It's not easy to quit smoking. Your body begins to crave nicotine within minutes of your last cigarette, and withdrawal symptoms can last for days or even weeks. But if you're ready to quit, there are a variety of treatment options to help you find success.

Pick a date to quit

Set yourself up for success by choosing a day about two weeks ahead of time. This gives you time to prepare without making you wait too long. The day you choose should be different from your usual routine as much as possible, like a holiday or vacation. Make sure your plans don’t include any activities that involve smoking or being around smokers.
Preparing in advance can make quitting easier, so start planning now. Get rid of all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters at home, work, and in your car. Then let friends and family know how they can support you in the days ahead.
Wash all of your clothing that smells like smoke and clean your house thoroughly. The less temptation you have around you the easier it will be to resist the urge to smoke.

Change your routine

When you get stressed, do you light up a cigarette? Do you always smoke after meals or while driving? Find out what triggers you to smoke and try to eliminate that trigger or change your response to it.
On the day before you quit smoking, try to avoid situations where you usually smoke — such as after meals or while driving — and change other habits associated with smoking. For example, if you always have an after-dinner cigarette in front of the TV, switch to a different seat so you don't associate that spot with smoking.
Many smokers are concerned about gaining weight when they quit smoking. To avoid weight gain, eat healthy snacks such as raw vegetables, whole-grain crackers, and low-fat yogurt when cravings strike. Staying active is also important. Try to exercise, swim, run or walk for at least 30 minutes a day. Don't skip meals — eating three meals a day can help control hunger and cravings. If a craving lasts longer than five minutes, try a distraction, such as calling a friend or going for a walk.

Consider non-nicotine medications

To ease symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, you can try over-the-counter products that don't contain nicotine. They include:
- Nicotine gum. This is available without a prescription in 2 and 4 milligrams (mg) strengths. For the first 6 weeks of treatment, you use one piece every 1 to 2 hours. After 6 weeks, you can gradually reduce the number you use each day.
- Nicotine lozenge or tablet. These are available in 2 and 4 mg doses without a prescription. The 2 mg doses are suitable for light smokers, while heavier smokers should start with 4 mg doses. For the first 6 weeks of treatment, use one every 1 to 2 hours. After 6 weeks, gradually reduce how many you use each day until you stop completely.
- Nicotine nasal spray and inhaler. These are available only with a prescription from your doctor or dentist, usually for heavy smokers who have difficulty quitting using other methods.


If you want to give up classic cigarettes, but you are still not quite ready, electronic cigarettes can be an alternative. They will help you forget about unpleasant smoke forever, especially if you use nicotine vape juice with your favorite taste. E-cigarettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and we’re sure you’ll find the best model for yourself.

Try alternative therapies

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches you how to recognize and change negative thoughts and behaviors. This type of therapy is often used to treat mental health disorders.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction may help you learn how to focus on the present moment without making judgments or trying to change anything. This could reduce the urge to smoke.
Acupuncture can help relieve withdrawal symptoms and increase your chances of quitting smoking successfully.
Hypnosis is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis may be used as part of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for smoking cessation, but there's insufficient evidence that it helps people quit smoking in the long term.

To really quit smoking once and for all, you need to have strong willpower. Happiness or desire is not enough, a plan is needed. You can try different types of therapies because this is a real addiction and that's how you should behave.
When you give up cigarettes, you should work to avoid the temptation to light a cigarette again. For that, you need motivation and a decision that you will never go back to your old habits. As hard as it may be at first, know that quitting smoking is the best decision for your health.

Author's Bio: 

Neil White is a lifestyle journalist from Sydney, Australia.
Huge soccer fan!