Overcoming the Challenge: Essential Steps to Quit Smoking Successfully

By January 31, 2024 Advisor, Blog, Consumer, News
A pile of crushed cigarettes

Quitting smoking is undoubtedly a daunting task, laden with obstacles and setbacks. However, it is also one of the most rewarding and life-enhancing decisions you can make.

It is a challenging journey where you’ll likely face numerous hurdles, including both physical addiction and mental dependencies. Despite these obstacles, your decision to quit smoking is a transformative step that can help you make significant improvements in your health and well-being. This isn’t just about overcoming a harmful habit; it’s a profound commitment to your personal growth and longevity. The rewards can be significant, with common outcomes including enhanced physical health, improved mental clarity, and a renewed sense of empowerment. While the process may be arduous, it is a deeply rewarding voyage towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Make a Plan

Successfully quitting smoking can be aided by carefully crafting a plan. It can be helpful to start with selecting a specific quit date. This date should be strategically chosen to be close enough to keep your motivation high yet far enough to allow ample time for preparation. Once you’ve marked this date on your calendar, it’s crucial to commit to it fully. Another key decision in your plan involves the method of quitting. You’ll need to decide whether to quit abruptly, often referred to as ‘cold turkey,’ or to gradually reduce your smoking. This choice may depend on what suits you best; some people achieve better results by stopping all at once, while others find it easier to taper off gradually. Equally important is the elimination of all smoking-related items from your environment. Removing cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, and other related items from your home, car, and workplace can be essential. This step can help reduce temptations and reinforce your commitment to quitting.

Seek Support

Letting your family and close friends know about your decision to quit smoking can be a key step in your journey. The support, understanding, and encouragement from those closest to you can serve as a significant source of motivation and strength. It’s beneficial to ask them to play an active role in your quitting process by holding you accountable, helping to distract you when cravings strike, and being there to listen when you need to share your experiences or challenges. In addition to relying on your personal network, consider seeking professional help from a counsellor or therapist, particularly one who specializes in smoking cessation. These professionals can provide you with tailored advice, effective coping strategies, and support tailored to your specific needs. Engaging in behavioural therapy can be especially beneficial, as it helps you uncover the underlying reasons behind your smoking habit and develop practical strategies to combat it. This dual approach of leaning on both personal and professional support systems can greatly enhance your chances of successfully quitting smoking, providing you with a comprehensive network of support and resources.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and Medications

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is an often-prescribed medical regime to assist in quitting smoking. It involves the administration of a controlled dose of nicotine without the harmful chemicals found in tobacco. This approach aims to reduce your nicotine dependence gradually. There are several forms of NRT available, such as nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays, catering to different preferences and needs. There are also specific medications designed to help you quit smoking. They work by reducing cravings and alleviating withdrawal symptoms, making the process more manageable. They function by either blocking the effects of nicotine on the brain, thereby reducing the pleasure associated with smoking, or by targeting the neurological pathways that contribute to nicotine addiction. Always consult with a doctor before starting any medical treatment.

Coping Strategies

Successfully quitting smoking often involves more than just stopping the habit physically; it may require a holistic approach that addresses the psychological and emotional challenges involved. The key to this process is identifying specific triggers that spark your urge to smoke. These triggers could range from stress, habitual associations like having coffee, or social events where smoking is prevalent. Recognizing these triggers allows you to plan ahead and strategize ways to navigate these situations without resorting to smoking. Developing healthier responses to these triggers is crucial. For instance, when a craving strikes, it can be beneficial to distract yourself with an activity that engages your mind and keeps your hands busy. This could include a variety of actions, such as immersing yourself in a book, calling a friend for support, solving a puzzle, or delving into a hobby. These activities not only divert your attention away from the craving but also help in building new, positive habits to replace the old smoking-related ones.

Dealing with Relapses

A series of ups and downs often characterize the journey to quit smoking, and it’s not uncommon to experience a relapse or a return to smoking at some point. Understand that a relapse doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Rather, it’s a temporary setback in a much larger and ongoing process of quitting. A single slip-up doesn’t negate all the hard work and progress you’ve made. Instead of viewing a relapse as a defeat, it’s more productive to see it as an opportunity for learning and growth. Be compassionate with yourself and acknowledge the substantial effort and determination it takes to quit smoking. Use this moment to reinforce your commitment to quitting. Reflect on the initial motivations that spurred your decision to quit, whether they were health-related, family-oriented, or driven by personal goals. Use these reasons as a beacon to reorient yourself on your journey. Setting a new quit date as soon as possible can be a constructive step forward, allowing you to restart your quit plan with renewed focus and understanding. Each attempt at quitting can brings with it valuable insights, and can strengthen your resolve, gradually leading you towards a smoke-free life.

Quitting smoking not only benefits your health but can also usually positively impacts your life insurance. Smokers have a higher chance of developing serious health issues like heart disease and lung cancer, which makes them riskier for insurers. When you quit smoking, your health risks drop, translating into more affordable insurance premiums. CPP understands the difficulty of this transition period and offers life insurance products to smokers on their way to a healthier lifestyle. Our Life Insurance for Smokers program rewards smokers for quitting with lower premiums.

Canada Protection Plan also offers No Medical1 & Simplified Issue Life Insurance Plans with coverage of up to $750,000, catering to individuals regardless of their health status. This means that even if you have health concerns, you can still obtain substantial coverage, ensuring financial security and peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Contact our team of experts to guide you through the different insurance options available.

Canada Protection Plan is one of Canada’s leading providers of No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Our mission is to provide reliable protection and compassionate service from coast to coast with easy-to-purchase life insurance, critical illness insurance and related products. Our expanding product choices will help you get the coverage and peace of mind you need for a better financial future. Canada Protection Plan products are available through over 25,000 independent insurance advisors across Canada.

422839 CAN (01/24)

  • 1 Insurability depends on answers to medical and other application questions and underwriting searches and review.
To learn more about Canada Protection Plan and our line of comprehensive No Medical and Simplified Issue life insurance solutions, call Broker Services at 1-877-796-9090 and we will be happy to assist you or put you in contact with Sales support in your region.

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