this method.
What tips are there for becoming a non-smoker?
As I said, the most important thing is your attitude and your determination. You have to work on this if the tiredness doesn’t come by itself. Internalize the following 4 points. They have proven to be particularly helpful in finally becoming a non-smoker:
1. Do not reduce, but stop completely
Say goodbye to the illusion of slowly decreasing your cigarette consumption in order to eventually reach zero. “To be completely smoke-free at some point through gradual reduction rarely works,” says Kröger. “It is more promising to stop completely from one day to the next.” Incidentally, this does not only work with symbolic data. New Year is as good as any other day of the year.
2. Collect facts and figures
Did you know that there are around 4,500 harmful substances in a cigarette? And that your body needs 72 hours to break down these toxins from just one cigarette? From now on, you should feed your brain regularly with such facts and figures.
What many smokers do not know either: Smoking stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which then triggers a feeling of satisfaction. In order to maintain this, however, the nicotine dose must be increased steadily. “When you hear that, many smokers realize how stupid the smoking actually is,”
If you want your body to release stimulating substances, you can just as easily do sports and enjoy the endorphin high, for example while running:
3. Target the benefits
Ask yourself: what would you be missing without a fag? Why do you want to quit? What do you expect from it? You form your strategy from the answers. Think of the advantages that you will benefit from immediately: you will no longer stink of stale smoke, you will have more money. Very important: Find alternatives to smoking if you want to relax, chat comfortably or look cool. You need something up your sleeve.
4. Get through withdrawal
“First of all, you have to get through the first two weeks,” says Kröger, “You should remember: Even strong withdrawal symptoms are ‘just’ like a cold – that will pass.” Exercise, drinking water and, in the worst case, biting a chilli pepper are proven withdrawal helpers. Tip: The longer you ignore greed, the easier it will be to resist it.
What happens in the body when I finally become a non-smoker?
Have you been nicotine free for a few days? Bravo! Stay strong and remember: stopping smoking is not a loss, it is a gain! Small sample: after just 2 days without a cigarette, you can smell better again, for example – and you smell better yourself, ask your loved one!
After 6 months, your immune system can fight off germs and pathogens more successfully. The number of days you lie in bed with a cold will decrease significantly. After one year, your risk of heart attack and stroke has halved, and after 5 years, the risk of typical smoking cancers such as lung or esophageal cancer.
Not smoking has only advantages! Forget about hypnosis sessions, elaborate plans, cutting down on cigarettes, or switching to e-cigarettes. The best way to achieve success is to look at the disadvantages and just stop when the smoking stinks anyway. Right now. I wish you success!