Smoking is a bad habit. Moreover, it is a dangerous one and not so many people take this into consideration when they start smoking. A Prayer to quit smoking is something that every smoker needs. Some people consider that smoking is something fancy. Some people are addicted to that gesture they make when they pick the cigarette from the pack, they click the lighter, inhale the first smoke and then feel a peaceful state of mind.
- 1 What is the prayer to quit smoking?
- 2 Why do you need a prayer to stop smoking cigarettes?
- 3 7 Bible verses about quitting smoking
- 4 What happens when I say a quit smoking prayer?
- 5 Which quit smoking prayer should we use?
- 6 How to pray to stop smoking cigarettes?
- 7 Discover some more prayers from Padre:
- 8 Which Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
- 9 How Long Should You Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
- 10 Can You Get Too Much Nicotine (Nicotine Overdose and Nicotine Poisoning)?
- 11 How Safe is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
- 12 Zyban (Wellbutrin, bupropion)
- 13 Chantix (Champix, varenicline)
- 14 Electronic Cigarettes
- 15 Reasons to Quit Smoking: Some Things You Probably Don’t Know About Smoking
- 16 Second Hand Smoke Facts
- 17 Children and Second Hand Smoke
- 18 For More Detailed Information …
- 19 References
- 20 1. Prepare for quit day
- 21 2. Use NRTs
- 22 3. Consider non-nicotine medications
- 23 4. Seek behavioral support
- 24 5. Try alternative therapies
What is the prayer to quit smoking?
Maybe you’re asking why I started this article. Why am I talking about something like this? Do I have any experience with this habit? Yes. I had. And now my life is more beautiful than it was when I was a smoker. Only the prayer to quit smoking helped me. Maybe you will want to read a specific prayer, then I am sorry because I don’t have something dedicated to smoking. I have real stories and tips to teach you how to ask God for help using a prayer to quit smoking cigarettes, this bad and dangerous habit.
So indeed, there is no formula for this prayer for quitting smoking. You only need a strong will and courage, wisdom and a strong relationship with yourself. I won’t tell you that in this article you will find the secret prayer to stop smoking, but you will see how to pray, how to live with the absence of this habit and how to manage the hard times that come after you stop smoking.
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Why do you need a prayer to stop smoking cigarettes?
1 – Your heart will be strengthened, your breathing capacity will increase;
2 – Your immune response to colds will increase;
3 – You will be more productive in every task you have, whether we speak about housework or your job;
4 – You will be a good example to your children;
5 – The morning cough will disappear;
6 – Your blood pressure will be lowered;
7 – You will have more energy.
7 Bible verses about quitting smoking
1 – Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
2 – Ephesians 4:22 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”
3 – Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
4 – John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
5 – 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.”
6 – 1 Corinthians 10:23 “I have the right to do anything, you say–but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything–but not everything is constructive.”
7 – Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Each Bible verse about quitting smoking speaks, in fact, about the strong will you must have to quit this bad habit. Each bible verse about quitting smoking means prayers to overcome addiction.
When there is an addiction in your life, it means that you are not a free human being. You need to be free, you need to see the light of freedom, and you have to start with your way of thinking.
Think positive with the help of a prayer to quit smoking! The most powerful prayer against addiction comes from your strong will to stop smoking cigarettes.
There are so many prayers to overcome addiction, and in fact, you do not need to look for a specific one. But you can use the Serenity Prayer as help because its powers are beneficial for those who want to be clean again, with no addiction and no bad habits.
This is the short version of the Serenity Prayer. Pray every day and be strong because a prayer to quit smoking is your salvation.
Take your time. Every day. You need time to understand that with wisdom and courage you can overcome the addiction.
What happens when I say a quit smoking prayer?
When you start to pray to quit smoking, you call your Guardian Angel to help you. Your Guardian Angel will listen to you and will give you the wisdom to become a non-smoker again. But this can’t happen overnight, so you must be patient and you must believe in yourself.
Which quit smoking prayer should we use?
First of all, you must know that changing a bad habit comprises three steps:
1 – The phase where you become conscious of how much damage it can cause. If we talk about smoking we should think about: heart attack, lung cancer, infertility, and so on.
2 – The phase where you really regret what your bad habit caused you until that moment.
3 – The phase where you embrace a good habit and see its benefits.
