5 Ways To Kick A Smoking Habit

1. Quitting “Cold Turkey”

This isn’t the most pleasant way to quit smoking (or quit any habit, really), but for some people, it seems to be the most effective. Indeed, a study cited at PMC just a few years ago found that quitting abruptly leads to “higher rates of cessation.” For those who wish to try this approach, experts recommend setting a quit date and stopping as soon as that day comes. Throw any and all smoking products away, and promise yourself you won’t buy more no matter how strong the cravings are. (It helps to remind yourself that those cravings are temporary.)

2. Vaping & E-Cigarettes

Vapes offer another way to quit smoking. The “smoke” you see is actually water vapor, and users get to choose the underlying type of juice that gets put in the vape; in some states, there are flavored varieties. If you’re going to try vaping, you also need to decide on the dose of nicotine that’s best for you –– and ideally begin to taper down until the juice you choose has no nicotine content at all.

Keep in mind that, as has been reported by TIME, some states have banned vaping outright, while others limit its use to private residences and specific public places. You’ll have to check with your state’s rules before trying this imperfect but potentially useful means of quitting.

3. Nicotine Pouches

These are sort of modern evolutions of nicotine patches and gum. Like their predecessors, they’re quite convenient and easy to use: You put one small pouch under your upper lip (between your teeth and lip) and keep it there until you’re ready to throw it away. Pouches are also pleasant to many users given the flavor variety of the products; the Prilla pouch resource online highlights citrus, cinnamon, coffee, and various types of mint among the popular options (though here as well, some states ban flavored varieties).
Beyond being convenient and coming with appealing flavors, pouches are favored because they can be used where e-cigarettes and vapes can’t, and because they provide relatively small hits of nicotine that satisfy cravings without the need for smoke, vapor, or tobacco.

4. Get Rid Of Reminders

Think of it as getting rid of an ex’s belongings: If you leave them within reach or sight, you’ll be reminded of the situation all the time. Throw away not only your cigarettes themselves, but also ashtrays, cartons, lighters, and other related items. If you need a lighter, consider buying a special one that looks different from your “normal” ones, and tell yourself that it’s exclusively for other purposes (like lighting candles or a stove burner).

Similarly, some people also swear that getting rid of the cigarette smell in a home or car also helps, although it can be a little difficult to do so given that the smell famously lingers.

5. Use An App

If you need a step-by-step guide or reminders on how to quit smoking, there are plenty of apps out there that can help as well. Some are free, while others cost a few dollars. There are quite a few options overall, though to get you started, the VeryWellMind health platform highlights EasyQuit, Quit Genius, and Kwit among the best of the bunch. Any of these can give you a leg up on the process, particularly if you’re the type of person who typically responds well to schedules or directions.

While quitting any kind of habit can be hard, smoking is a particularly tough one to break. Luckily, there are a lot of options out there to try, and between them you might just find a path that works for you. Don’t be afraid to take a few different approaches, and remember that if you fall short you can always try again.

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