From the colonial era until the mid-1960s, tobacco use was exponentially growing in the US. Since then, tobacco and cigarette use has been on a downward trajectory. Yet, these slowly dwindling rates of tobacco use do little to reassure us that the younger generations are capable of collapsing the tobacco industry.
Despite the falling rate, tobacco use is still a menace. According to the CDC, if the current smoking rate continues, more than 5.6 million Americans will likely die from a smoke-related illness.
To curb smoking rates in the US, it’s critical to prevent tobacco use among the youth. Why? Nearly nine out of ten daily cigarette smokers started at the age of 18, and 99 percent tried smoking by age 26.
As those statistics sink in, another trend taking center stage is the use of e-cigarettes. In the last couple of years, there has been a tremendous increase in e-cigarettes use among youth. As of 2019, the use of e-cigarettes increased to 10.5 percent compared to 0.6 percent in 2011. In the same year, 27.5 percent of high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past one month.
While cigarette use has tapered, the primary sources of tobacco have simply switched forms. What has changed is a shift from traditional tobacco use to contemporary methods such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
No matter the form, tobacco use can have serious health risks and addiction. Smoking is a considerable risk factor for diseases like stroke, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, and several cancer forms. According to the CDC, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths per annum in America.
These statistics are alarming. Something has to be done. As 2020 draws to a close, it’s time to brainstorm New Year’s Resolutions. If you can’t kick your tobacco habit with willpower alone, consider therapy for addictions.
Steps to help quitting tobacco products
Quitting smoking or consumption of tobacco is tough. To increase the chances of being successful, consider the following tips.
Find your reason
To boost your morale, you need a compelling reason to quit. Is it because of health reasons? Or is it to reduce the risk posed to your loved ones through secondhand smoke? Whatever the reason, always have it in mind whenever the urge to light up crops up.
Get professional help in your journey to stay tobacco-free. Counselors have adequate experience helping people like you. They will help you manage nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Studies show that quit-smoking medicine can boost your chances when trying to quit smoking. Drugs like bupropion and varenicline that comes in the form of a gum, patch, or nasal spray help curb cravings. Some other medicines can help alleviate symptoms like depression and loss of concentration.
Rely on familial support
Inform your family and friends that you intend to quit tobacco use. Your loved ones become a source of motivation, especially when the cravings crop up. Some people in your social circles may not be very supportive, and if that’s the case, that’s ok — all you need are a few good friends and family in your corner to show the naysayers that you can kick the habit for good.
Utilize self-help materials
There are tons of materials to help you quit, and many of them are available for no charge. Information you are likely to get includes:
- Getting ready to quit
- Dealing with cravings
- Moving on after quitting
To find helpful resources, start with a simple Google search to see what you can find online. You can head to your local library for some self-help books, and local support groups and charities dedicated to addiction recovery often provide great resources for no charge. Electronic quit aids like apps and websites also come in handy in helping you stay away from tobacco.
Clean your house
Cleaning helps you throw away tobacco and smoking equipment. Toss out all ashtrays and lighters. Additionally, the cleaning of carpets, seats, and beddings enables you to get rid of any familiar smell.
Being active helps you curb nicotine craving. When you feel like lighting up, go out for a jog, walk your dog, or study. The aim is to keep your mind occupied. Our WILDCARD forums are tremendous to keep your mind OFF dipping.
Keep your mouth busy
Every time you feel like having something in your mouth, you could use a toothpick, lollipop, gum, or celery. You could also chew a straw or a stir stick. Flavored gum is also a great solution and don’t forget about all the smokeless alternative products out there.
Stay away from temptation
Avoid bad company and activities or places that could peg you back to smoking. If you are an alcohol user, you might need to quit that as well. It isn’t easy sticking to your non-smoking goals when you are around triggers.
People take nicotine to help them relax. After quitting tobacco, engage in activities that help you unwind. Consider a massage, music, and connecting with friends. It’s also the opportune time to take part in your favorite hobbies.
Do you feel like you will never quit tobacco? Do not lose hope. Most people have been there. The moment you realize the detrimental effects of tobacco use, you will find the reason to quit. And in your journey of quitting and staying tobacco-free, persistence and consistency will inspire you to win the battle. The surest way of deterring failure is the determination to succeed.