According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey on adult smoking cessation, it’s stated that almost 70% of active smokers actually want to quit.
Of these smokers, about 55.1% actually make an effort to stop smoking in a given year. Unfortunately, fewer than 1 in 10 adults actually succeed in their cessation attempts.
Among those who were able to stop smoking, a significant number turned to prescription or over-the-counter cessation medications.
The reality is, though, that not every smoker trying to quit has access to or is comfortable with these options.
Fortunately, there are also plenty of more natural smoking cessation options to choose from. Ranging from options like plain flat water to products like gum and pouches that are a little more manufactured, here are a few non-medicinal ways to help you quit smoking:
1. Sugar-free Chewing Gum
For a large proportion of smokers, the habit is mainly due to them being used to having something in their mouth or in their hands.
A good way to satisfy this urge without turning back to cigarettes is to chew sugar-free gum instead.
Since chewing gum is formulated to be especially long-lasting, it keeps you busy and preoccupied for longer.
That said, the reason you want a sugar-free option is that sugar has been said to increase acidity in the blood and enhance cigarette withdrawal symptoms.
Thus, instead of choosing a sugar-packed chewing gum flavor, try a minty, sugar-free one instead. As an added bonus, the mint extract is said to cool the mouth and make it less appetizing to smoke afterward.
2. Unflavored Nicotine Pouches
Instead of going cold turkey, a more calculated choice would be to switch to cigarette alternatives. Among the most effective and discreet options are unflavored nicotine pouches.
Looking at the unflavored nicotine pouches listed on Prilla, it’s clear to see that these products are typically made with plant fibers, water, salt, food-grade fillers, a gum base, and some tobacco-free nicotine extract.
Unlike other nicotine pouches that have sweet flavor additives, unflavored variants don’t have these sugary flavor enhancers that can actually underscore cigarette cravings. In the long run, by using unflavored nicotine pouches, smokers can slowly wean themselves off of cigarettes without shocking their bodies with abrupt cessation.
Pouches also come in various strengths, so users can gradually shift to more low-level nicotine pouches until they finally no longer need nicotine in their system.
3. Black Pepper
This doesn’t refer to the black pepper usually used in cooking, but rather to black pepper essential oils. As per one study that was conducted on smokers, inhaling a tissue with a drop of pepper oil for up to two minutes can regulate cigarette cravings.
Additionally, participants in this study also noted that black pepper oil made them feel cravings less often, in general. Since there have yet to be more comprehensive analyses into why black pepper essential oil works well in this way, most attribute this efficacy to aromatherapy.
Another holistic therapeutic technique that stimulates the senses to elicit specific bodily reactions, aromatherapy can be a vastly pleasant and beneficial experience.
4. Fresh Lime Juice
Interestingly, fresh lime juice has been found to be a good alternative to nicotine gum. According to researchers, consuming lime juice regularly for a week was found to successfully prevent smokers from relapsing.
It should be said, though, that lime juice has not been found to curb cravings particularly well. Nevertheless, studies suggest that the reason lime juice works in smoking cessation is that it’s rich in vitamin C.
It’s been noted that smokers usually have lower levels of this vitamin in their body, which is why receiving it in higher doses via limes can help the body feel more satisfied. This makes lime juice an option for those who neither want nicotine nor gum as a means of smoking abstinence.
Also referred to sometimes as hypnotherapy, hypnosis is a treatment in which the patient is brought into a trance through the aid of a trained therapist.
Hypnosis can be allegedly used to help patients connect with their inner thoughts and develop coping mechanisms. In the Cochrane Library’s journal study on hypnotherapy, it was determined that this treatment may be effective for smoking cessation.
That said, it cannot accurately be deemed more effective than other behavioral approaches like a support system or unassisted quitting.
On the flip side, though, some reports have stated that hypnosis showed slightly more positive results in helping smokers quit than other therapist-led efforts like counseling.
Acupuncture is usually associated with Eastern holistic practices that focus on improving overall wellbeing. However, acupuncture enthusiasts also believe that it can be a big aid in quitting smoking.
As per the European Journal of Integrative Medicine’s published trial results on non-traditional acupuncture (NTA) therapies, stimulating certain body parts in this manner are proven to have higher rates of efficacy in smoking cessation.
More specifically, acupressure was found to be highly effective in the short time after a smoker first quits. Meanwhile, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) was found to be effective in mid-term smoking cessation.
Lastly, laser acupuncture was found highly useful in long-term cessation. Therefore, it can be said that a good mix of different acupuncture therapies is the best way to support a smoker’s journey to quitting.
7. Water Therapy
The benefits of drinking water are universally known. Aside from helping cell turnover and organ function, drinking a lot of water regularly can also help those hoping to quit smoking.
Many of the addictive elements of cigarettes are water-soluble, so medically-reviewed reports from MedicineNet reveal that water can help flush these out of the body.
What’s more, since headaches are a common symptom of smoking withdrawal that can discourage many, drinking water can remedy this by helping increase blood flow and brain oxygenation.
Depending on one’s age and condition, the daily intake required for water therapy can be eight glasses or more.
Considering that cigarette smoking has many adverse effects, it’s no surprise that many people want to kick the habit.
Apart from some of the more serious health conditions that smoking can influence like cancer and emphysema, smoking is also among the “10 Causes of Bad Breath” that can affect your daily life.
As such, it’s important for smokers to find helpful and accessible ways to quit the habit as early as possible. By doing so, you’re not only letting go of an unhealthy vice but you’re also investing in a happier lifestyle.