Cravings vs. addiction – Cigarettes

Cigarettes.

This for me is a really controversial and preachy topic as I have never smoked and never been addicted to smoking so have no idea how hard it must be so quit. My opinion on the matter may be entirely irrelevant but here is my offering, take from it what you will.

To me the health benefits of quitting smoking no matter your age or health condition hugely outweigh the massive inconvenience and probably pain of the quitting process.

Obviously with smoking it is a physical addition to nicotine, but research says that ease cravings by eating more silicon & tyrosine. Foods that are higher in these are nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, green vegetables. This may or may not work for you alongside your quitting programme but if you are determined to do it, it’s worth a shot!?

Most people use smoking as a stress relief which to me makes so much sense. Why it works? 1. It is a great reason/excuse to get out of a stressful situation (e.g. at work or at a social event and you want to get away from the stressful conversation or person). 2. When you get to the smoking area you can then vent to other smokers who will understand your pain and empathise, you will also create bonds with other people who smoke. 3. You are taking huge slow inhales and exhales as you smoke, with or without the nicotine etc this is an AMAZING stress reliever, simply slowing down the breath and getting some fresh air/time outside.

Mindfulness exercises

With this in mind, if you are planning to quit then my biggest tip on habit changing is to replace the habit rather than just stopping altogether. E.g. rather than going outside for a smoke when stressed, take yourself outside, walk round the building or block 2/3 times and take as many slow deep inhales and exhales as you can. You will obviously need to use some other method to decrease your intake of nicotine so here are a few sites to point you in the right direction:

NHS website – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/10-self-help-tips-to-stop-smoking/

http://www.givingupsmoking.co.uk/

https://www.nicorette.co.uk/how-to-quit-smoking

 

Next up caffeine