About 90% of people who try to quit smoking do it by quitting cold turkey. But it's not the most effective and successful method. Only about 10% of people who try to quit this way succeed on their first try.
When you quit, it's the lack of nicotine that creates the withdrawal symptoms quitters experience. Most people will need help for the first tough days of quitting.
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal generally start within 2 - 3 hours after the last tobacco use and will peak about 2 - 3 days later. Symptoms may be severe depending on how long you smoked and how many cigarettes you smoked each day.
You can get a milder form of nicotine withdrawal when you switch from regular to low-nicotine cigarettes or significantly cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked.
Fear of weight gain is one of the biggest reasons smokers don't want to quit. Often, pounds are put on because the recently quit smoker is substituting food for the cigarette. It's important to remember that the health benefits of quitting are so much greater than any risks from weight gain.
But the majority of quitters don't gain weight, and for those that do, it's usually about five to eight pounds. Here are a few things to do if you're trying to quit:
Even if you're older, quitting smoking has immediate benefits to your health. Your circulation improves and your lungs start to repair the damage. There is strong evidence that quitting smoking even late in life not only adds years to life but can improve your quality of life immensely.
Using a tobacco quitting plan and nicotine replacement therapy doubles your success rate over trying to quit cold turkey. Online quitting programs and toll-free quitting services have been helpful to thousands of people who are trying to quit and trying to stay quit.
For important reasons, electronic cigarettes are not a good choice as a quit aid for the person who is trying to quit smoking.
It's already difficult enough to quit. So choose a nicotine replacement product that isn't going to trigger emotional feelings about the act of smoking.
Multiple quit attempts are very common. In fact, it can take five to seven tries to completely quit. Don't give up! The health benefits are so valuable and when you do finally quit for the last time, freedom from the nicotine drug will be worth it.
No one can make anyone quit. (Tying them up and taking away their cigarettes isn't a good idea.) Tobacco users have to be ready to quit and when they are, they need lots of support from their families, friends and even coworkers. That's why at Project Filter, we say, "You decide when. We'll show you how."