Nicotine vs You: 5 Ways to Win the Quit Tobacco Battle
Updated: Apr 13
Tobacco - The Ruler of Damaged Lungs, the Arch Duke of Cigarettes, the Wife of Toxic Chemicals! (Canterbury Tales, get it?) What more needs to be said about tobacco? Everyone is aware of the harm it causes, and yet people cannot seem to keep their hands off. WHO (World Health Organization) has recorded that around 8 million people die each year due to tobacco consumption and in 2020, 22.3% of people across the globe consumed tobacco in one form or another. The truth is right in front of you. It is thus that quitting tobacco has become the need of the hour - to save people from succumbing to this deadly poison that leeches on to your system.
Nicotine - The Culprit, The Poison
Ever wondered what makes consuming tobacco-based products like cigarettes, pipes and smokeless chewies so addictive? “NICOTINE”. Nicotine makes it difficult for cigarette users to quit tobacco consumption. It hacks into your dopamine system. Yes, you heard it right - the chemical in your body that gives you pleasure; the one that controls your moods and decisions.
Nicotine numbs your satiety levels by dulling other senses and reducing brain tolerance. Thus, it becomes the only thing that gives you a delusion of satisfaction and pleasure, eliminating all other derivatives like food, sex, sleep, music and workout routines. To restore balance in your life, you know what to do now - QUIT TOBACCO, y’all!
Quitting Tobacco - Methods that DO NOT WORK
You are trying to stop smoking, get rid of nicotine and cleanse your system. What do you do first? You google methods to quit tobacco. Different websites give you different solutions. Some treat it like a leper’s disease and make you feel guilty about it. (Bad idea, guilt-tripping is toxic.) Then you have suggestions like using nicotine patches or chewing gum. (Beep! Incorrect, you are using the very thing that is causing the problem - “nicotine”)
Trying to avoid places that trigger you or self-control might also not work. (You cannot avoid society and people forever, can you?) Relaxation techniques like yoga and strenuous physical activities may help, they say. (It’s in your head now, you can still perform these activities and think about smoking and other means to consume tobacco).
Quitting Tobacco - Methods that DO ACTUALLY WORK
Then, what is the right way to quit the consumption of tobacco? You need to dispel the deception caused by nicotine in your brain. YOU have the power, YOU have to internalize and train your thoughts into believing that you dislike smoking and using tobacco. Convince yourself that you do not need it.
Here are 5 ways to quit smoking and tobacco, that we at QuitSure, are sure about -
1. Mindful Consumption: Awareness is key when it comes to mindful consumption. As a tobacco user, smoke with all your senses open. Absorb the flavour, the smell and reason with yourself about how you feel. On consciously consuming, realization strikes - You Do Not Want This. There are many benefits of quitting smoking. When you are convinced, you will be able to quit tobacco willingly.
2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT functions on some of the principles of Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning. It uses techniques and approaches to train the subconscious in such a way, that the action that smoking or consuming tobacco is attached to, will no longer need its consumption for utmost satisfaction.
For instance, you enjoy smoking everyday post-lunch. But you want to quit. CBT assists you by helping you identify the habit you want to rectify, internalising not consuming it by setting certain goals like letting the flavour of food linger on your tongue and enjoying that, and slowly developing that into a habit.
3. Dispelling the Deceptions: The Nicotine in tobacco numbs our cognitive abilities, making it easier for the consumer to fall into its trap. Illusioned by the fact that only its consumption will give them happiness or reduce stress, the user is never able to quit tobacco. This deception needs to be targeted first, for quitting. Only if you (the user) can be convinced that your dependency on nicotine is a farce, can you quit. You DO NOT need tobacco to be happy or to enjoy something. Infact, an experience will be more pleasurable without tobacco.
4. Removing the Cravings: The main culprit behind relapse of tobacco intake is Cravings. While urges (the physical effects of quitting) last only for a short duration and are easily controllable, cravings create an intense desire to smoke. Cravings are psychological. This happens because smoking deceptions have not been dispelled completely. Eventually, the craving increases to such an extent that the user has no choice but to smoke. You have to train your brain to fight cravings and deceptions to think differently, using various techniques, for you to quit.
5. Disregarding Societal Pressures and Media: In today’s world, peer and societal pressure and media influence is at an all time high. Even if you try to quit tobacco, there are people who will try to drag you down, back into the wormhole. You have no choice but to politely disregard such people. Remember, TOBACCO IS NOT COOL, IT KILLS! You are your own protector. It becomes your responsibility to not not give in. Social interactions are unavoidable, but tobacco consumption is!
Knowing some such techniques is a battle half won. The ball is in your court, my friend. With the right assistance and clearing nicotine deceptions, you are the master of your own Universe. You will make the choice, willingly. For, now you know, “Tobacco is injurious to Health” and you want to be a better version of yourself - devoid of addiction, happier and enjoying every pleasure to the fullest!
Embrace this version of you.
Give yourself the credit that is due!
Bid tobacco adieu!
This, I know, you can do!