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How to Quit Without Nicotine Products

If you are a longtime smoker, then you know how difficult it is to quit smoking. And you’re not alone. Around the globe, about one third of the male adult population consistently smokes cigarettes. We’ve all heard the statistical reasons for quitting, that every eight seconds someone dies from tobacco use or that in 2030, if smoking rates continue, one in every six people will die from smoking. And then there are the emotional appeals, begging you to think about your children or loved ones and how your smoking habit affects them now and then also in the future. All of these are great reasons to quit, and you would’ve quit, or you tried to with the help of a nicotine product, and it really just didn’t work.

There is an argument that nicotine products don’t really help in fixing your nicotine addiction, as the nicotine is still being administered into your body, often straight into your blood stream, which meets the needs of your nicotine addiction and doesn’t help you to stop. But if you don’t use any nicotine products to help you quit; the other option is to go cold turkey. Though this may seem daunting, or impossible, there are several ways to help you through the process, and combat any feelings of nicotine withdrawal.

How to Quit Without Nicotine Products:

It’s All In Your Mind – Before you start abstaining from cigarettes, make sure that you are prepared mentally for the quitting process. This may include writing down reasons for quitting and placing them in a place where you keep your cigarettes, or charting out a financial plan for the money you will save when you stop buying your cigarette packages. It is often beneficial to target the reason for your continuation of smoking, if you smoke because you are stressed, figure out an alternative way to relieve your stress such as exercise, or if you smoke because you are bored, find alternative activities to distract yourself from the idea of smoking such as talking to a friend on the phone, or taking longer showers.

Don’t Stop Suddenly – To prevent severe withdrawal symptoms, work to have fewer cigarettes per day before taking the plunge. While decreasing your intake of nicotine, you can additionally utilize any of the techniques mentioned above or below.

Find a Support Group – Your family and friends will obviously support you in your decision to quit smoking, but it’s sometimes easier to deal with quitting if you can talk to someone who is going through the same experience. Support groups are a great way to learn more ways to help you quit smoking and reassure you that you are not alone.

Drink Water and Exercise – Exercising and staying hydrated will help your body to adjust to the absence of nicotine faster, especially after you stop using nicotine products. By sweating and introducing more liquid into your body, you will be able to expel the nicotine from your body more quickly.

Quitting smoking is possibly one of the hardest things you will ever have to do in your life. There are several different techniques, and it’s important to find a way that works for you, which may or may not include a prescription medication that doesn’t contain nicotine, use of a nicotine product or a change in lifestyle habits.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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