Dr Soumiya Mudgal, Consultant Psychiatry, Max hospital, Gurugram gives these tips to quit smoking without much medicinal help, for people willing and motivated to quit.
**Before starting the process it is important to acknowledge the 'triggers' which are usually: watching someone else smoke, working under pressure, feeling sad or bored, to relax or to concentrate, having an alcoholic drink, morning toilet habit, or driving vehicle.
**It is important to identify personal triggers and practice these '4As'.
**Avoid people and places where the urge to smoke is high. Alter take a walk instead of smoke breaks, alternate route to work or educational institute. Alternatives use chewing gum, cloves, mouth fresheners, and sips of water. Activities exercise or develop hobbies to distract from the urge to smoke.
**Slips might happen but should not get discouraged and try to get back to quitting strategies as soon as possible.
**Withdrawal symptoms are other things which need to be taken care of: difficulty in concentration, insomnia, mood symptoms like low mood, irritability, tiredness, anger, restlessness and frustration. Others can increase appetite and weight gain. Remember, most of these symptoms are short lasting to a maximum of one or two weeks.
**Opt for lifestyle modification techniques like relaxation exercises. Meditation can help with problems of concentration, irritability and address sleep issues. Brisk walks,and exercising helps with weight issues.
**Calling a friend, spending time with family or going out during low mood, are great emotional boosters.
**When choosing to quit, you can go for the Fading Nicotine technique, where a 'quit date' is chosen and then one eventually cuts down the number of cigarettes is cut down gradually till total abstinence is achieved.
Or, you can turn Cold Turkey and stop all of a sudden on the 'quit date'.
If a person has trouble in quitting by tapering because of severe withdrawal symptoms or multiple failed personal attempts in those cases medical help with psychiatrists and de-addiction specialists can be sought. Various nicotine replacement options are available like gums, sprays, patches and other medication which can help a person quit tobacco. Needless to say, it is crucial to stay motivated and committed to the idea of better health.
( With inputs from IANS )