How I Broke My Nicotine Addiction
Friday, December 26 2014 Kira Lesley
New Year's is almost upon us. That means it's resolution time. This January 1st will mark four years since I've smoked a cigarette or consumed any other form of nicotine. Here's how I broke my nicotine addiction.
Nicotine Addiction and Recovery
I started smoking when I quit drinking. I used it as a distraction and a social event. Smoking outside of meetings is very popular, as is taking smoke breaks at treatment centers. I started smoking because I was depressed, bored, and surrounded by smokers. I kept smoking because nicotine is highly addictive. In addition, nicotine stimulates pleasure centers in the brain. Smoking never gave me an overwhelming euphoria, but it did give me a nice little buzz at a time when I was despondent.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy Can Help Break Smoking Habits
For several months, I used nicotine lozenges and cut down my cigarette smoking to one a day. You must be careful when using nicotine replacement therapy that you don't end up taking in even more nicotine. Follow the product's instructions closely, or follow a doctor prescribed plan. Even though I was still taking in nicotine, using the lozenges helped me break the habits of smoking -- going outside on work breaks, having a cigarette after meal, smoking with coffee, etc. But eventually I realized I wanted to be free of nicotine altogether.
On New Year's Day of 2011, I realized I had a jump start on my mission to quit cigarettes and break my nicotine addiction altogether. I had stayed out late the night before, woken up late, and had not consumed nicotine in 16 hours. I seized this opportunity as a jumping off point for giving up all nicotine. It was very important to me to keep track of a health benefits of quitting smoking timeline. In addition, every time I wanted to have a cigarette I "played the tape through" in my head. I knew a cigarette would only leave me feeling defeated and not grant the relief I sought. Have you quit before? What worked? What didn't?