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Tips to Kick the Smoking Habit

Smoking is dangerous to your health.” This slogan has been on cigarette packs for years and yet, people who smoke do not seem to realize the slogan has much truth in it. Cigarettes contain nicotine, the addictive substance which makes people want to smoke. Apart from it, cigarettes also contain thousands of chemicals that are harmful to the body.

While smoking is harmful to people in general, it poses more health hazards to people with diabetes. Smoking increases their risk of complications brought about by diabetes such as heart attack and stroke. Here are some tips to help people with diabetes break the smoking habit.

DOs:
Get ready. Many people try to quit smoking but easily relapse. No medication or therapy will be good enough if you aren’t ready to completely kick the habit. Set a quit date and tell the people around you. Getting motivation and support from your loved ones would be very helpful.

Stay away from temptation. Throw away your cigarettes and ashtrays. Instead of your usual yosi or cigarette break, try to eat a healthy snack, chew gum or drink tea. Enjoy the company of your non-smoking friends and stay in smoke-free areas. It restricts you from thinking about smoking and also protects you from dangers of second-hand smoke.

Make yourself busy. Keeping your hands preoccupied (holding a pen, writing, needlework or solving crossword puzzles) can help you overcome the urge to light a cigarette. Recreational activities like going to the mall, engaging in sports or watching movies can also help you feel good even without smoking.

Eat healthy. Smoking or not, you should maintain a well-balanced diet. Eat foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories to reduce weight gain. Fresh fruits in moderation and crisp, crunchy vegetables are highly recommended. You may ask your dietician for a meal plan that will suit your quitting process.

Seek professional advice. Though you can quit smoking on your own, your body may be too addicted to nicotine and quitting may cause complications when not properly done. To make sure that you are doing it right, ask your physician for advice and a prescription to help your body cope with the withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping nicotine use.

DON’Ts:
Be in a bad mood. Stress and depression can push you to smoke again. Learn to relax by taking slow deep breaths, visualizing pleasant scenes and meditating. You can also try stretching your muscles or singing each time you feel the craving to smoke. Find a new enjoyable thing to do especially one that means a lot to you such as charity work, painting or gardening.

Give in. Stay positive and never lose the will to quit smoking. Fighting off temptation may be very difficult but if you really want to quit, you CAN do it. Never think, “Just one cigarette won’t hurt” because it will. Cravings usually last a short time, so just wait them out. Don’t go with your friends who smoke nor frequent smoking places such as bars and casinos. To reduce the urge to puff, don’t carry matches or lighters either.

Use medications without physician consent. Nicotine replacement therapies or NRTs are substitute sources of nicotine without the other dangers of smoking. NRTs and prescription medication can help the body cope with nicotine withdrawal and improve chances of quitting. Although NRTs — like nicotine patches, inhalers, nasal sprays, lozenges, gums — and oral medications are generally safe, the body may have different reactions to them, so consult your physician before you take these.

Drink alcohol. Alcohol may lower your chances of quitting, so avoid it. Take water or other sugar-free drinks instead.

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