Tobacco cessation is a huge industry in America, with many programs, books, seminars, and contraptions designed to help people stop using nicotine for good. But how many smokers have quit how many times? According to one source, the average smoker quits 9 to 11 times before they quit completely. There are many ways to quit, and maybe you have tried several already. From what I can tell, gum, lozenges and patches only go so far until you want the real thing again, but for others it has been successful.
Lucky for a quitting smoker, various resources make it possible to quit for a low cost, or even for free. While the patch and gum cost less than cigarettes, why not get them for free or find another way to stop? And instead of providing your body more nicotine, why not eliminate it altogether? While weaning off is one method, completely eliminating nicotine is equally safe and effective. With either one, self control is key.
If you need help finding reasons to quit, consider health insurance coverage. Even after the health reform law goes through, tobacco use will be one of the only reasons a premium can be rated up for an individual. The Affordable Care Act does not make care affordable for smokers. Currently, using tobacco can increase your premiums by about 20 percent, depending on the area, applicant, and carrier. Aetna does not increase rates in Florida for smoking, but every other insurer does and they are required by law to, so they eventually will. Therefore, if you want to stay healthy and be able to afford medical coverage, quitting is a very good way to start.
Free Ways to Quit Smoking
While it may sound difficult, if you stay positive, find other thoughts to fill your mind, and stay busy, you can just quit altogether without buying someone’s product to help you. Yes, you might miss it like an old friend, but if you do your best to stay busy, rest up, and treat your body well, you will be fine. Don’t stigmatize cigarettes either, because they are everywhere. If you can decide you don’t want them anymore instead, you will be much better off. If you need help, remind yourself of the many reasons not to smoke. Exercising is a great way to get your mind off of what you are not doing, and set your mind onto what you can do.
Every state has a Quitline, the 800 number that allows you to dial up for free support and products to help you quit. Some states even have internet helpers to provide motivation and assistance for those attempting to stop smoking. Both telephone and internet services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in multiple languages. They also offer programs for employers to help their workers quit. Between free lozenges, patches, and gum and free coaching, Quitlines are a good resource, and in most every state the number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).
Be An Experiment
Scientists are always studying the effects of smoking, either to provide current data or to gather new research. Because the only ethical way to study people quitting smoking is to find ones who already do and have the desire to stop, researchers are sometimes looking for smokers who want to quit. Another benefit of this method is getting paid for participation. For instance, the University of Michigan is currently looking for hopeful quitters for a study that will provide free nicotine patches and phone support as well as a potential sum of $40 per person. Especially if you live near a medical school, you may be able to find some studies to be a part of.
If you prefer to keep your motivation to quit on your phone or tablet, download an app – many of which are free – to help you monitor your progress. Both Android and iOS have similar apps available to help you stay focused, positive, and strong when you’re going without a smoke. A few FREE apps of note include:
- Quitter: for iOS
- SmokeBreak: for iOS
- Get Rich or Die Smoking: for Android
- Quit It Lite: for iOS
- Quit Smoking: for Android
- Quit Smoking: Cessation Nation: for Android
Look Into the Future
An image search is a repulsive yet somewhat enjoyable way to give yourself a preview on how your lungs, teeth, throat, and other body parts will be affected by smoking in the long-term. Pair that with a fear of high medical bills and not being able to complete your life goals, and you may start to feel better about your new smoke-free lifestyle. While there’s a lot of government-funded propaganda to sift through, some of it is real.