3 Steps to Quit Smoking for Good

e-cigaretteAre you ready to give up smoking once and for all? This habit kills millions of people every year. It’s actually the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Yet, about one in five Americans smokes cigarettes regularly, and more than 16 million suffer from smoking-related diseases. Studies have linked cigarette smoking to an increased risk of lung cancer, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, stroke, blindness, erectile dysfunction, and arthritis.

The health effects of smoking should not be overlooked. Not to mention the expenses involved. So, here are three steps to stop smoking for good:

Identify Your Triggers

Decide why you want to quit smoking in the first place. Try to determine what triggers the urge to smoke. Do you feel the need to do it when you’re alone or in social settings? Are there certain people or activities associated with smoking? Do you reach for cigarettes when you’re anxious or stressed out? The whole idea is to identify your triggers so you can avoid them in the future.

Make a Plan

The next step is to determine whether you want to go cold turkey or quit smoking gradually. Both strategies have pros and cons. About 90 percent of people give up this habit without therapy or medications. However, going cold turkey isn’t necessarily the most effective method. If you decide to quit gradually, there are plenty of NRT products to help you. These include nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, and nasal sprays.

Switch to Electronic Cigarettes

One of the best ways to quit smoking is using electronic cigarettes (check out our best e cigarette pick). These devices are cheaper and safer than traditional cigarettes, featuring a wide range of flavors like cherry, vanilla, and peach. Since they produce vapor instead of ash, smoke, and tar, you may use them in bars, clubs, and public places. E-cigarettes run on lithium batteries and come in different strengths.

In addition to these smoking cessation methods, you may try counseling, medications, self-help quitting programs, and hypnosis. Most people quit smoking by using e cigarettes or NRT products along with psychotherapy.