How to pray to stop smoking cigarettes?
I have heard this question many times, so let’s see how to do this.
First of all, you need to enter into a state of calmness and relaxation. Sit down, or kneel, do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Then, quietly, start a prayer to quit smoking. You can use the serenity prayer full version or bible verses about quitting smoking. You can simply choose the words that describe your state of mind and your strong will to overcome the addiction and that could be all the prayer.
The most important thing is to be sincere in your prayer. Your Guardian Angel is there for you, close to you, listening to you by the Prayer to quit smoking.
Secondly, you must use your imagination to see how dangerous this smoking habit is. Do you like what you see? I bet that “no” is your answer. This is good because you can see the many reasons why you need to quit smoking and how a quit smoking prayer can help you.
Third, you must use your imagination again, but this time you have to see how sad and miserable your life will be if you don’t quit smoking. Multiply what you saw in the second phase, and you will see how your life will be if you continue to smoke.
Have faith and make a good change in your life.
Discover some more prayers from Padre:
- PRAYER FOR INSOMNIA
- PRAYER TO DISCOVER FORTUNE
- SERENITY PRAYER – FULL VERSION, 7 BENEFITS AND ITS HISTORY
Here are 7 of my favorite Bible verses for those who want to quit smoking. What ones could you suggest?
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
What seems impossible to do without God’s help? Overcoming sin; and pretty much everything else! We can do all things through Christ who will strengthen us but the opposite must necessarily be true; we can do nothing without Him unless He strengthens us. If you think you can overcome on your own, you are sorely mistaken. I know of many who have needed God’s power through His Spirit to overcome smoking, drugs, pornography, alcohol or any other number of addictions but I have yet to meet one who did it successfully on their own. Paul said that we can do all things but it must be through Christ, which means that it must be done through His power, because that is where the true strength lies…the power doesn’t lay within me to overcome anything. This is why God is glorified; because it is through Christ and not through ourselves, that we can do all things because He is the One Who strengthens us because we don’t have that kind of strength within us.
Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I realize that the context of this is about the rich being able to enter heaven but the principle remains the same. With human strength, it is impossible to overcome certain sins or addictions that have such a stronghold on us but with God, all things are possible. With us, nothing is possible, but with God, all things are; at least in the context of it being in God’s will and we know that God’s will for our life is to live a life that is as free from encumbrances as possible.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
If we are abiding in Christ that means that He’s abiding in us and when we are, we can bear much fruit but apart from Christ, we can’t do just a little or just a bit; we can do nothing apart from Him. There is power in the Word of God (Rom 1:16; 10:17) and there is power in His Spirit (Acts 1:8) but apart from abiding in Him and in His Word, there is no power. Jesus is proclaimed to be the Word (John 1:1, 14) and by abiding in Him and in the Word of God, you can faith because faith comes by hearing the Word (Rom 10:17) so if we are attached to the vine, that is Christ, we can bear godly fruit; if we’re not abiding or attached to the vine, Jesus says “you can do nothing” and that doesn’t mean “a little something.”
1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.”
How many times when I was struggling with overcoming my addiction to marijuana, did I feel dominated by it? All the time! This verse never really made much sense to me until I realized that I was being dominated by a substance. I was using marijuana and I had possession of it but it really had possession of me. All things like smoking and drinking might be legal but that doesn’t mean it’s helpful. Abortion is lawful but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s right! Pray for God to release you from the bondage of nicotine addiction. Perhaps you can ask your doctor for the patch or whatever else he or she might suggest. It might be lawful but is it helpful?
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
I used to run track in high school but during practice, we had to wear ankle weights. These built up our leg muscles and our endurance but we never ran a race with them on. We are in a race today…and we need to lay aside every weight that “clings so closely” to us so that we can “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” This “weight,” whether it’s smoking, drinking, pornography, gambling, or any other addiction, can slow us down in the race and it can take away our testimony. It can also make us feel so guilty that we won’t be witnessing for Christ because we’ll feel like hypocrites. At least that is what many tell me.
1 Corinthians 10:23 “I have the right to do anything, you say–but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything–but not everything is constructive.”
