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How to Quit Smoking

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Though smoking has, to some extent, retained its 'cool' and rebellious image, public awareness of the dangers of smoking has increased markedly. With this has come a widespread desire to kick the habit. Quitting can be a difficult process but there are many forms of assistance available to those who wish to stop smoking permanently.
What you'll need: 
Internet connection
Nicotine replacement product
Support group
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and, as quitting smoking will eliminate the supply of nicotine, the body will experience cravings as the substance is released from the body. Cravings are the primary cause of failure for those attempting to quit. Because of this, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is the most common treatment method.
Cigarettes provide an immediate supply of nicotine to the body, making them highly addictive. NRT products work by slowly releasing a sustained flow of nicotine into the bloodstream. These products allow you to gradually lower the amount of nicotine you ingest until you no longer crave it. In addition, they do not contain any of the toxic substances found in cigarettes.
Many NRT products are available through the NHS and include gum, patches, inhalators, nasal sprays, lozenges, microtablets and branded products, Zyban and Champix. Your doctor will determine the dosages required.
The most important factor for those attempting to quit smoking is the real, personal desire to eliminate the habit. This may require drastic steps such as minimising time spent in certain places or with specific people. For many people smoking is a social habit that is often paired with drinking. Awareness of this is important and it can be a good idea to decrease or eliminate drinking, even if only for a limited period.
Asking those around you for support is extremely important. This might involve asking friends or family to remove cigarettes from the house, to avoid smoking around you or even prevent you from buying cigarettes. Attending or forming a support group is another option with the same function.
Exercise is an excellent tool at your disposal when quitting smoking as its benefits are threefold; it will eliminate possible 'smoking time', increase your health as well as releasing the brain's 'feel-good' substance, endorphins.
Keep busy and away from what tempts you to smoke! Taking up a new hobby or sport can help, as can spending time in places where smoking isn't allowed. It's easy to substitute eating for smoking in which case the same advice applies.
Quitting smoking is a vital step in improving your health, extending your lifespan and lightening the load on your wallet. The positives are infinite.


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