How You Can Quit Smoking Without Medication

The widespread damage of cigarette smoking cannot be overstated. Apart from causing significant financial strain and ecological damage, smoking tobacco cigarettes has been known to lead to serious health issues. 

In fact, a recent WHO tobacco study revealed that even secondhand smoke from these cigarettes results in the premature death of more than a million people globally every year. Smokers themselves are at a higher risk for over 50 chronic conditions, including cancers, stroke, and organ failure. 

With these in mind, most smokers want to let go of the habit. Unfortunately, the dependencies that smoking causes make cessation difficult. So much so that up to 70% of quit attempts end in a relapse. To remedy this, many health experts suggest the use of quit-smoking drugs. 

These prescription medications, like Champix pills, work to inhibit the pleasurable effect of cigarettes. Understandably, though, since these meds directly impact brain receptors and require consistent doctor’s appointments, not everyone is keen to take them. 

If this is the case with you, here are some alternative smoking cessation methods to consider instead:

A balanced diet

You are what you eat, and a well-balanced diet can help regulate a body that may be dependent on cigarettes and their chemicals. As explained in our previous article entitled “The Healing Power of Vegan Foods,” good food helps replenish depleted nutrients, thereby helping heal the body and mind. 

This is why some recovery centers, like Jackson House Rehab, even include vegan meals in their programs. For smokers, helpful additions to a recovery diet should include foods that help boost energy, concentration, and lung and gut health. This is because one of smoking’s primary impacts is on blood pressure. 

As a result, it becomes harder for blood to travel through the body and deliver essentials like macronutrients and oxygen, leading to diminished organ function. Some vegan foods that can address this include whole grains that aid blood sugar levels, seeds that improve brain health, and fruits and veggies for cellular repair. 

Regular workouts

Although exercise may be difficult for smokers, considering how the habit hurts cardiovascular wellness, regular physical activity can actually help with cessation. On one hand, this is because exercise helps strengthen the body, making it more capable of overcoming any withdrawal side effects. 

For instance, working out can help burn fat and combat the weight gain many experience when quitting. Besides the physical benefits, regular workouts can improve your mood by boosting the release of hormones like endorphins. 

Plenty of smokers are depressed or anxious when quitting because they can no longer turn to cigarettes as an escape. 

So as not to overwhelm the body, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while, Smokefree’s tips on cessation workouts suggest at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, which can range from walking to boxing. 

Alternative nicotine products

While some smokers react well to going cold turkey, the majority find this sudden deprivation unpleasant. In these cases, it’s best to turn to alternative nicotine products that can help you wean off cigarettes. 

One of the most popular options today is nicotine pouches, with some of the most well-known brands, including On!, ZYN, VELO, and Rogue. 

These are made with sweeteners, plant-based fibers, and flavorings, with the nicotine derived synthetically or distilled from tobacco, so there aren’t any leaves in them. As seen in On! nicotine pouches, these are small, discreet oral products. 

Designed to be tucked between the cheeks and gums, pouches slowly release a controlled dose of nicotine to quell cravings that may cause a relapse. 

Available in a variety of strengths (ranging from 2mg to 8mg) and flavors (such as mint, berry, and citrus), smokers can tailor their experience to make cessation more sustainable. 

Another alternative product is a nicotine patch. Although these cannot satisfy any oral fixations, patches can curb withdrawal symptoms effectively. Brands like Habitrol can even work for up to 24 hours. 

Smoking cessation counseling

Because many smokers rely on the habit as a means of coping, it’s important to get to the root of this dilemma. As such, smoking cessation classes or counselors can be of great help. 

Through these platforms, smokers can better unlearn the patterns that turn them to cigarettes and instead pick up new coping strategies. Depending on your lifestyle, you can choose between one-on-one sessions, support groups, or even remote interventions. 

Among the most well-known options is the Nicotine Anonymous support group, wherein you can find a sponsor to help you through the quit journey. 

In most cases, having this type of support can help you stay accountable while also encouraging you to keep going even when it gets tough. Among options that aren’t free, such as cessation therapies led by doctors, some smokers can have their insurance cover this fee.  

Last Updated on April 12, 2024

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