As I wrote earlier, even though we are under grace and not under law, we can’t use our liberty as a license to sin. I am not saying smoking is sin. For some they feel no guilt about it and I will not judge them if they don’t think it’s sin for them because we are all at different stages in our life and sanctification takes a lifetime. Jesus did say “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matt 15:11), although He was certainly not talking about smoking, but the principle is close to the same thing.
Ephesians 4:22 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”
We are new creations or creatures in Christ and that means “The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Cor 5:17) but it doesn’t happen overnight. God will give us new desires and make us want to avoid sins but remember that Paul struggled with his human nature, writing “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Rom 7:19). There are many so-called spiritual giants but they too struggled with sin and overcoming is always difficult but the good news is that you’re in a struggle because those who are not saved see no reason to struggle to overcome because they’re not convicted of their sins.
Peter said “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us” (Matt 19:27)? Jesus said “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matt 19:29). Focus on one thing at a time. There are many Christian recovery programs that can help us overcome drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, and addictions to nicotine. I am not classifying smoking in the same category with these other things but I am only suggesting that you can have the power of God’s Spirit, abiding in Christ and in His Word, the Bible, and joining a Christian addiction recovery group because all of these taken together can really help you. When you do all these in combination, truly you can do all things because Christ Himself will strengthen you (Phi 4:13).
Here is some more encouragement for you: With God All Things Are Possible
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Start to see yourself as a non-smoker. That is the ultimate payoff. You are freeing yourself from the control of your addiction. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) helps reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms that many smokers say is their main reason for not quitting. Nicotine replacement therapy increases the rate of quitting by 50 to 70 percent (4)
Nicotine replacement therapy is not a substitute for coping strategies. It deals with the physical addiction to nicotine, but does not deal with the behavioral or psychological addiction to smoking. So some sort of smoking cessation program and strategy is still important.
IMPORTANT: What follows is general medical information, and is not tailored to the needs of a specific individual. Some people may not be able to use nicotine replacement therapy because of allergies or other conditions. You should always consult your physician when making decisions about your health.
Which Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
There are three broad categories of nicotine replacement therapy: nicotine that is absorbed through the skin, mouth, and airways. Here are some important points to help you decide:
The nicotine patch is convenient because it provides long term relief from nicotine withdrawal, and you only have to think about it once a day.
The nicotine patch is the most studied type of nicotine replacement therapy, and significantly increases your chances of success by 50 to 70 percent
Nicotine Lozenges and Nicotine Gum
Nicotine lozenges and nicotine gum provide short term relief from nicotine withdrawal symptoms. They also help deal with oral cravings that a nicotine patch cannot.
The most effective smoking cessation combination is a nicotine patch for long term relief, and nicotine lozenges for breakthrough carvings.(5)
The nicotine in lozenges and gum is absorbed through the inner surface of your mouth rather than through your stomach. Food and drinks can affect how the nicotine is absorbed. Therefore you shouldn’t eat or drink for at least 15 minutes before using nicotine gum or lozenges, and you shouldn’t eat or drink while you are using them.
Most people find nicotine lozenges easier to use than nicotine gum. Nicotine gum can stick to dental work.
How do you use nicotine lozenges? Suck on a lozenge until it is fully dissolved, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not bite or chew it like hard candy, and do not swallow it.
How do you use nicotine gum? Chew the gum slowly until you get a peppery taste or tingle in your mouth. Then hold it inside your cheek (park it) until the taste fades. Then chew it again to get the tingle back, and park it again.
Nicotine Inhalers and Nicotine Nasal Spray
Nicotine inhalers and nasal sprays are the most fast acting of all nicotine replacement methods. But because they work so quickly they have a higher risk of becoming addictive.
Nicotine inhalers mimic the use of cigarettes, which can make them even more addictive.
Both nicotine inhalers and nasal sprays require a doctor’s prescription.
How Long Should You Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
The US Food and Drug Administration suggests the following. “Users of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products should still use the product for the length of time indicated in the label – for example, 8, 10 or 12 weeks. However, if they feel they need to continue using the product for longer in order to quit, it is safe to do so in most cases.”(6)
The American Cancer Society notes that “The FDA has approved using the patch for a total of 3 to 5 months.”(7)
In other words, follow the instructions, but it is reasonable to use the patch for up to 5 months, if you have the approval of your health care professional.
In my experience, most people relapse when they taper down too quickly from the full strength 21 mg patch to the 14 mg patch.
