Practicing self-care is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Our article on the importance of self-care notes how it can improve your physical health, enhance your productivity, and allow you to achieve fulfillment. As a result, you’ll be more capable of maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.
However, you may not be able to reap these benefits if you practice this one harmful habit: smoking. Cigarette use weakens your immune system and vital organs, making you more susceptible to acquiring chronic conditions like heart and lung disease. This is why a post on living a smoke-free life shares that many smokers have kicked the habit to improve their health with more than three out of five adults who have ever smoked quitting.
All this makes smoking cessation a good form of self-care—so if you currently smoke or vape and want to improve your health and well-being, this is a great first step to take. However, doing so can still be a challenging process. Fortunately, you can consider using smoking alternatives to assist you. If you don’t know what options you can get, here’s a list that may help:
Nicotine patches stick to the skin, where nicotine is absorbed. One study published in the Textbook of Family Medicine reveals that using them for 4-8 weeks can result in quit rates of up to 70% compared to a placebo that only showed a 40% quit rate. This can be attributed to the fact that nicotine patches deliver a consistent dose of nicotine throughout the day, helping you manage your smoking cravings over a 16- to 24-hour period. Habitrol’s nicotine patches exemplify this, as they use a time-release feature to release nicotine regularly over long periods. They also come in 7, 14, or 21mg options to match your usual cigarette consumption. That makes them a convenient way to stave off daily cravings, even when you’re busy with other responsibilities, so you’re less likely to neglect self-care in the form of smoking cessation.
Nicotine pouches are tucked between the lip and gum for a nicotine release. They’re available in numerous flavors—from common ones like mint to more niche ones like cheese—which can be especially appealing for vape users who prefer using various flavors of vaping liquid. Generally, though, brands cater to smokers by producing flavors they feel are popular. Take coffee—a beverage 62% of Americans drink daily. This page displays a handful of coffee nicotine pouches, ranging from those from On! that taste similar to barista-made coffee to options from ZYN that boast bold and rich flavors with hints of mocha. These pouches are ideal for smokers who drink coffee often, as they pair perfectly with the beverage. If you’re used to smoking and drinking coffee simultaneously, you can use them to practice self-care in your daily habits by eliminating mental associations between the two that encourage your dependence on cigarette use.
These lozenges contain nicotine released in your mouth as it slowly melts. Around 20-25% of smokers who have used nicotine lozenges report abstinence 6-months after their quit date, showing the effectiveness of this smoking alternative. Since nicotine lozenges melt in your mouth, they’re convenient to use anywhere you feel like smoking, such as at social events or when taking calls. These are also easy to acquire: a webpage on Drugs.com describes how nicotine lozenges—including those from LUCY—are available over-the-counter at most drugstores. From there, you can use them for up to 12 weeks and gradually reduce your dose in the process. Thanks to their accessibility, you can start quitting smoking and kickstart your self-care journey anytime you want.
Unlike ordinary gum, nicotine gum is bitten slowly before being “parked” inside the mouth and moved around occasionally. Doing so better facilitates nicotine release. Nicotine gum is often made in mint variants, similar to regular chewing gum. Rogue has several options, including wintergreen, menthol, and peppermint. Mint-flavored nicotine gum can intrigue smokers who prefer menthol cigarettes, which this study reveals is over 43.4% of adult smokers. Since it can give a similar cooling feeling, you may be more inclined to switch to mint nicotine gum from menthol cigarettes. You can also use this with other quit-smoking aids, like nicotine patches or medications, helping increase your success rate. Once you have your cravings under control, it’ll be easy to use nicotine gum to gradually lower your nicotine consumption, as these come in doses of 2 and 4 mg. Using this, you improve your self-care efforts and quit smoking for good.
Using smoking alternatives can increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking. In doing so, you’ll have better chances of finally getting rid of the habit and taking better care of yourself.