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How to Quit Smoking: Surviving the First 7 Days

First 7 Days After Quitting SmokingIf you’re trying to kick your nicotine addiction, the first week is the worst. Since this is when you feel the most intense nicotine withdrawal symptoms, this is the period when it’s easiest to relapse. In fact, most people who try to kick the habit, whether they quit smoking naturally or use quit-smoking products, fail within the first week. Most smokers have been through this numerous times, and many need to try 10 to 15 times before they have success.

If you can get through this week, you’ll be home free. You’ll get fewer nicotine cravings every day, and your cravings will become less intense. Until then, try these smoking cessation tips for the first week.

Use cigarette substitutes: Every fiber of your being is accustomed to that never-ending cycle—smoke, crave, smoke, crave. You’re used to that periodic satisfaction you get from smoking that you may feel like you can’t live without. So, during this week of intense withdrawal from nicotine, use substitutes. For example you can try lollipops, gum, mints, sunflower seeds, or even non-food products like toothpicks, straws, or coffee stirrers. Whenever you have a craving, just put one of these things in your mouth, occupy your hands with something, and you’ll feel better in 10 minutes or so.

One caveat: While nicotine replacement products do work for some people, they’re not the smartest way to quit. These stop-smoking aids just continue to feed your nicotine addiction, and nicotine is exactly the substance that you’re trying to quit using.

So, if you want to set yourself up for long-term success, think of it this way: You’re quitting nicotine. Cigarettes are just nicotine-delivery devices, as are all nicotine products.

Eliminate triggers: Of course, as every smoker knows, any time you try to eliminate your smoking triggers, other triggers come along to take their place. However, you probably have some big ones. For example, maybe you associate cigarettes with alcohol or coffee, or maybe you typically smoke during breaks at work, or perhaps you enjoy nothing more than that post-meal smoke. Whatever your big triggers are, find ways to avoid them.

When faced with these situations, don’t just sit around and brood about how much you wish you could smoke. Instead, distract yourself by doing something else.

Eat well and exercise: First of all, avoid those particular foods that make you want to smoke the most, and replace them with healthy, nutrient-rich foods that will speed your detox and recovery.

And to make your recovery go even more smoothly, exercise for at least an hour every day. This will give you a nice endorphin rush to replace your cigarette satisfaction, and it will also help get your post-nicotine metabolism back on track.

Use alternative stop-smoking aids: The best way to quit is to go cold turkey—completely avoiding all nicotine and nicotine replacement products. However, going cold turkey doesn’t mean that you can’t use other methods to make the process go better. Many people find that hypnosis for smoking is a tremendous help during the first week, and products like Miracet can be very effective in balancing out the chemical changes that occur in your body after you quit.

Even if you’re skeptical of things like smoking-cessation hypnosis, it can’t hurt to try. At the very least, it will distract you from your cravings for a little while.

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