Can You Get Too Much Nicotine (Nicotine Overdose and Nicotine Poisoning)?
Yes, if you use nicotine replacement therapy incorrectly. Speak to your health professional about the correct way to use it.
Here are some symptoms of nicotine overdose or nicotine poisoning:
- Agitation, restlessness. tremors
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
- Cold sweats, pale skin
If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor. More serious symptoms of nicotine overdose or nicotine poisoning include:
- Disturbed vision or hearing
- Dizziness or faintness
- Rapid breathing
Call Poison Control and get emergency help if you suspect nicotine overdose or nicotine poisoning.
How Safe is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Nicotine replacement therapy is considered safe for smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease. It does not increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease.(4)
There is not enough evidence to be absolutely sure that nicotine replacement therapy is safe for pregnant women.(8) However, many physicians feel that nicotine replacement therapy is much safer than smoking.
Smoking Cessation Medications
There are prescription drugs that can help you quit. Some can be used along with nicotine replacement therapy. Most have to be started before your planned quit day, and all need a prescription.
IMPORTANT: This is general medical information, and is not tailored to the needs of a specific individual. You should always consult your physician when making decisions about your health.
Zyban (Wellbutrin, bupropion)
Zyban (Wellbutrin, bupropion) is a prescription antidepressant that was later discovered to reduce nicotine cravings and help people quit smoking. It does not contain nicotine. It acts on chemicals in the brain that cause nicotine cravings. Large scale studies have shown that Zyban is at least as effective as nicotine replacement therapy in smoking cessation.(9)
Zyban works best if you start it 1 to 2 weeks before you quit smoking. The usual dosage is 150 mg tablets once or twice per day. Your doctor may want to continue it for 8 to 12 weeks after you quit smoking to help reduce the chance of relapse.
The most common side effects include: dry mouth, trouble sleeping, agitation, irritability, indigestion, and headaches.
Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide in persons younger than 25. When prescribed for smoking cessation, there have been four suicides per one million prescriptions and one case of suicidal ideation per ten thousand prescriptions.(10)
Zyban (Wellbutrin, bupropion) should not be taken if you have or have ever had the following:
- Seizures (Bupropion can cause or worsen seizures)
- Heavy alcohol use, or cirrhosis
- Serious head injury
- Bipolar (manic-depressive) illness
- Anorexia or bulimia
- If you’re taking sedatives or have recently taken an MAOI, (an older type of antidepressant).
Combining Zyban (Wellbutrin, bupropion) and Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Combining Zyban and nicotine replacement therapy, is usually more effective than either treatment alone.(11) Both medications work in different ways. Zyban reduces cravings by working on brain chemistry, and nicotine replacement therapy works by gradually weaning your body off nicotine.
Zyban combined with nicotine replacement therapy can slightly increase your blood pressure. Therefore monitoring of blood pressure is recommended in these cases.(12)
Chantix (Champix, varenicline)
Varenicline is a prescription medication that can reduce cravings and increase your chances of success.
How Does Chantix (Champix) Work?
Chantix is a partial nicotine agonist. It partially stimulates the nicotine receptors in the brain so you get a mild effect as if you were smoking, but at the same time it blocks the receptors from giving the full effect of smoking. This lessens the pleasure you get from smoking, and reduces nicotine withdrawal. Chantix (Champix, varenicline) should be started a week before your quit day.
Side Effects of Chantix (Champix)
Chantix (Champix, varenicline) significantly increases the risk of depressed mood, thoughts of suicide, and attempted suicide. One study looked at all serious side effects between 1998 and 2010 in the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS). It concluded “Varenicline shows a substantial, statistically significant increased risk of reported depression and suicidal/self-injurious behavior. The findings for varenicline, render it unsuitable for first-line use in smoking cessation.”(13)
One of the main concerns with electronic cigarettes is that they mimic the use of regular cigarettes. If part of your reason for quitting smoking is that you don’t want to be controlled by your nicotine addiction, then electronic cigarettes would not be a good choice.
Studies have also shown that the vapor from electronic cigarettes has potentially harmful toxins.(14)
Reasons to Quit Smoking: Some Things You Probably Don’t Know About Smoking
Here are just a few smoking facts. Not a long list, but some key facts about the dangers of smoking.
