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10 Tips for Students to Give up Smoking

student wearing glasses sitting outside of school smoking while holding his books

Smoking is harmful at any age, but in college, it is becoming much more predominant. It’s important to understand the different health issues related to smoking, as tobacco smoke increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and lung cancer. Secondly, researchers from The University of California, Los Angeles suggest that smoking affects brain development and function. It also impairs memory and sleep quality, and affects cognition, which all happen to be the main factors that contribute to your academic performance. Lastly, it can completely drain your already tight student budget.

No matter what motivates you to quit, the mere motivation can be not enough to quit. Here are10 tips that can help you get rid of the nasty habit.

Eliminate triggers

As soon as you decide to say goodbye to tobacco, clean your living place and car from smoking paraphernalia. Throw away cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays. Tobacco odors can also tempt you to light up. Wash your clothes, clean the furniture and shampoo carpets. And finally, if you drive, clean the car upholstery.

If you live with a smoker or vaper, ask them not to smoke or use an electronic cigarette near you, at least at the initial and the toughest part of your cessation process.

Use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

Of course, it’s best to try to quit cold turkey. But if you already have several unsuccessful attempts, you might benefit from medical assistance.

NRT includes such products as gum, patch, inhaler, mouth spray, and lozenge. They may help to minimize your withdrawal symptoms. Evidence shows that using some type of NRT or a combination of NRT products can considerably increase the chance of success.

Switch to vaping

You may think that to start vaping instead of smoking is like to trade bad for the worth. But the Public Health England (PHE) won’t agree with you. This respectable health organization claims that tobacco smoke is 95 percent more dangerous than e-vapor.

The e-cig market is full of different vapor smoking devices. Will an e-cigarette help you give up tobacco? Maybe.  Everyone is different, which means every solution will be different for every person.

The researchers from the University of California, San Diego studied e-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation. It turns out that vapers were more likely to attempt to quit their smoking habit than non-vapers (65.1% vs. 40.1%). Even more, they were more likely to succeed in smoking cessation (8.2% vs. 4.8%).

Change the routine

Your daily schedule may have had built in smoke breaks. At those times and situations, cravings can hit especially hard.

Think of alternative activities. For example, instead of making a smoke break during a study session, spend these 10 minutes on squatting. Instead of having a cigarette with your morning coffee, walk the dog or take a shower first.

Plan for situations that can urge you to smoke.

There will be moments when you will be very close to lighting up a cigarette. In those cases, you might need some tips or tricks you should learn beforehand. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a phone call to a supporter who might find the right words.
  • Make a call into smoking cessation support that is also delivered via the phone.
  • Use some breathing techniques. Some people find them really helpful.
  • Watch some photos or video where the dreadful consequences of smoking are shown.

Get new habits

Always be busy with something. Keeping your mind and body occupied is a well-known practice when you want to avoid thinking of something unpleasant.

It will be a good idea to replace your old dangerous habit with a new healthy one. The following activities will help you not only stay occupied but overcome nicotine cravings:

  • Develop healthier eating habits. Proper nutrition will help your body clean itself from the toxins and lift your energy levels.
  • Drink more water to detoxify your body faster. Choose tea or fruit juices and avoid alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks for some time.
  • Start exercising. Physical activity can improve your mood and suppress urges to smoke.
  • Use a quit smoking app.

The tech world offers a solution, too. My Last Cigarette, Cessation Nation, Smoke-Free, and many other applications are available for those who are looking for assistance.

These apps are quite similar. They all are designed to motivate a quitter by tracking the time a user doesn’t smoke, unsmoked cigarettes, and savings. It also shows what positive changes occur in your body while you stay away from tobacco.

Read Allen Carr’s book

There’re many articles, videos, and books created for struggling smokers. But one of the most popular books so far is “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” by Allen Carr. It depicts the psychological reasons behind dependency, explains how to handle the withdrawal symptoms, and offers a range of different methods to cope with situations when temptation might be overpowering.

A study published by the BMC Public Health Journal shows that smokers who followed Allen Carr’s method were 6 times more likely to stay abstinent after 13 months compared with those who went cold turkey.

Try a holistic approach

The action method of holistic approaches is not well-understood. However, some people report that unconventional methods have become a strong tool against nicotine addiction for them.
Alternative methods used for smoking cessation include acupuncture, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, and hypnosis. Some experts say that the effectiveness of holistic approaches is similar to NRT, which is 10-15%.

Keep trying

Some avid smokers joke that the only easy way to quit is to die. Quitting is indisputably challenging. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that it takes 8 to 11 attempts to stop smoking.

To succeed, choose a few most appealing tips. If some method doesn’t help, try the next one. Failures are part of the process. It reveals your weak points so that you know what to improve in order to prevent another relapse. Try again and again until you become free of dependence. Now repeat three times: “I can do it!” and go!

For more great information on all things related to College life, check out the other great blogs on College Basics.