If you’re a smoker, have you tried to quit smoking before, and have almost tried every quit smoking tips you’ve come across online?
Telling you how unhealthy smoking is like telling you that Goody Feed is very clickbaity: everyone knows that.
But here’s something you probably didn’t know: Do you know that in a US study, out of every 5 people who have once smoked, 3 have quit?
To some people, it seems hard to quit smoking, but numbers don’t lie: in the same report, it’s mentioned that 7.5% of smokers quit smoking in a year.
This means if you have 100 smokers in your office, 1 of them is probably going to quit in the next 365 days.
Now, even if you don’t believe the numbers, just think of all your friends who once smoked. There are some who have successfully quit smoking, right?
Quitting smoking is also known as smoking cessation, and there are many well-known ways to achieve it.
Aside from the usual ways of quitting smoking that you can easily Google, here are some other unique ways to quit smoking you probably didn’t know about.
If you prefer to watch a video about this topic, here’s a video we’ve done (watch till the end for a surprise!):
Using an App to Quit Smoking
The first way sounds almost crazy when you hear it: Download an app.
There are a few apps that help you quit smoking, and if the millions of downloads and thousands of testimonials still sound far-fetched, hear this: one of us here in Goody Feed quit smoking with an app.
Here’s his verdict: “I downloaded the app and didn’t expect it to help. On it, I am supposed to tap on ‘reset’ if I smoke again, and when I did that, the app will reset all the health benefits. I got sick and tired of seeing the health benefits going up and down, and so I just made the decision not to press the reset button, which means I can’t smoke.
“It’s like playing a game: imagine you’ve trained your character to level 18, and a stick brings it back down to level 1. So, I rather let the character level up instead.”
Yes, it works, so suspend your beliefs and just download one of them.
Plucking Out Your Wisdom Tooth…to Quit Smoking
We all have four wisdom teeth and if they’re not causing any issue, you don’t need to pluck them out.
But dentists would suggest plucking them out because they might pose a problem in the future.
Although the surgery can easily cost over S$1,000, Singaporeans can use Medisave to pay for it so most won’t need to fork out a single cent if they’re working adults.
But that’s not the point.
If you’re guessing the intense pain from having your wisdom tooth yanked from your poor gums would discourage you to smoke, you must be one who hasn’t plucked out one before, because there will only be pain for a few hours after the surgery as the anaesthesia wear off.
From then on, you won’t feel much pain unless you slap yourself every minute
So, how does it discourage us?
You see, after the surgery, which usually takes about 10 minutes or so, you’d be told not to use straws
And if you’re a smoker, you should not smoke for, say, 3 days or 7 days, depending on whether the dentist is kiasi or not.
This is because if you use a straw or smoke, both actions that require you to “suck in the air”, might cause a complication called dry socket.
After your wisdom tooth is removed, a blood clot will be formed in the empty socket, and if you do the “sucking air” action, the blood clot might be dislodged and you’d be left with an empty socket.
Called dry socket, this is extremely painful because your nerves endings are exposed, and anyone who’s once had a toothache before will know that pain caused by nerves in the mouth can make even the manliest man tear.
So, when you didn’t smoke for a few days to prevent a dry socket, you’d realise, “Hey, I can last a few days without smoking!”
Like what a wise man says, “The first step is the hardest in every journey.”
On, by the way, since you have four wisdom teeth so you can have four first steps.
Visit the Dentist to Quit Smoking
Another “tooth-related” way to quit smoking is to visit the dentist.
If you’ve not seen a dentist for years, watch this video about the consequences of not visiting a dentist:
Back to the topic, visiting the dentist can indeed, help you quit smoking.
A dentist once told one of us that it’s actually not rare for a person to quit smoking after losing a tooth due to smoking.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry shows that “there is considerable scientific evidence describing the programs for smoking cessation used in dentistry, which support their effectiveness. Overall, these are brief behavioural interventions complemented by pharmacological treatment, with the participation of the entire dental team.”
Dentists don’t have the skills to convince you to stop smoking, but they have the skills to pull out a tooth that is loose due to smoking.
By the time a tooth is loose, you most probably have a serious gum disease called periodontitis, and more teeth might need to be removed because it’s an irreversible condition.
One theory is that for the first time since you smoke, you are seeing a tangible and irreversible loss due to smoking: your teeth.
And so, when a dentist suggests you attend a smoking cessation program, you’d be more inclined to do so.
Now you would be thinking: Wait, there are such clinics?
Smoking Cessation Clinics
Do you know that in Singapore, there are many smoking cessation clinics that can help you quit smoking?
These clinics are not commercial companies wanting to earn your money, but by the authorities that are located in public hospitals and run by professionals.
An example is the Smoking Cessation Programme in Singapore General Hospital, which “provides a holistic assessment, counselling and medication to those who would like to quit smoking but are not sure where to begin or how to continue.”
In fact, your nearest polyclinic might have a Smoking Cessation Programme, too: just check with the doctor
In Singapore, there’s even one that is for people 18 and below!
But why are these clinics helpful?
For one, a professional is guiding you to quit smoking instead of you trying to navigate alone in the darkness.
Secondly, you’d have someone to answer to, so that’ll motivate you more.
And speaking of motivation…
Find the Correct Motivation to Quit Smoking
Do you know why social media platforms are addictive?
Not because you can see things you want to see, but because you’re motivated to find things you want to see.
According to the bestselling book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, habits are built based not on what you do, but on what you hope you’ll get after you’ve done something.
This means if you want to quit smoking, you need to be obsessed with the rewards and not the actions.
But different people might prefer different “rewards”.
Maybe you don’t want your kids to breathe in second-hand smoke.
Maybe you want to look better.
Or maybe you want to smell better.
Know your motivation and rewards, be obsessed with them and chances of quitting are higher.
Some smokers think that smoking after a run is the best feeling ever, but actually, that’s just a habit.
Studies show that exercising, even short periods of physical activity, reduces the urge to smoke.
In fact, if you’ve just run, the “withdrawal symptoms and cravings for cigarettes decrease during exercise and up to 50 minutes”.
Remember the colleague that quitted smoking?
Now that he’s quit, he agrees that previously, he thought smoking felt good after exercising, but now thinks that it’s just a habit.
Quit Smoking is Very, Very Possible
There are, of course, many other well-known ways to quit smoking. These are just the unique ways that some of us probably didn’t know about.
Try some of these ways out and let us know if it worked for you.
Just remember: there are many people who’ve successfully quit. If they can, you can, too.
(After all, you have four wisdom teeth)
Featured Image: Doucefleur / Shutterstock.com