Smoking cessation is a journey away from tobacco addiction, marking a commitment to improved health and wellbeing. Tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is a leading cause of preventable diseases, from cardiovascular problems to various cancers and respiratory disorders. The cessation process involves not only overcoming the physiological addiction to nicotine but also addressing the intricate psychological and behavioural patterns associated with smoking. Successful cessation goes beyond enhancing physical health; it catalyses positive shifts in mental and emotional states, fostering a renewed sense of vitality and quality of life.
The therapeutic process includes monitoring progress, celebrating successes, addressing setbacks without judgment, and delving into underlying psychological issues contributing to smoking habits. The ultimate aim is to empower individuals, not just in overcoming the physical addiction, but in cultivating lasting resilience, mental wellbeing, and a smoke-free, healthier life.
Because nicotine reduces anxiety and smoking is often used to alleviate it (which it only does in the shorter-term), some people will experience elevated anxiety levels when they quit.
This entails an intense desire for nicotine because of the level of tolerance the body develops for nicotine. Cravings may continue even after the body is no longer addicted.
Nicotine withdrawal can cause feelings of sadness or low mood because the brain and body have become dependent on nicotine. As they become deprived of the drug, dopamine (the hormone associated with reward) depletes as well.
Quitting smoking can lead to difficulties with focusing and cognitive tasks. This is because as with any drug, changes in the brain occur with regular doses. Initially nicotine helps concentration but when it’s withdrawn, concentration declines.
Some people report weight gain due to an increased appetite. This is because hunger levels and metabolism become impacted by the absence of the drug.
Because regular nicotine can offer relaxation and mood regulation (at least while smoking), when smoking ceases in the longer term, there is more chance of increased irritability and mood swings.
Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns can occur as your body gets used to the absence of the drug because of fluctuations in the neurotransmitters (brain chemical messengers) that nicotine stimulates.
Nicotine Dependency: The highly addictive nature of nicotine in tobacco products can develop into a dependency.
Social Influence: Peer pressure and social habits and groups can influence the development of a smoking addiction.
Genetic Predisposition: There may be genetic factors that influence susceptibility to addiction in some people.
Environmental Triggers: For some individuals, smoking can be a response to specific situations or emotions.
Motivational Interviewing: We may use motivational interviewing to enhance an individual’s motivation and commitment to quitting smoking.
Addressing Underlying Issues: Together we will explore and address underlying psychological issues contributing to smoking, such as stress or mental health concerns.
Goal Setting: We will also ensure we set realistic and achievable goals for smoking cessation.
Identifying Triggers: This will be a part of the work. It help identify and address specific triggers that prompt the urge to smoke.
Coping Strategies: We will also develop coping strategies to navigate challenges.
Lifestyle Modification: We help individuals in adopting a healthier lifestyle, including regular exercise, social support, and improved nutrition.
Monitoring Progress: We will regularly monitor progress, celebrate successes, and address setbacks without judgment.
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): We offer CBT for addiction. This helps to identify and change negative and unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours associated with smoking.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): We may suggest and incorporate NRT as a part of your treatment plan, using methods like patches or gum to gradually reduce nicotine dependence.
Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: We also offer mindfulness and relaxation techniques to manage stress, a common trigger for smoking.
Relapse Prevention: We will develop a comprehensive relapse prevention plan to anticipate and manage potential setbacks.
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