Smoking causes more deaths each year than all of the following causes combined:(15)
- Alcohol abuse
- Illegal drug use
- Motor vehicle accidents
- AIDS and HIV
If you are recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, it doesn’t make sense to have worked hard for your recovery, and then drop dead from smoking.
Both the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Bob and Bill W. dropped dead from smoking. Smoking statistics tend to feel impersonal. But if you’re in recovery, that makes it up close and personal.
Smoking kills 6 million people each year worldwide.(16) In the United States, smoking kills more than 480,000 people each year.(17) That is the equivalent of two jumbo jets crashing every day with no survivors. (The number of passengers in two jumbo jets crashing every day for one year: 500 * 2 *365 = 365,000.)
More smokers die of heart disease and stroke rather than lung cancer. This is why people often underestimate how deadly smoking is. Perhaps your grandfather smoked his whole life and never died of lung cancer. Most smokers die of heart disease or stroke.
Smoking causes type 2 diabetes. Smokers are 30 – 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes.(17)
Those are just a few of the diseases caused by smoking. There is not an organ or system in your body that is not affected by the dangers of smoking. The full list of smoking diseases is too long and depressing.
Here are some reasons why people quit smoking:
- Are you worried about your health?
- Do you resent being controlled by your addiction?
- Do you know someone who has had health problems because of smoking?
- Are you trying to be a positive role model for your family?
- Do you want to save money?
- Smoking costs $2,500 to $5,000 a year. That’s the price of a good vacation.
Second Hand Smoke Facts
Second hand smoke causes the same kinds of deaths as smoking.(18) There is no safe level of second hand smoke. Here are just two of the consequences of living with a smoker or working in a smoking environment.
Nonsmokers exposed to second hand smoke at home or at work are at higher risk of the following:(17)
- 25 – 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease and stroke
- 20 – 30 percent more likely to develop lung cancer
Children and Second Hand Smoke
Second hand smoke has been proven to damage children’s health and increase the risk of the following:(19)
- Asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis
- Ear infections and the need for ear tubes
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Isn’t it time you said – enough?
For More Detailed Information …
Learn how to overcome anxiety, depression, and addiction. IWantToChangeMyLife.org the companion website contains more detailed information.
1) Kenford, S. L., Fiore, M. C., Jorenby, D. E., Smith, S. S., et al., Predicting smoking cessation. Who will quit with and without the nicotine patch. JAMA, 1994. (8): p. 589-94.
2) Ward, M. M., Swan, G. E., & Jack, L. M., Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation. Addict Behav, 2001. (3): p. 311-27.
3) Cosgrove, K. P., Batis, J., Bois, F., Maciejewski, P. K., et al., beta2-Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor availability during acute and prolonged abstinence from tobacco smoking. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2009. (6): p. 666-76.
4) Stead, L. F., Perera, R., Bullen, C., Mant, D., et al., Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2012. : p. CD000146.
5) Piper, M. E., Smith, S. S., Schlam, T. R., Fiore, M. C., et al., A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial of 5 smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2009. (11): p. 1253-62.
6) Food and Drug Administration, Nicotine Replacement Therapy Labels May Change. /> 7) American Cancer Society, What are the types of nicotine replacement therapy? www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-types-of-nrt.
8) Coleman, T., Chamberlain, C., Davey, M. A., Cooper, S. E., et al., Pharmacological interventions for promoting smoking cessation during pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2012. : p. CD010078.
9) Wu, P., Wilson, K., Dimoulas, P., & Mills, E. J., Effectiveness of smoking cessation therapies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health, 2006. : p. 300.
10) Hughes, J. R., Stead, L. F., Hartmann-Boyce, J., Cahill, K., et al., Antidepressants for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2014. : p. CD000031.
11) Loh, W. Y., Piper, M. E., Schlam, T. R., Fiore, M. C., et al., Should all smokers use combination smoking cessation pharmacotherapy? Using novel analytic methods to detect differential treatment effects over 8 weeks of pharmacotherapy. Nicotine Tob Res, 2012. (2): p. 131-41.
12) Jorenby, D. E., Leischow, S. J., Nides, M. A., Rennard, S. I., et al., A controlled trial of sustained-release bupropion, a nicotine patch, or both for smoking cessation. N Engl J Med, 1999. (9): p. 685-91.
