If you quit smoking as a new year’s resolution, you may be going through a rough patch now, dealing with cravings, and a raft of physical and emotional challenges.
Experts at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health say say the first week of trying to butt out is when most people relapse. Quitters may want a cigarette every time they have a cup of coffee, or when they see someone else light up.
And reforming smokers may also experience headaches, loss of concentration, bowel changes, loss of appetite, as well as anxiety and feelings of sadness and irritability.
They say quitters shouldn’t watch others smoke or allow themselves access to cigarettes.
Regular chewing gum, drinking sweet liquids and water, and cutting back on coffee can help some of the symptoms go away.
And they say nicotine replacement will also help mitigate the withdrawal symptoms. Low-level smokers can usually manage on the gum, lozenges or inhalers, while heavier smokers may need a nicotine patch.
There are telephone help lines and online web programs to help you stick to it.
And here in Ontario, there’s another incentive. Until February 28 you can register to take part in a contest at driventoquit.ca. If you keep your pledge to quit, you become eligible to win a new car, a vacation getaway or a credit card gift card.