How do I stay away from smoking

Eight tips to successfully quit smoking

04.01.2006

Making the resolution to quit smoking in the New Year is a good thing. To implement this consistently and successfully, but another, far more difficult one. We'll give you 8 tips on how to do it ...

Although there are many offers for smoking cessation, 80% of smokers try to get rid of the smokers with sheer willpower - and without any support. However, with an abstinence rate averaging only 6% compared to 22%, they have a demonstrably lower success rate than accompanying measures such as counseling, self-help advice and nicotine replacement therapy. The Federal Association of Pulmonologists (BdP) and the German Society for Pneumology-Pneumology point this out
Respiratory and pulmonary medicine (pulmonology) is a branch of internal medicine that deals with the prevention, detection and specialist treatment of diseases of the lungs, bronchi, mediastinum (middle skin) and pleura (pleura and lung).
(DGP). "In the medium and long term, the combination of nicotine replacement preparations with behavioral self-monitoring has proven to be the most effective," explains Dr. Michael Barczok, media officer of the BdP. As a resident pulmonologist at the Lung Center Ulm, he carries out tobacco cessation programs himself and can give some other good tips:

(1) Motivate yourself!
Your own will is crucial. If it is missing, it cannot work! Motivate yourself with your very own reasons why you want to quit smoking. Put your reasons in writing so that you can recall them in times of crisis and deliberately bring them to mind. Here you can print out a draft for your personal balance sheet and add it individually.

(2) Make an appointment to quit!
If you have made a firm decision to become a non-smoker, you should set a specific day on which you will no longer smoke at all (so-called end-of-day method). Gradual weaning by gradually reducing the number of cigarettes, on the other hand, only rarely leads to success.

(3) Help yourself through the early days with nicotine replacement preparations!
Nicotine replacement preparations - such as chewing gum, nasal sprays or plasters - help especially in the tough and critical early days. They alleviate smoking cravings and withdrawal symptoms by giving the body small amounts of nicotine-nicotine
There are several reasons that the addiction-inducing substance in cigarettes is nicotine:
* Nicotine penetrates the central nervous system (CNS) and is psychoactive.
* The physiological effects of smoking and injected nicotine are identical.
* Nicotine works as a "positive amplifier". Humans (and also animals) add nicotine to themselves in experiments.
* It is easier to get rid of the addictive substance (tobacco abstinence) if nicotine is administered (substituted, i.e. replaced) with medication.
* Smokers tend to adapt their smoking behavior to the different nicotine contents of tobacco products
respectively.

(4) Develop behavior alternatives to smoking!
Think in advance of a realistic strategy and behavioral alternatives for those moments when the strong desire for a cigarette should arise. For example, you could go for a walk, eat chewing gum, or use some relaxation technique. For optimal preparation, you should keep a smoking diary in which you enter every cigarette you smoke - with the date, time and for what reason. In this way you can find out in which situations you pick up the cigarette and take targeted action.

(5) Modify your previous smoking rituals!
Avoid typical smoking rituals or change situations in which you habitually enjoyed smoking. For example, don't drink alcohol or coffee, but rather herbal tea or fruit juices, which taste (almost) impossible to combine with cigarettes.

(6) Exercise!
Sport also has a balancing effect, calms the nerves, lifts the mood and dampens the desire to smoke. Test your physical performance on the first day of your non-smoking existence and proudly watch your performance increase.

(7) Use the pressure of social expectations!
Make no secret of your resolution. The people you initiate will surely be happy to support you in your project and - thanks to the social pressure that they exert with their expectations in the interplay with your personal ambition - will also do so unconsciously. However, it is better to stay away from smoking friends and colleagues, at least in the beginning.

(8) Reward yourself for achieving intermediate goals you have set yourself!
Reward yourself by throwing four euros (or the amount of money that you previously invested in tobacco products into a piggy bank) every smoke-free day. Treat yourself to a little pleasure in between (e.g. a music CD or a visit to the cinema). Or you can afford a vacation trip with the sum you have accumulated after a year of quitting smoking.

Withdrawal attempts without professional support often fail
"Nicotine addiction is to be seen as a chronic addiction disease that sometimes requires 5 to 7 attempts to withdraw, until it is overcome in the long term - although relapses can occur again even after years of abstinence," explains Prof. Dieter Köhler, President of the German Society for Pneumology ( DGP). With the program "Structured smoking advice and tobacco cessation", pulmonologists offer intensive medical advice and support in over 100 practices and around 30 clinics throughout Germany. Here, the prospective non-smoker is not left alone, especially in the critical early stages, and receives professional support You can find a doctor's practice or clinic near you that specializes in smoking cessation on the BdP website.

On the website of www.lungenaerzte-im-netz.de you will find more detailed information about nicotine addiction, the harmful effects of smoking, the individual methods of cessation therapy and other tips.