13) Moore, T. J., Furberg, C. D., Glenmullen, J., Maltsberger, J. T., et al., Suicidal behavior and depression in smoking cessation treatments. PLoS One, 2011. (11): p. e27016.
14) Drummond, M. B., & Upson, D., Electronic cigarettes. Potential harms and benefits. Ann Am Thorac Soc, 2014. (2): p. 236-42.
15) Mokdad, A. H., Marks, J. S., Stroup, D. F., & Gerberding, J. L., Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA, 2004. (10): p. 1238-45.
16) World Health Organization, WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2013. www.who.int/tobacco/global_report/2013/en/.
17) CDC, 2014 Surgeon General’s Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-anniversary/index.htm.
18) Environmental Protection Agency, Setting the Record Straight: Secondhand Smoke is a Preventable Health Risk. /> 19) CDC, 2006 Surgeon General’s Report—The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke. www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2006/index.htm.
Deciding that you are now ready to quit smoking is only half the battle. Knowing where to start on your path to becoming smoke-free can help you to take the leap. We have put together some effective ways for you to stop smoking today.
Quitting smoking can be tough, but we have put together some steps that may help you along the way.
Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are responsible for more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the American Lung Association.
Most people are aware of the numerous health risks that arise from cigarette smoking and yet, “tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease” in the U.S.
Quitting smoking is not a single event that happens on one day; it is a journey. By quitting, you will improve your health and the quality and duration of your life, as well as the lives of those around you.
To quit smoking, you not only need to alter your behavior and cope with the withdrawal symptoms experienced from cutting out nicotine, but you also need to find other ways to manage your moods.
With the right game plan, you can break free from nicotine addiction and kick the habit for good. Here are five ways to tackle smoking cessation.
1. Prepare for quit day
Once you have decided to stop smoking, you are ready to set a quit date. Pick a day that is not too far in the future (so that you do not change your mind), but which gives you enough time to prepare.
Choose your quit date and prepare to stop smoking altogether on that day.
There are several ways to stop smoking, but ultimately, you need to decide whether you are going to:
- quit abruptly, or continue smoking right up until your quit date and then stop
- quit gradually, or reduce your cigarette intake slowly until your quit date and then stop
Research that compared abrupt quitting with reducing smoking found that neither produced superior quit rates over the other, so choose the method that best suits you.
Here are some tips recommended by the American Cancer Society to help you to prepare for your quit date:
- Tell friends, family, and co-workers about your quit date.
- Throw away all cigarettes and ashtrays.
- Decide whether you are going to go “cold turkey” or use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or other medicines.
- If you plan to attend a stop-smoking group, sign up now.
- Stock up on oral substitutes, such as hard candy, sugarless gum, carrot sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, and toothpicks.
- Set up a support system, such as a family member that has successfully quit and is happy to help you.
- Ask friends and family who smoke to not smoke around you.
- If you have tried to quit before, think about what worked and what did not.
Daily activities – such as getting up in the morning, finishing a meal, and taking a coffee break – can often trigger your urge to smoke a cigarette. But breaking the association between the trigger and smoking is a good way to help you to fight the urge to smoke.
On your quit day:
- Do not smoke at all.
- Stay busy.
- Begin use of your NRT if you have chosen to use one.
- Attend a stop-smoking group or follow a self-help plan.
- Drink more water and juice.
- Drink less or no alcohol.
- Avoid individuals who are smoking.
- Avoid situations wherein you have a strong urge to smoke.
You will almost certainly feel the urge to smoke many times during your quit day, but it will pass. The following actions may help you to battle the urge to smoke:
- Delay until the craving passes. The urge to smoke often comes and goes within 3 to 5 minutes.
- Deep breathe. Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of three and exhale through your mouth for a count of three. Visualize your lungs filling with fresh air.
- Drink water sip by sip to beat the craving.
- Do something else to distract yourself. Perhaps go for a walk.
Remembering the four Ds can often help you to move beyond your urge to light up.
2. Use NRTs
Going cold turkey, or quitting smoking without the help of NRT, medication, or therapy, is a popular way to give up smoking. However, only around 6 percent of these quit attempts are successful. It is easy to underestimate how powerful nicotine dependence really is.
NRTs can help you to fight the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.
