Now let’s begin with a small sentence “cigarettes are getting expensive”. We all know that majority of men in Nepal smoke. Females smoke as well but their ratio is less than men. And in this lockdown period, when there is no work to do, the smokers just keep on smoking. It’s not like they have anything else to do anyway. The issue is, at the start, there was a shortage of smokes and there is no guarantee that it won’t happen again. Well, the chances are there at least.
I understand that quitting is not as easy as it sounds. Believe me, I am a smoker too and I have tried and failed. But even so, I have not quit the dream of quitting someday. Meanwhile, the least you can do is control how much you smoke per day. If you are a chain-smoker like me, then you will probably smoke around 1 pack within a day or two. It seems rather easy for chain smokers but even the cheapest of them cost around 100-NRS per pack, give or take 20-NRS. In this lockdown, that is a lot. Well here are some tips for you to implement directly. Also for nonsmokers whose family or loved one smokes, you can read this a well to help them control smoking. I have been doing this as well so this is coming from experience.
1. Find a reason
First things first, you should have a reason to quit or at the very least, smoking. To some, it may be very easy like quitting for a loved one or quitting to gain better health, for some it can be hard. Those who have it hard are usually the ones who smoke in their room. The family doesn’t know don’t care much. I know it sounds cruel but, this is a reality for long term chain smokers like me.
If you find it hard for emotional reasons, do it for financial reasons or health reasons. All the smokers know the risk of health, but they just don’t care for the most part so start caring. The corona must have some effect on your mind about health. And it is also a good idea to save some money and smokes as well because in Nepal you never know when the next lockdown or “Shut Down” may happen. If you run out of money or smokes then when you still smoke a pack in a day or two, then you will feel suffer. Regardless of what the reason is, just have a reason to quit.
2.Make a plan
This comes after finding a reason to quit/control your smoking. Make a plan to lessen your smoking. Now, this is rather an easy step. All you have to do is not smoke until a certain time. For those who smoke hourly (Like I did) don’t smoke for two hours and then take a smoke. Seems easy enough right? It will feel much better than taking a smoke hourly. Then slowly increase the duration of not smoking. You can take a smoke if the urge gets too much to handle though but don’t give in every time.
Along with extending the time you don’t smoke, you can also hold yourself back from smoking in some situations. For those who smoke in their room, it is a habit to take a smoke after you wake up and before you sleep. try not to smoke before you sleep. This is a bit easy than trying not to smoke after you wake up mostly due to the reason that you can tire yourself out to the extent that you get knocked out as soon as you hit the bed.
It has been said again and again by smokers “every smoker has a story”. It is true to some extent but there are a lot of smokers who start to smoke to experiment till it became a habit. One thing that is common is that the amount of cigarette increase in some situations. They are called triggers and try to avoid them as much as you can.
Mostly, people smoke more when they are with friends who smoke. This is common knowledge so try to lessen the smokes with them. You can play with your phone or have a deep conversation to distract your self. Other common triggers are parties or bars, or while feeling stressed or sipping coffee. I know it is easier said than done but small changes like the type of coffee you regularly drink can have a big impact over time.
4.Practice Relaxation Techniques
One thing every smoker does is smoke when they are stressed. That one thing is universal among smokers and no one can deny that. There are a lot of stress relief techniques like deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, massage are the most effective ones. But I understand that yoga and massage as well as
Now with the information on smoking, it is addictive and effective in relieving stress cleared, you can opt for alternate stress relief techniques. There is a lot of stress relief technique there among with deep-breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, massage are the most effective ones. But I understand that yoga and massage as well as muscle relaxation can’t be performed everywhere. There is one more relaxing method though and it can be done almost anywhere-Music.
5. Coping with Immediate Urges
So you have done all the things that are mentioned above but still can’t hold out for more than a few more minutes, why don’t you try some urge controls. There are a few things that can do to control your urge for a few more minutes. Some of them are
Have something in your mouth
Having Anything like a lollipop, candy, and even a dry carrot in your mouth. It will keep your mouth busy for a few more minutes until you hit that smoking time you set up or in the best case hold on till something that will distract you better comes along
Keep your mind busy
As I said above, get distracted is better than having something in your mouth. keep your mind busy in some way. It can be reading books, playing games, or even just looking at memes. The Internet is a rabbit hole of memes. It never ends so it is a good way to keep your mind busy if you don’t like to read or play games.
Slowly drink a large glass of water. Now this will not only will it help the urge to pass, but staying hydrated helps lessen the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. You can additionally add a bit of salt to your water as well. Salt is great at keeping the urges away but I do not recommend tasting powder salt. It turns into addiction on its own if you taste powder salt to control your urges.