In Australia, up to 60% of deaths in current or long-term smokers can be directly linked to their smoking lifestyle. If you or someone you know is trying to kick the habit, you are likely interested in learning about how to quit. However, before we can learn how to quit smoking it is important to understand the addiction, the types of quit smoking programs, and the personality types of smokers.
Understanding yourself is the first step. Check out our ebook, “What is Your Smoker Personality” to learn more.
Why Is it so Difficult to Quit Smoking in the First Place?
That comes down to one word -- nicotine. It is the chemical that is naturally found in tobacco and when inhaled it travels quickly to the brain. There it releases dopamine - the "feel good" hormone, into brain cell receptors which create more and more nicotine receptors in the brain. When these receptors are starved of nicotine you go through intense withdrawals which can lead to anxiety, depression, and tension until you get your next fix.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy: Does it Work?
Some believe that the trick is to gradually give your brain less and less nicotine which is where the highly advertised treatment of nicotine replacement therapy comes into play. These are the patches, chewing gum, lozenges, nasal spray, and even lollipops. But do any of these methods actually work?
Let's take one of the most popular: the patch. This is typically a reservoir of nicotine sandwiched between two occlusive semi-permeable dressings that stick to your skin and then slowly releases the chemical through your skin and eventually your bloodstream. This happens at a much slower rate and lower concentration than smoking. Different patches contain different amounts of nicotine. The idea is to slowly rid your body's dependence of the drug.
One study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, looked at 787 adults who had recently quit smoking they were surveyed three different times over the course of 6 years and asked questions about what type of nicotine replacement therapy they had used, the duration of the therapy, whether they consulted a professional, and their current smoking habits. Through each one of the check-ins it was found that about a third of the participants had resumed smoking. Therefore, it seems that nicotine replacement therapy is no more effective In helping people quit smoking than simply quitting on your own.
Quitting on Your Own: Cold Turkey vs. Gradually Quitting
In a 2016 study in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, 697 adult smokers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day were divided into two groups -- those who quit cold turkey and those who gradually reduced their smoking over the course of two weeks. Researchers reported the results at four weeks and six months later. Initially, nearly half of the "cold turkey" group were successful in quitting smoking compared to only 39% of those who gave it up gradually. However, at the half-year mark, the rate of success was reduced to 22% and 15% respectively. This means the "cold turkey" mindset is more effective than gradual reduction - though long term, neither were very successful.
Behaviours and Personality Types of Smokers
Of course, there are many other factors that take place when finding the right way to quit smoking. Your personality plays a major role in why you smoke which ultimately determines how, when, and if you will successfully become a non-smoker.
The Skinny Smoker - You believe that smoking increases your metabolism or are afraid you will gain weight if you stop smoking.
The Stressed Smoker - Most smokers are in the category. Smoking is your go-to stress and anxiety reliever.
The Rebel Smoker - Simply, you smoke because of the stigma attached. You enjoy the going against the societal norms.
The Social Smoker - You enjoy smoking when you have a drink or are in an environment where others are smoking.
The Sneaky Smoker - You may be otherwise, a very health conscious person. Smoking is your dirty little secret and you go to great lengths to hide the fact that you smoke from those you care about and who care about you.
To learn more about these personality types, the behaviours, and triggers associated with them check out this free guide.
The All Natural Approach
Believe it or not, there is an alternative and healthy method to becoming a non-smoker. A simple and straightforward approach that doesn't involve any unhealthy and controversial drugs or quack therapies. Through proper nutritional support and expert guidance, you can and will achieve your goal. There is no need to continue the roller-coaster route of highs and lows, stopping and starting. The desire to quit and having a positive mindset is the first step. We congratulate you for that! Connect with us today, to discover how we can help you succeed at becoming a non-smoker.