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We are very much aware of the health hazards of smoking. Still, the number of deaths due to tobacco consumption continues to rise in India  . People find it extremely difficult to battle this habit. There are people who genuinely try to give up smoking but only a handful of them succeed.
India has about 11.2 per cent of the world's total smokers and estimates show that smoking still remains a leading factor for death and disability  .
Quitting smoking isn't something that can be achieved in one day. Because you need to change your behaviour and cope with the withdrawal symptoms which come from cutting out nicotine.
Tips To Quit Smoking
1. Nicotine replacement therapy
Once you quit smoking, your body will feel a sense of discomfort because it starts reacting to the absence of nicotine and other chemicals in the cigarettes. During this time, flu-like symptoms, irritability, anxiousness, and an increase in appetite are commonly experienced. To help you overcome intense cravings, ask your doctor about nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gum, nasal sprays, and lozenges  .
2. List down the smoking triggers
While you start with your quitting plans, it is important to find out what triggers your smoking like what makes you feel like smoking and when. Once you start listing down the triggers, you might be familiar with the patterns of your smoking habits.
3. Relax and meditate
Intense smoking cravings can be difficult to control which is why it's important to relax your mind and not create unnecessary stress. Mindful meditation can be really effective in reducing stress and to be aware of your smoking triggers and cravings. It also helps you to exercise self-control and thus controls your cravings and triggers  .
4. Keep drinking water
While drinking water hydrates your body and quenches your thirst, drinking a good amount of water is suggested for people who are trying to quit smoking. Water helps flush out the residual toxins from smoking out of the body. Sipping water throughout the day, whenever a craving to smoke arises, can be very helpful in getting over the smoking triggers.
5. Eat healthy
To remove all the toxins from the body, you need to detox it by eating a well-balanced diet. As your body is working hard to eliminate the toxins during the withdrawal process, it takes a lot of energy. Choosing foods high in energy such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein will provide the body with the fuel it needs  .
Avoid eating junk food as it will not help with nicotine withdrawal and will put you at a risk for relapse.
As your body is in the process of nicotine withdrawal, adding some form of exercise to your daily routine will help improve your health. Exercises, like walking or running, will help control your mood swings and the urge to smoke  .
7. Distract yourself
When the urge to smoke arises simply redirect your attention to something different and interesting. Go to places which interests you or try doing some activity that shifts your focus from the craving.
8. Get more sleep
To get rid of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms, getting good sleep is necessary. As your body is working hard to overcome the effects of nicotine withdrawal, get some extra sleep.
9. Get help from friends and family
Getting your friends and family involved in your decision to quit smoking can get you all the support and encouragement from them, which might forge positivity in you to go ahead with your efforts. So, keep them informed about your decision and seek for help if required.
10. Engage in a group
It is always a good idea to engage yourself with a non-smoking friend or a group. Start by planning and sharing amongst yourselves about the quitting plans and experiences that you have had daily. Sharing experiences can help each other and also keep you motivated to continue with your plans.
Here are some tips recommended by the American Cancer Society to quit smoking:
- Throw away all cigarettes and ashtrays from your house.
- Stock up on sugarless gum, carrot sticks, hard candy, etc.
- Inform your friends, family and colleagues about your quitting plans.
- Ask your friends and co-workers who smoke to not smoke around you.
- Avoid drinking alcohol.
Quitting smoking requires full commitment and planning and you should stick to it. The first week after you quit smoking is intense, but remember better days are ahead.
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-  GBD 2015 Tobacco Collaborators (2017). Smoking prevalence and attributable disease burden in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.Lancet (London, England),389(10082), 1885-1906.
-  Silagy, C., Lancaster, T., Stead, L. F., Mant, D., & Fowler, G. (2004). Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation.Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (3).
-  Tang, Y. Y., Tang, R., & Posner, M. I. (2013). Brief meditation training induces smoking reduction.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,110(34), 13971–13975.
-  Haibach, J. P., Homish, G. G., & Giovino, G. A. (2012). A longitudinal evaluation of fruit and vegetable consumption and cigarette smoking. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 15(2), 355-363.
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