Just about any traditional smoker you talk to would rather not be a slave to the cigarette. We tend to think that trying to quit smoking is a relatively new phenomenon, but people have been trying to ditch cigarettes for centuries.
As far back as the 18th Century, there have been anti-cigarette campaigners. Benjamin Rush, the surgeon general under George Washington, even wrote a long essay about the dangers of smoking in which he outlines the negative effects of smoking tobacco and its addictive nature.
So people have been trying to kick the habit for over two hundred years now! Let’s take a look at the quitting techniques that are out there at the moment:
The Technique: This involves placing what looks like a
plaster on the smoker’s skin, usually the arm. The patch secretes small amounts of nicotine into the bloodstream to compensate for the cessation of cigarettes.
The downside: A problem with nicotine patches is that they don’t address the ritual; the Pavlovian instinct to put the object into your mouth.
A Harvard study has found that patches and similar nicotine replacement therapies are no more effective than willpower.
2. Nicotine gum
The Technique: This is a pretty famous technique among those who want to quit cigarettes – chewing nicotine-infused gum as a NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy).
The downside: Some studies have found that after that time, addiction to nicotine gum can kick in.
3. Cold turkey
The Technique: Cold turkey is an expression known to any addicts, from cigarette smokers to those who have used heroin (including John Lennon). It involves ditching your habit with no outside help and depending on pure willpower to get through to the other side.
The downside: As we’ve mentioned, smoking cigarettes is arguably more addictive than heroin, and you wouldn’t ask a heroin addict just to stop. Why put yourself through the trauma when help is available?
The Technique: This is a very new technique that claims that a jab could prevent children from ever getting hooked – essentially preventing the high that nicotine brings, and thus (in theory) its addictive nature. But as The Daily Mail reports, this vaccine is still a few years away.
The downside: As the NHS says, the workable vaccine is a long way off and “It is important to note that smoking is not purely driven by an addiction to nicotine.”
The Technique: Hypnosis and behavioural therapy are commonly used to help people quit cigarettes, using mind association techniques and the subconscious to address the addiction.
The downside: The main problem with this technique is that it’s not for everyone: not everybody is susceptible to hypnosis, many don’t like the level of trust involved and some claim that the effect wears off shortly after.
6. Cutting down
The Technique: An extremely common method to try to kick traditional cigarettes is to gradually reduce the intake.
The downside: The most obvious downside to this method is that the smoker is still smoking! Even if smoking is reduced, it’s still a habit, a crutch and an addiction and as this article outlines, there are serious health risks from even one cigarette a day.
The Technique: Replacing burning, chemical-laced cigarettes with a modern device that helps you quit in a practical way – giving you a tangible, useable substitute that will help you on your journey to a healthier you.
Studies have found that vaping can be the most effective tool to help you ditch cigarettes. Have a look around our site, especially the “about” section if you’d like to know more about switching to vaping.