15 Natural Stop Smoking Methods

By Val Silver

When you are ready to give up smoking, the following natural stop smoking methods and tips can help you kick the habit for good. There are many ways to stop smoking and tricks for making it easier and less painful than you might think. 

Once you get past the first few days of not smoking, nicotine withdrawal is complete. What may remain challenging is the force of the smoking habit itself.  

I saw just how powerful and automatic that habit is from watching an elderly friend with Alzheimer's disease. Even though she had not smoked for months, she would  push two empty fingers up to her mouth and suck in hard as she hallucinated about having a cigarette.


15 Ways to Stop Smoking

No one says quitting is easy, but with help it can be a lot easier. Which methods work best for you is up to you. Explore the following quit smoking tips and choose one or more before taking the leap. Don't worry if one of these methods doesn't work for you. Try something else and do not give up. 

1. Focus on the health and quality of life benefits of quitting smoking.

The best first step to stop smoking is usually to educate yourself about the health risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting. Give yourself reasons to stop smoking for good. See it as a good thing, not a "should". Of all the stop smoking methods, your strong desire tops the list. Remind yourself of the benefits when you feel tempted to backslide.

Here are the benefits you have to look forward to when you become smoke free.

  • After just 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse decrease and your hands and feet warm up.
  • After 8 hours, blood levels of carbon monoxide normalize and oxygen levels rise.
  • Your risk of heart attack decreases after only one day and continues to decrease to half in the first year  until equaling  a non-smoker in 15 years.
  • After two days, your sense of smell and taste starts returning. Nerve endings adjust to the absence of nicotine.
  • Over the next few months, circulation, energy levels and exercise tolerance improve. You experience less sinus congestion, coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue. Over time, your risk of diabetes, lung disease, and other conditions decrease significantly.
  • After ten years, your lung cancer and stroke risk is the same as someone who never smoked and your risk of other smoking-related cancers decreases.
  • Other benefits include less skin wrinkling, much more disposable income, lower health care costs, better air quality, whiter teeth, and better smelling breath, clothing and environment for you and your loved ones.

2. Quitting cold turkey? Support yourself with stop smoking methods.

Some people quit cold turkey and find this best for them. However, it is generally not on of the best ways to stop smoking. Success estimates range from less than 10% up to 75%. Using other stop smoking methods that support you emotionally and physically at the same time as going cold turkey can make the transition easier and increase your chances of success significantly.

3. Reprogram your mind with hypnosis.

According to psychotherapist Randy Gilchrist, hypnosis works well as a stop smoking method because habits and addictions tend to be very psychological in nature. Hypnosis helps change and improve the way a person thinks about the problem and helps them gain greater access to tools and resources needed for change.

Hypnosis has a good success rate. Research shows that over 60% of people enjoy success within four or more sessions. Even jusone session yields a 25% success rate - on par with the following stop smoking methods: behavior modification, nicotine replacement and anti-depressants.

4. Use nicotine replacement products.

Nicotine replacement products temporarily relieve cravings. You may not see these products are ideal, but they are better than puffing on a cancer stick.

If your cravings are getting the best to you, the FDA has approved five forms of nicotine replacement products. You can chew gum, wear a patch or dissolve a lozenge in your mouth. Inhalers and nasal spray are available by prescription.

5. Use Lobelia inflata.

Lobelia taken as a tea, extract, or 'vaped' has a solid reputation as one of the best stop smoking methods. Lobelia contains lobeline, which is similar to nicotine without the addictive qualities. It tricks your nervous system and reduces the intensity and frequency of cravings.

Lobelia has the added bonus of being healing to your respiratory tract. It acts as an expectorant for the lungs and is a relaxant herb that eases tension and panic. It is also said to make tobacco taste unpleasant. 

Individuals with heart disease and pregnant women should not use lobelia as a way to stop smoking because of its similarity to nicotine. 

One way to use lobelia is to substitute it for a cigarette. Each day, smoke one less cigarette and take a dose of lobelia instead.  Follow usage recommendations as excessive use causes nausea and vomiting.

