Smoking Rates Have Dropped But Still Remains a Health Issue: Here’s How to Make Quitting Easier

smoking cessation

Over the decades, much work has been done to reduce the impact of smoking on individual and public health. Higher taxes, increased awareness, and more comprehensive smoke-free policies have helped bring global smoking rates much lower than in previous years. However, smoking remains a health issue around the world despite strides in tobacco control.

The stressful events that occurred in recent years impacted quit attempts and even pushed people to take up the habit. This study found that serious smoking cessation activity among US adults decreased for the first time since 2011, dropping from 65.2% in 2019 to 63.2% in 2020. In the UK, smoking prevalence fell by 5.2% per year from June 2017 to February 2020, but this slowed to 0.3% from April 2020 to August 2022. This article revealed that though quit attempts in the UK had increased, this was offset by more people starting to smoke, especially young adults.

Though much more action has been taken against smoking, there’s still much to be done in reducing rates and ensuring a smoke-free world. Quitting has also long been a struggle for many smokers, and the added stress from current events or personal life can hamper smoking cessation. Fortunately, there are more ways to find help with kicking the habit, allowing more smokers to quit successfully. Here’s how you can improve your smoking cessation journey:

Use smokeless and tobacco-free alternatives

Quitting cold turkey can be challenging for some, especially with cravings and withdrawal symptoms that can cause irritation and restlessness. Rather than stopping abruptly, you can take a gradual approach by using smokeless and tobacco-free alternatives. These products can help you deal with smoking urges and gradually lower your intake of nicotine until you are no longer dependent on it. Nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, pouches, and more are some of the alternatives you can try to help you quit smoking.

Nicotine pouches are a top option that is gaining popularity since they’re discreet and comfortable and can be used anywhere. Pouches from On! are a popular choice for those looking to satisfy their cravings without the side effects of traditional products, as their ultra-compact mini-dry format allows the pouch to stay invisible under the lip. Click here for more information on the brand’s many flavors and strengths, such as On! Citrus 2mg, which provides a tangy citrus taste for a more palatable experience, or the On! Wintergreen 4mg, which can help experienced smokers wean off nicotine while offering a refreshing experience. Nicotine lozenges are also a popular option. As a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) product, they’re approved for smoking cessation. They’re parked between the cheek and gum and dissolve in the mouth, offering a convenient and unique experience. Read more here to see how nicotine gum and lozenge brand Blip is redefining the look and stigma of quitting.

Use mobile apps

Technology can be a great tool for helping smokers avoid triggers and track their quitting journey, boosting motivation and drive to stay away from cigarettes. Since phones are incredibly common devices, accessing digital interventions through these platforms is much easier, connecting people to more sources of support. Though they may not take the place of traditional help, they can help provide a foundation for successful smoking cessation.

Smoking cessation apps come with varying services or functions. The QuitNow! app displays statistics and figures that showcase the benefits of quitting smoking. It shows how long it has been since your last cigarette, as well as how much money you’ve saved from not buying them and how much your life span extends the longer you stay away from smoking. It also gamifies the process, allowing you to win achievements for certain milestones in your smoking cessation journey. Similar to QuitNow! is Smoke Free, which also provides a gamified process. The app creates daily challenges for users to give tangible and achievable goals. Badges can be won and shared on social media after completing an achievement, giving a sense of accomplishment that can drive motivation to quit. Check out our post on smoking cessation apps for more information.

Create a quit-smoking plan

Quitting smoking can be difficult without the right strategy. Without goals, deadlines, or a timeline, it may be harder to stop smoking successfully since there is a lack of guidance and motivation. You can create a quit-smoking plan to ensure that you are in your best state when trying to quit and have the right steps to help you succeed.

You can start by setting a quit date free of stressors or temptations to get a good start. You can then create a timeline strategy for lowering your cigarette consumption. For example, if you smoke ten cigarettes a day, you can drop that amount to eight in the next week, and so on. Creating realistic and achievable goals can also give you a push to keep going. Saying “I want to quit smoking” doesn’t give you the drive to get that done. Instead, make your goal something like “I want to stop smoking after one month,” and you can come up with a plan on how to reach that goal successfully.

Quitting smoking has long been a challenge for people worldwide, but it’s not an impossible endeavor. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to find the guidance and support to kick the habit, as new technologies and innovations are constantly emerging to help people manage their smoking.

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