NRT can reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms you experience that may hinder your attempt to give up smoking. NRTs are designed to wean your body off cigarettes and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while sparing you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved five types of NRT:
- skin patches
- chewing gum
- nasal spray (prescription only)
- inhaler (prescription only)
If you have decided to go down the NRT route, discuss your dose with a healthcare professional before you quit smoking. Remember that while you will be more likely to quit smoking using NRT, the goal is to end your addiction to nicotine altogether, and not just to quit tobacco.
Contact your healthcare professional if you experience dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, fast or irregular heartbeat, mouth problems, or skin swelling while using these products.
3. Consider non-nicotine medications
The FDA have approved two non-nicotine-containing drugs to help smokers quit. These are bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix).
Bupropion and varenicline are non-nicotine medications that may help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you feel that you would like to try one of these to help you to stop smoking, as you will need a prescription.
Bupropion acts on chemicals in the brain that play a role in nicotine craving and reduces cravings and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Bupropion is taken in tablet form for 12 weeks, but if you have successfully quit smoking in that time, you can use it for a further 3 to 6 months to reduce the risk of smoking relapse.
Varenicline interferes with the nicotine receptors in the brain, which results in reducing the pleasure that you get from tobacco use, and decreases nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Varenicline is used for 12 weeks, but again, if you have successfully kicked the habit, then you can use the drug for another 12 weeks to reduce smoking relapse risk.
Risks involved with using these drugs include behavioral changes, depressed mood, aggression, hostility, and suicidal thoughts or actions.
4. Seek behavioral support
The emotional and physical dependence you have on smoking makes it challenging to stay away from nicotine after your quit day. To quit, you need to tackle this dependence. Trying counseling services, self-help materials, and support services can help you to get through this time. As your physical symptoms get better over time, so will your emotional ones.
Individual counseling or support groups can improve your chances of long-term smoking cessation.
Combining medication – such as NRT, bupropion, and varenicline – with behavioral support has been demonstrated to increase the chances of long-term smoking cessation by up to 25 percent.
Behavioral support can range from written information and advice to group therapy or individual counseling in person, by phone, or online. Self-help materials likely increase quit rates compared with no support at all, but overall, individual counseling is the most effective behavioral support method.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provide help to anyone who wants to stop smoking through their support services:
- smoking helpline: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)
- local and state quitlines: 1- 800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
- LiveHelp online chat
- Smokefree website
- SmokefreeTXT text messaging service
Support groups, such as Nicotine Anonymous (NicA), can prove useful too. NicA applies the 12-step process of Alcoholics Anonymous to tobacco addiction. You can find your nearest NicA group using their website or by calling 1-877-TRY-NICA (1-877-879-6422).
5. Try alternative therapies
Some people find alternative therapies useful to help them to quit smoking, but there is currently no strong evidence that any of these will improve your chances of becoming smoke-free, and, in some cases, these methods may actually cause the person to smoke more.
Some alternative methods to help you to stop smoking might include:
E-cigarettes have had some promising research results in helping with smoking cessation.
- smoking deterrents
- electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
- tobacco strips and sticks
- nicotine drinks, lollipops, straws, and lip balms
- magnet therapy
- cold laser therapy
- herbs and supplements
- yoga, mindfulness, and meditation
E-cigarettes are not supposed to be sold as a quit smoking aid, but many people who smoke view them as a method to give up the habit.
E-cigarettes are a hot research topic at the moment. Studies have found that e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes, that the rise in e-cigarette use has been linked with a significant increase in smoking cessation, and that established smokers who use e-cigarettes daily are more likely to quit smoking than people who have not tried e-cigarettes.
The gains from using e-cigarettes may not be risk-free. Studies have suggested that e-cigarettes are potentially as harmful as tobacco cigarettes in causing DNA damage and are linked to an increase in arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Quitting smoking requires planning and commitment – not luck. Decide on a personal plan to stop tobacco use and make a commitment to stick to it.
Weigh up all your options and decide whether you are going to join a quit-smoking class, call a quitline, go to a support meeting, seek online support or self-help guidance, or use NRTs or medications. A combination of two or more of these methods will improve your chances of becoming smoke-free.
In addition to trying out these steps, you could check out our selection of the best apps for quitting smoking.