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Quit Smoking Cold Turkey: Can it Really be Done?

Jun 30, 2008
The familiar term "cold turkey," as we know, refers to the act of abruptly quitting some type of activity, most often smoking, and while some swear by this method, others are not so sure it would work for them. So, how does one go about quitting smoking cold turkey, and how is it possible to deal with the inevitable side effects from nicotine withdrawal?

Here are the answers to those and other questions about this timeless and "simple" method of quitting smoking and ending a losing battle to nicotine addiction:

Where to Start

If you're like most smokers, you have absolutely no idea where to start when to comes to trying to actually quit cold turkey, and hopefully, for the very last time. While it might sound like a cliché, quitting smoking with this method really does take one day at a time to get through it successfully. Each and every day you don't smoke is a triumph and should be viewed as such. With this mindset, it's far easier to face the rest of your life as a non-smoker if you simply look at it as handling each day as it comes rather than worrying about the future, which none of us have control over anyway.

How to Continue

While quitting smoking shouldn't involve completely changing who you are or altering the things you like to do, if it helps to stay away from smokers during this critical phase of kicking the habit for good, then by all means, steer clear of those places you know people will be smoking until you're better able to handle your cravings. One rather helpful thing is that the less you smoke and the longer you don't smoke, the worse it's going to smell, and before long, you'll be wondering how in the world you ever actually inhaled that stuff directly into your own precious lungs.

Another simple method that many using the cold turkey find helpful is the "five minute rule." While battling cravings and trying your best to not smoke, keep your eye on the clock and simply wait for five minutes for the craving to pass. Read, jog around the room, chew gum, eat a piece of fruit, call a friend, watch a funny television show, paint your fingernails, knit a scarf, just do something to keep your hands busy while glancing at the clock for those five, intense minutes of cravings.

Studies have repeatedly shown that although nicotine withdrawal may seem like it lasts for hours, five minutes is really all the longer it is, and if you can take those five minute increments and keep yourself occupied until it passes, you'll find yourself one step closer to becoming smoke-free.

Becoming Smoke-Free

Finally becoming smoke-free, or an ex or non-smoker, or however you want to label it as, is such a monumental achievement coupled with so many health benefits that you should take great pride in being able to break away from such a strong addiction. There is a reason that quitting smoking has been likened to quitting the drug heroin, as the withdrawal symptoms, although different, are still similar in their intensity.

Being able to breathe, smell, and taste foods better, not to mention decreasing the risk of suffering from a painful disease, are all more than well worth living through the intense, but temporary cravings while finally quitting smoking cold turkey.
About the Author
For more information on stop smoking programs, harmful smoking effects, thebenefits of quitting smoking and other quit smoking related topics visit YourStopSmokingGuide.com
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