Giving up the nicotine addiction is one of the most arduous battles that many of us will ever face. Particularly for those of us who are trying for a new addition to the family. It’s a proven fact that the followings are the consequences of smoking during pregnancy:
- Increases the babies heart rate
- Increases the odds of miscarriage and stillbirth
- Lowers the amount of oxygen to your baby
- Increases the odds of your baby being born prematurely
So with such a precious life to care for, what can you do to quit the habit? Here’s our take on 3 of the best methods out there to stop smoking and just quite how successful they are. But first, what are the benefits to you for quitting smoking:
- Smoking creates stains on your teeth, causes unpleasant mouth odor, and doubles the risk of oral diseases. Within a week of discontinuing, you’ll begin to feel a change.
- Your home has a lot more pleasant environment, no more stinking house or clothes.
- Quitting the habit of smoking improves your taste and smell senses.
- The boost of oxygen levels to your organs and cells instills more energy.
- Lower blood pressure
- Giving up nicotine consumption enhances oxygen level, blood circulation, lowers inflammation, and infection overall improves the whole digestive system.
- It reduces the risks of lung, bladder, and Kidney Cancer and trims down the heart attack risk.
Method 1: Cold Turkey
It means rather than gradually reducing off the substance, stop taking it immediately. You have to stop consuming cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or any of the negative near-term issues associated with them. Besides the health benefit, it will also allow more money in your pocket. Cold Turkey, the phrase comes from the goosebumps that opioid addicts get when they see a drop in their bodies’ opiates level. Shivering etc. – these refer to the look of a plucked Turkey. Cold Chicken would probably be just as accurate.
Why go ‘Cold Turkey.’
Statistics show that those who abstain themselves entirely from smoking and take on a ‘Rocky’ mentality experience a 20-30% success rate, with numbers staying reasonably similar regardless of the number of attempts. The beauty of this simple in theory approach is that you do not require a crutch afterward. Once you beat the habit, you conquered the addiction.
How can you improve your chances of success?
Firstly, don’t beat yourself up if you crack. Just start the next day again. Quitting doesn’t need to start on January 1st or a Monday; you can start from the very next morning.
Have an accountability mirror.
Before starting his career as a Navy SEAL, David Goggin was 300-pound. Though he had a vast zeal in his mind to be part of the United States Navy, he was doing nothing about it except looking at the Navy Seal poster in his room. One day he stood in front of his mirror and called out loud that he is fat, lazy, and a liar.
Now assume if one of your friends looks at you with that much disgust, it will make you feel dreadful inside. David did the same thing while looking at his reflection that way.
After that, he used to look at himself regularly and ask, “Am I being honest to myself if I say I had a positive day.”
You can find out about David Goggins here. He did a 100mile race with no training and no support team and later passed training for the Navy Seals and the US Army Rangers, yet was over 350 lbs in his early 20s. He swapped burgers for salads and set himself on a pass of personal greatness.
Allen Carr is a famous quit-smoking motivational speaker who is worth looking up. Not to be confused with the UK comedian Alan Carr. Allen has helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world to become smoke-free.
Method 2: Nicotine Patches
Nicotine patches are essential plasters infused with liquid nicotine absorbed through the skin. They come in varying strengths and can be placed under the clothing to maintain your nicotine dependency during the day. In a US National Institute of Health report, they cited that nicotine patches led to a 19% success rate for quitting smoking.
What are the Pros of Nicotine Patches:
- Immediate removal of the downsides of inhaling combustible cigarettes
- Smoke-free – smell free
- High strength to work to all high dependency habits
- Works to break the oral fixation habit
But what are the downsides of nicotine patches:
- They can often provide more nicotine than users received through smoking, leading to a subconscious increase in dependency.
- Lower success rate than cold turkey
- They don’t replicate the hand-to-mouth psychological addiction, which is more ritual-based.
- Please do not use them during the pregnancy or breastfeeding period.
- Can cause skin allergy irritation
- It may initiate nausea, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, swelling on the patch side, and vivid dreams.
With smoking, hand-to-mouth oral fixation is part of this ritual. Some people pop a chewing gum in their mouth or chew on a pen or unlit cigarette to fulfill that desire instead. Patches do not meet the lost distraction, but those who are pregnant or on a course of IVF or preparing to try for children should not embrace this method as the nicotine levels can raise one’s heart rate and blood pressure. While they have a myriad of other advantages over continuing smoking, it may be that you need to find a nicotine-free option.
If your body is not ready for both the Cold Turkey and Nicotine Patch method, we still have another option.
Method 3: Electronic Cigarettes
Vaping, e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, tank systems, or electronic cigarettes are all the same. They essentially deliver a dose of vaporized e-liquid via a heating element powered by a battery and come in a different range of shapes, sizes, colors, and power options. But mainly, they all perform the same task with differing abilities. Many use e-cigs to replace their nicotine habit from smoking, and data suggests they offer an effective ‘Harm Reduction’ method.
University College London in 2019 suggests that vaping can double the quit smoking success rates, and this may be in large part as while an addiction to cigarettes is due to the nicotine. Still, it isn’t the nicotine that is fatal to humans. It’s the carcinogens from the combustion of tobacco. In short cigarette smokers, smoke to get nicotine, so if you can remove the Carbon Monoxide, Tar, and the other thousands of cancer-causing chemicals but still get the nicotine, you could be on to a winner, and that’s the theory behind E-cigs.
A fascinating article in 1994 from the Independent suggested the best method to help people quit smoking would be an artificial cigarette represent the real one but without the bad stuff. The report centered on Professor Russell from the Institute of Psychiatry Health Behaviour Unit in London. According to him, while using artificial cigars, the sensory factors initially become satisfied as their link addiction nicotine intake. But there is undoubtedly a biological preference where the body reacts.
So, he suggested that an alternative to smoking provides the nicotine and feels like a cigarette. Such devices produce only a small amount of Tar, leading to lung cancer and containing less carbon monoxide, contributing to heart disease. Ideally, it provides no harmful gases responsible for chronic bronchitis.
What Professor Russell had hit on was what we now call the electronic cigarette. By lending a hand on quitting the habit, these cigars are now helping reduce smoking’s toll of death and disability.
However, several stories of misuse of the vape device by inhaling THC or CBD oil happened. After that, recent media has drawn negative attention to them, suggesting ‘vaping’ is responsible for a spate of deaths.
While some people call e-liquids – oils, they aren’t oils. Oils are fats and not soluble in water, but e-liquids are. It means, when you inhale an oil, it builds up fatty layers in your lungs and leads rapidly developing breathing problems. On the other hand, E-liquid is NOT made from fats or oils and easily broken down in the body. In short, if you choose to look at vaping, do not buy cannabis oils for that and instead buy only e-liquids from credible brands. If you are pregnant or planning for motherhood, we know it’s best to avoid nicotine. So can you use electronic cigarettes without nicotine? Yes
Nicotine-free vape is a hugely popular choice for those using vapes to quit smoking. It is essentially an e-liquid without any nicotine. That means it still provides the mental stimulation of the ‘idea of smoking’ without any nasties associated with cigarettes. Also called Zero nic means none of the caffeine-like stimulants, raising your blood pressure and resting heart rate. Things you want to moderate during pregnancy.
If you consider any of these three methods to finish your smoking habit, you should always consult with a doctor first. Don’t hesitate to take all of their advice and push yourself every day to perceive the best.