Abstinence from smoking or tobacco abuse is not easy since those who try to quit it completely can only control themselves for a short time. However, it is possible to quit smoking with the help of therapeutic intervention. Smokers often suffer from chronic stress, anxiety, complicated relationships and other distressing events. Excessive smoking puts the person at risk of mouth and lung cancer and/or respiratory diseases. Smokers with emotional or psychological health issues report high smoking rates. A study showed that 43 percent of smokers suffer from mental health issues. Since nicotine has a calming effect, people turn to it repeatedly to experience and reinforce the calming sensation.
The relaxing effects of smoking are short-lived. In fact, smoking can aggravate anxiety, stress and depression. The psychological health benefits of smoking are merely superficial. Research shows that smoking could be a contributing factor to relationship trouble, ill health and chronic stress. Smokers may refrain from quitting considering the overwhelming urge to smoke and misery from not smoking, not realizing that the implications are far worse.
Nevertheless, the challenge to quit smoking lasts a short time, instead of having to deal with a lifetime of internal and external complications. A study showed that participants who gave up smoking reported better psychological wellbeing after six months. Therefore, abstinence from smoking can potentially work as an antidepressant, drastically enhancing happiness, wellbeing and quality of life. Former smokers have reported enhanced positivity, life satisfaction and decreased anxiety after giving up the addiction.
Smokers usually succumb to the addiction to gain approval, to escape, and feel normal. There are several factors that influence the success of giving up smoking. The counsellor should assist by developing a plan of action to quit smoking. This could include specifying a date to quit smoking and keeping track of it. Smoking could be replaced with a more productive and/or healthy habit, such as mindfulness practices or drinking fresh juice. The sweet content in juices can help ease the cravings. The person should be made to avoid environments that trigger smoking. They could make flash cards of environmental cues that induce them to smoke, refer to them and avoid going near them.
The person should be motivated to stay busy with more productive habits and occupations for a better lifestyle and life satisfaction. They could draft all the consequences of smoking that have affected them and others. Family support plays a crucial role when the person is trying to quit. A person cannot quit on willpower alone. The person should not be demotivated either. Quitting smoking is hard and people who try to quit are usually unsuccessful because they get cravings or that cravings last for a lifetime and could make him miserable. Family members should be able to stop the smoker by perhaps cutting the pocket money that goes into cigarettes, removing ashtrays and not talking about smoking. The smoker should be reminded consistently about the health implications. They should be made to realize that a few days of abstinence and the resulting misery are worth more than a lifetime of sickness and complications.