There’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to quitting smoking. We are all different and just because a particular method worked for one smoker, does not guarantee that it will work for another.
If you choose to quit smoking using natural methods, there are plenty of options available. To find out more, read our blog about how to stop smoking the natural way.
Acupuncture is a treatment that originates from ancient China and involves fine needles being inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic purposes. Despite being seen as a form of alternative medicine is now used in many NHS GP practices and pain clinics.
Usually an acupuncture session will involve an assessment of general health, the taking of a medical history and a physical examination.
The needles are then inserted into acupuncture points in the body and the session last between 20 and 40 minutes.
According to acupuncturists, the treatment is most effective for dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms as it aids in the process of detoxification as nicotine leaves the body and helps ease symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
There is no conclusive research to suggest that acupuncture is effective as a stop smoking aid so it not part of any NHS treatment package.
Hypnotherapy, a form of psychotherapy that influences the subconscious to bring about changes in people’s lives, is a popular choice for smokers who decide to kick the habit.
It is not available as part of any NHS treatment package as there is no conclusive research to suggest it is an effective stop smoking aid. However, hypnotherapists claim it can be a highly effective way to tackle addiction and change the way people perceive smoking.
Hypnotherapy works by putting people into an altered state of awareness which some believe makes them more relaxed and able to concentrate on the suggestions being given to them by the hypnotherapist.
You will still be aware of your surroundings during hypnosis and you cannot be made to do anything against your will. During hypnosis to give up smoking, the patient may be asked to imagine negative outcomes from smoking, so they come to associate these with the habit. The hypnotherapist may also emphasise the importance of protecting and respecting your body. They may teach the patient self-hypnosis and give them affirmations to repeat every time they feel the urge to smoke.
It is sometimes best to consult your GP before having hypnotherapy, particularly if you suffer from epilepsy, a serious illness such as cancer or other mental health conditions. It is also important to find a hypnotherapist who is trained in helping people to stop smoking.
Quitting smoking through will power alone is tough. However, making changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference. Here are some tips in simple lifestyle changes that could help to break your smoking habit:
🍽️ Diet: If you’re one of the many smokers who lights up after a meal then changing what you eat could help. A study in the US found that certain foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying.
Meanwhile others, such as cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes far less appetising. So swap your steak and chips for a veggie lasagne instead.
Drinks too can affect the taste of cigarettes. According to the same US study, fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee, makecigarettes taste good. By switching to water and juice instead, you could find yourself less likely to crave a cigarette.
🏊 Exercise: Exercise is a huge help when it comes to beating cigarette cravings. It works both as a useful distraction when you feel the need to cave in and a way to suppress cravings. According to the NHS, a review of scientific studies has shown that exercise, even a 5-minute walk, can help to cut cravings and could enable your brain to produce anti craving chemicals.
🧩 Distraction: One of the best ways to deal with withdrawal cravings is to distract yourself with other activities. Preferably something mindful that requires you to concentrate and focus on what you are doing. Puzzles, playing a computer game, knitting, gardening or cooking for instance, could stop you from thinking about your craving for a cigarette.
It may help for you to identify particular times of the day when you are likely to smoke a cigarette and prepare an activity in advance to distract yourself.