Tobacco cravings can be challenging to overcome. In fact, some research says the cravings associated with smoking are more powerful that narcotic drugs. While there are numerous medical options for quitting nicotine, many of those therapies cost a lot of money. For instance, a pack of 20 pieces of nicotine gum can cost 150% of what one pack of 20 cigarettes cost.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t low-cost ways to quit smoking, and a little creativity may be what you need to successfully kick the habit. This article describes six approaches that may help you get over the hump without breaking the bank.
Replacing nicotine may help you stop smoking
If you’ve never tried nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), that may be the best place to start in the search for managing your cravings. As mentioned above, though, purchasing nicotine gum or patches from a retail convenience store or pharmacy may not be budget friendly. What many people may not know is that health insurance plans – whether private or public – are required to cover “cessation plans” to help you quit tobacco. Some plans will cover two separate attempts each year; others will cover four attempts. These plans also cover counseling services, whether in person or over the phone. It’s always best to start by having a conversation with your healthcare provider, and you’ll find these programs are much more affordable than continuing the habit of buying tobacco.
How long can you hold off?
At some point or another, all smokers have been in a situation where they didn’t or couldn’t have access to a cigarette. In those moments when the cravings are highest, there’s no other alternative than to just get through the moment. In a small sense, each of those moments that you must hold off is a win for people who want to stop smoking. It’s also a very effective exercise for people who may have access to nicotine, but really want to kick the habit. The “Delay Tactic” is one where you fend off a craving for a certain amount of time. Maybe you want a cigarette, but you hold off for five minutes, to start. Rather than just staring at the cigarette, though, it’s important to find something to keep your mind occupied. Whether it’s taking a quick walk, reading an article, making a phone call, or fixing something in the kitchen. Anything that gets your mind away from nicotine is a good first step. Once you can make it five minutes, try seven or eight minutes next. See how far you can go.
Get rid of triggers to stop smoking
For most people who crave tobacco, there’s often a trigger that tells your brain it’s time to have a cigarette. Being able to identify those triggers may be the best place to begin developing a plan to avoid them. Whether it’s certain social events or stressful situations, find alternative activities to occupy your time and distract yourself from the urge to smoke. By steering clear of triggers, you’ll minimize the temptation to reach for a cigarette.
What can you have instead?
One of the worst excuses people give for continuing to use tobacco is that it often leads to weight gain. In order to replace the cravings for nicotine, people who want to quit replace the tobacco with food. But the problem isn’t the food; it’s the type of food. One effective way to eliminate the cravings of tobacco is finding a replacement that’s healthy. That can include chewing gum, eating healthy foods like carrots or nuts or sunflower seeds (low sodium, if possible). Another option is to transfer the energy of your cravings into a workout. Finding a healthy substitute not only distracts you from smoking, but it can also help satisfy the oral fixation associated with quitting.
It’s never “just one”
One of the easiest traps on the road to quitting smoking is to tell yourself that it’s OK to just “have one more smoke.” While people with strong mental fortitude may be able to handle a cigarette here or there, most people who are addicted to nicotine can never have “just one.” In fact, it’s the reason most people continue to smoke – because they can’t have “just one.” Remember that one cigarette often leads to another and before you know it, you’re back to smoking regularly. Stay committed to quitting and resist the temptation of “just one.”
Get proud of your physique
We all have friends who have found the ability, deep within themselves, to kick the smoking habit. Something else you might notice about most of those people: They look healthier and they’re in better shape. While physical activity is one of the best ways to stop your nicotine cravings, you might also find the motivation to quit in the reward that comes after. According to one article, the physical improvement in your body may begin to show in just a matter of weeks when your lungs begin to heal. And even before you quit for good, beginning a slow, but meaningful, workout routine will stop some of the cravings your body has for nicotine.
Quitting smoking when on a budget is achievable. In fact, being on a budget should never be an excuse to quit smoking. If you’re on any sort of health insurance plan, you’ll find there are replacement therapies and counseling that are part of your plan. Then, by eliminating triggers, delaying your cravings, and using food and exercise, smoking is a habit that can be broken.