Little is known about nicotine, besides the fact that it is addictive because of cigarette smoking. Nicotine is included among the class of psychoactive drug in cigarettes, and when ingested, gives the smoker a mild euphoric feeling. Research has also shown that nicotine can be as addictive as heroine, alcohol, cocaine, and other hard recreational drugs, and is the most common form of chemical dependence here in the US. Not all smokers know that the average cigarette contains at least 2 milligrams of nicotine that is rapidly distributed to the brain within ten seconds of inhalation. These are just some harsh information about the dangers of smoking, and this alone could make the smoker get help in quitting smoking.

Since most people who always start smoking again soon after quitting, the first few days of quitting is always crucial to one’s success in getting rid of the nicotine addiction. Due to the effects of nicotine withdrawal, and the mere fact that they are not yet used to life without cigarettes, this may be the most difficult time for all smokers. But when prepared, those who survived without smoking may pass this stage much easier.

Since the smoker’s body and mind is used to smoking, it is helpful to have a number of items to substitute a stick of cigarette. If a person feels the urge to smoke, use either toothpicks, lollipops, sunflower seeds, mints, chewing gum, carrot or celery sticks, or even coffee stirrers in order to prevent the physical cravings of wanting a cigarette stick. Usually, a smoker may associate smoking with his or her different behavior while living with their daily activities. See if cutting back, or even eliminating them completely from one’s daily routine can help in quitting smoking. Common behaviors include drinking alcohol and coffee, smoking when during work breaks or between classes, smoking during stressful situations, smoking after meals, and while driving; and smoking as the first morning ritual. By identifying these behaviors, this can be a great way to help one predict their cravings and be prepared for such.

Since quitting smoking can affect one’s body chemistry, it is important to adjust one’s diet so that one can provide nutrients that the body needs during this difficult time. Help flush out toxins from the body by drinking eight glasses of water each day. This will also keep the body hydrated and refreshed. Substitute milk, juice, or tea for coffee during breakfast, since caffeine is a powerful drug that can affect both the body’s chemistry as well as one’s mood. By eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding junk food, this could better regulate one’s sugar and salt intake that could help in quitting smoking.

Exercise can also be a good diversion from smoking, besides being great for the body and one’s general well-being. Small, short bursts of exercise can help overcome those sudden rush of cravings that come out of nowhere. By doing exercise such as jumping jacks, crunches, short jogs, push-ups, a walk around the block, and bike riding — one can gradually improve his or her health and outlook in life.

At the end of the smoke-free day, be sure to reward yourself. By having a nice meal, buying new clothes, seeing a movie or concert, or buying the latest music CD — you can replace your cravings for cigarettes with more positive and healthy rewards.

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