How to Quit Smoking?


What’s in a Cigarette? Stub Your Habit

I’d do anything to have a cigarette

Those putrid things are hard to forget

I am craving for them day and night

The addiction is so hard to fight

This is a comprehensive narration of dynamic Mr X:

“I grew up in a family of smokers but had no desire to smoke when I was young. I did not succumb to peer pressure in school or college. In my early twenties as an energetic software professional, I hung out with ambitious engineers on their “smoke break” and gradually started experimenting. I did not enjoy initially but over the next few months I began to crave and loved smoking. It started after every meal and then felt the urge to smoke while at work and soon realized I was a chain smoker. I lost my sense of well-being and for the past few months I was coughing and also had pain in my chest when breathing. The thought of stopping smoking made me profoundly sad. I was in a muddle. I loved smoking but I knew it was killing me. I then decided today might be the best day to start seriously thinking about quitting.”

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness and death and impoverishment. It contains a highly addictive psychoactive ingredient, Nicotine. There are approximately 600 ingredients in a cigarette which create more than 7000 chemicals when burned.

Nicotine makes it difficult to give up due to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, frustration, decreased concentration, appetite and weight changes and headache. How bad your symptoms are depends on how long you smoked and the number of cigarettes per day.

So are you ready to quit?

Quitting smoking is a journey from making a quit plan to avoiding a relapse which is definitely possible. Remember smoking is like cutting onions…. It affects you and the people beside you.

1. First set a quit plan and date (target stop date within the next month) and begging to reduce the use.

2. Identify the times and situations you are most likely to smoke and plan what you will do instead of smoking and adopt new habits.*

3. Change your lifestyle.

4. Set short term quitting goals and reward yourself when you meet them.

5. Seek help and encouragement from family and friends and coworkers and tell them your plan.

If the above plan becomes difficult due to craving or there have been unsuccessful attempts to quit, medication is prescribed for few months as part of abstinent contingent treatment.

Keep in touch with your clinician to review your progress and relapse triggers.

Give your lungs oxygen and take life to the next level and be all that you can be.

Just do it. You are on your road to recovery.


Article by Dr. Sujatha Velmurugan
Consultant Psychiatrist
Kauvery Hospital