While it may not sound pleasant, smoking cessation by going “cold turkey” is actually the method chosen by many smokers.
If you want to stop smoking, you should at least consider how to stop smoking cold turkey, even if you ultimately choose a slightly different method, or combination of methods, to give up the habit. “Cold turkey” has a long history of how to help stop smoking, and it can be done, as thousands of ex-smokers will attest.
Things You Need to Know
It’s important to know what you’re facing when you learn how to stop smoking cold turkey. First of all, you have to understand that the chemicals in tobacco smoke, especially nicotine, produce effects on your body that your system has begun to depend on. Chills, goosebumps (one possible source of the term “cold turkey”), irritability, and anxiety are just a few of the side effects experienced by some smokers who are trying to figure out how to stop smoking cold turkey. It’s also important to note that not all smokers experience all side effects from tobacco withdrawal, and a lucky few experience none at all! But if you do start to feel badly while stopping smoking by the cold turkey method, don’t be surprised—and know that you are far from alone.
Things You Can Do to Help Yourself
Learning about how stopping smoking cold turkey can affect you can also prepare you to take some steps to help yourself. One thing that becomes important is drinking lots of water or other healthy, non-caffeinated beverages. This will help your system cleanse itself quicker. Another thing that helps many smokers is keeping their fingers and mouths busy with something besides a cigarette: hard candy, carrot or celery sticks, pens, pencils, or chewing gum. Sometimes, just the sensation of doing something with yourself besides lighting up can get you through a craving successfully. Other smokers keep a journal or diary of how they stopped smoking cold turkey. Not only does this give you the ability to look back and see how far you’ve come; it also helps you keep track of what your body and mind are doing as you purge the nicotine and its effects from your system.
Another method that worked for me is to delay and distract. When I had a craving for a cigarette, I found something else to do to distract me. Soon, the craving went away…. until next time. And it was delay and distract again.
Get Some Help
There are scores—probably thousands—of support groups, both online and available locally, for people who want to know how to stop smoking cold turkey—or any other way. Sometimes, just talking with an understanding friend or connecting with an online chat group can get you through a tough spot and make the next one a little easier.