6. Manage stress.

Whether you choose to quit smoking cold turkey or take your time, practicing stress relief techniques is an important stop smoking method. Having healthy ways to relieve emotional tension and anxiety help your mind and body feel balanced, which eases cravings.

Take walks and deep breaths. Deep breaths help you relax, which ironically is one reason why those deep inhales of smoke soothe anxiety and tension. Energy flow techniques, such as ZPoint and EFT can really help neutralize stress triggers that drive cravings and the need to soothe yourself with cigarettes and other unhealthy substances.

7. Exercise to fight cravings.

According to researchers, regular strength training doubles you chances of becoming a non-smoker. Even short 10 minute periods of aerobic exercise lessen the urge to smoke. 

Moderate exercise relieves stress and helps you feel healthier and happier which can motivate you to quit and make it easier. In addition, while you are exercising and for up to 50 minutes afterwards, cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms decrease.

8. Use cigarette substitutes.

Using substitutes for cigarettes can be a helpful strategy.  Smokers sometimes switch to herbal smokes, electronic cigarettes, or roll their own additive free cigarettes. Additive-free cigarettes and herbal smokes are less addictive and health-damaging, so you may have less urge to smoke, yet you may still experience withdrawal symptoms.

Although electronic cigarettes are not marketed as a way to quit smoking and have their own health concerns, some people use them while they are trying to quit. Electronic cigarettes are available with or without nicotine cartridges. 

If you choose electronic cigarettes do your homework and find a brand with a good reputation.

Note that your dose of nicotine may be higher with these products. Don't give into the temptation of leveling up your nicotine intake.

9. If you quit slowly, change your habits gradually.

For lasting success as a nonsmoker, it is important to change your habits over time. Create no smoking zones. Leave your cigarettes at home when you go out. Discontinue your cigarette when you first get up, or right after dinner. Start with easier cuts and save the strongholds for last.

10. Avoid the temptation to smoke by association.

This stop smoking method is closely related to habits. Do you automatically smoke after dinner, with friends, with your morning coffee? At first, you may find it easier to avoid places where you enjoy smoking, or other habits linked to smoking. For example, if you have kick back in the lazy boy with a cigarette after dinner, you may want to sit on the couch for a while instead. 

Create new associations that support you being a nonsmoker. What else could you kick back on the lazy boy with after dinner? A good book? A lollipop?  A cup of mint tea? 

11. Be patient with yourself.

There is no magic pill that will make your cravings go away overnight. Even with the help of stop smoking methods, it can feel challenging. You may find yourself making excuses and rationalizations for why you have to have a cigarette or why you can't quit. Recognize this self-talk for what it is and stick with it. As you persevere, your need to rely on will power will power lessens. Continue to rely on natural ways to stop smoking, including the support of others to help you. 

12. If you relapse, start again.

Just like any habit you are trying to change, you can expect some resistance from your subconscious mind both for quitting smoking and for implementing stop smoking methods. The subconscious mind considers change and new habits threatening to your survival, even when that change is truly in your best interest. Your conscious mind knows this, but your more powerful subconscious mind prefers to stick to its programmed habits. Breaking addictions adds to this challenge. You may have to try and try again until you quit for good.

13. Adopt multiple quit smoking strategies.

When you take advantage of a several ways to quit smoking, you improve your chances of success. Each strategy adds another layer of support.  Make a plan and get the resources and support you need. Then set a date and do it. You are worth it.

14. Stay busy.

Keep your mind and your hands occupied, especially when you first quit smoking. Don't let boredom offer you a cigarette for something to do. Spend the time you usually spend smoking to enjoy a hobby or a book. Take a walk with the family or play a game. Clean your house, cook your favorite meal or go out to dinner at a smoke-free restaurant with nonsmoking friends. Go to a movie. Chew on a pen or a toothpick. Write in your journal. 

15. Learn more. 

Visit the National Cancer Institute website for a wealth of information about dealing with withdrawal symptoms and triggers and more.

With a real desire and determination, these quit smoking tips will help you become a non-smoker for good. You are worth it.

Stop Smoking Methods: 15 ways to stop smoking page updated 08/2020

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