Nicotine addiction is the most common form of substance addiction in the US, affecting as many as 70.9 million Americans according to the Department of Health and Human Services. A recent survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 68.8 percent of current smokers want to quit, demonstrating the monumental difficulty of the task. Many people have not found success with mainstream methods such as nicotine gum or patches, and are looking for alternative options to help them quit. Here are four examples of alternative methods that you may want to consider.
The most likely place for you to have seen herbal cigarettes is in TV shows and movies where non-smoking actors needed to smoke for their role. Herbal cigarettes are also known as tobacco-free cigarettes, as they contain no tobacco or addiction-forming nicotine. Instead, they have blends of herbs such as corn silk, mint, cinnamon, lemongrass, and more to provide flavor.
Unlike many other smoking substitutes that contain decreased amount of nicotine, herbal cigarettes may have limited use for helping people with strong addictions to stop smoking. For some people, however, partaking in the habit of lighting up a herbal cigarette can help you get through the symptoms of withdrawal that you will experience when quitting nicotine cold-turkey.
One of the most difficult aspects of quitting smoking is the large amount of endorphins that are released when you smoke a cigarette. Endorphins are the hormones that are secreted by the brain that regulate happiness, block pain, and reduce stress. Finding an alternative source of the endorphin rush that you experience while smoking and using it as a substitute can be an effective method for breaking your addiction.
The brain’s endorphin reaction is the reason that acupuncture therapy can be effective as a stop smoking aid if used long-term. Acupuncture specialists are trained to target nerve clusters that cause endorphin releases in the brain. Over time, the endorphin release that you get from acupuncture therapy can begin to suppress your body’s craving for nicotine.
Electronic cigarettes are one of the newest types of alternative smoking available on the market. E-cigs from places like Vapoligy consist of a battery-powered vaporizer that produces mist from liquid refills that come in many flavors. The liquid that you smoke through an e-cig consists of water, propylene glycol, flavoring, and sometimes nicotine.
The complete health effects of e-cig vapor is still being studied, but overall they appear to be less dangerous than regular cigarettes. Many of the harmful chemicals that are present in normal cigarette smoke are not found in e-cig vapor, but like any product with nicotine they can be addictive. Starting off with reduced nicotine e-cigarettes and gradually moving to non-nicotine solutions can help you to break your smoking habit altogether.
Rather than gradually weaning you off of nicotine or relying on endorphin release to kill your cravings, hypnotherapy helps you stop smoking with subconscious suggestion. Because of the severity of the withdrawal symptoms you experience while trying to quit, it is almost impossible to rely on willpower alone.
Hypnotherapy effectively augments your willpower by helping you to just put the cigarette down when you feel the need to smoke. There are several different techniques that a hypnotherapist may use to make quitting easier. While direct suggestion is always an option, diversion can sometimes be more effective. Hypnotherapy will help you quit by convincing you to engage in another activity instead of smoking when you are struggling with withdrawal.
Different methods for quitting smoking will be more effective for different people, but you should never discount a method just because it is not the traditional route. If you are truly dedicated to quitting, you should see it as a process and understand that you will likely need to use several methods in combination to be successful.