“As a previous smoker myself, I know that quitting is hard…”
Are you or a loved on addicted to smoking cigarettes?
Have you tried every method under the sun to quit, but give in to the temptation a month later? Smoking may be legal, but it so harmful to not only yourself but detrimental to the health of anyone who is in your vicinity while you are smoking. Two experts, Dr. Jack E. Henningfield and Dr. Neal. L Benowitz both ranked six addictive substances (nicotine, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana) in five essential categories (withdrawal, reinforcement, tolerance, dependence, and intoxication). Although their rankings (a scale of 1-6 with 1 being the most serious) do vary slightly among the substances in the different categories, they both ranked nicotine as #1 (the most serious) in dependence. In addition, nicotine was ranked 3rd and 4th in withdrawal and reinforcement, respectively (with alcohol, heroin, and cocaine being ranked more serious). When compared to other addictive substances, nicotine may not have as severe of withdrawals, but definitely creates a physiological dependence through its tolerance (amount needed to satisfy) and dependence rankings.
No one can make you quit – you have to want it.
As a previous smoker myself, I know that quitting is hard and I know that it can be a true struggle to get past the withdrawal symptoms and break the habit. When your body starts to detox, withdrawal symptoms kick in – irritability, anxiousness, restless sleep, sweating, fatigue, and coughing to name a few, but none of these are life threatening – if anything it just sounds like the symptoms of a seasonal flu!
Withdrawal symptoms may last from a few weeks to several months (depends on the individual), but once the nicotine is clear from your bloodstream (generally after 3 days) urges to smoke may come from triggers, routine, and certain social situations. Drinking lots of water and eating foods high in antioxidants can help speed up the process of detoxing nicotine from your body.
For me, the hardest part was not the withdrawals – it was rewiring and reworking my routine so that it did NOT include smoking. When addressing your triggers and your daily routine, ask yourself questions like: Do you smoke inside? Do you count down the clock at work waiting for those precious ten minutes when you can step outside for a smoke break? Did you have a stressful day at work and want nothing more than light up a stogie? Did you get in a fight with your significant other and want to smoke your irritations away? For me, these were all situations that had a void that needed to be filled, once I cut back, and eventually, quit smoking.
By recognizing my triggers (stress was my main trigger), taking notes of the time of day when I routinely smoked a cigarette, and slightly changing my habits, I was able to greatly decrease the amount of cigarettes I smoked. The biggest cut came when I stopped smoking in my apartment, which, rain or shine, forced me to go outside if I wanted to smoke (come to find 98% of the time I was too lazy to go outside, so I ended up not smoking). At most, I smoked about half a pack a day, but once I committed to not smoking in my apartment that amount was cut in half to about 5-6 cigarettes a day. This stayed consistent for about 8 months, at which time I made the decision that enough was enough – and I quit cold turkey.
For times when I would normally take a smoke break I now did something else productive (like play a game on my phone, call someone I had not talked to in a long time, or spend a few minutes working on a side project). And, when I found myself in a stressful situation where my mind went directly to craving a cigarette, I would again, find ways to distract myself (i.e. play a game on my phone, talk to someone, or eat a small snack). It’s unfortunate that smoking is so widely accepted (healthy or not) and is so accessible – every local mart and gas station sells them. This temptation can make it harder to quit once and for all, but just take it one day at time and keeping tell yourself “NO”, no matter what!
“Cravings are inevitable when you first kick the habit – luckily there is a natural solution to this problem – essential oils! “
Cravings are inevitable when you first kick the habit – luckily there is a natural solution to this problem – essential oils! Essential oils have great therapeutic qualities and can be used to help prevent certain ailments and promote emotional well-being. Two of the best essential oils to quit smoking and help combat nicotine cravings are black pepper and clove essential oil. Black pepper has been shown to reduce cravings and alleviate anxiety. One study divided a group of 48 smokers into three groups: one group received a cigarette substitute in which they inhaled black pepper vapor, one group received a cigarette substitute with mint/menthol cartridge, and the third received an empty cartridge. During a 3-hour session, subjects puffed and inhaled ad libitum from the devices they had been given (no smoking was allowed during this time). Compared to the mint/menthol and empty control groups, reported cravings were significantly reduced among the black pepper group. Additionally, somatic symptoms of anxiety were alleviated in the black pepper group, compared to the empty cartridge group. In addition, among its many health benefits, clove essential oil works to clean your teeth and gums while promoting fresh breath.
Smoking is an expensive habit, and quitting can get costly too with other methods on the market these days – gum prices ranges from $50-$70 for 160-170 pieces and the patch can be bought for around $30-$40 for 14 patches. Using essential oils is better for your health and literally only a fraction of the cost! For this recipe, each batch of 50 toothpicks will only cost you $1.28 for the oils (plus cost of the toothpicks and carrier oil). That price is not even comparable to the gum or patch!
By soaking toothpicks in these two oils, you can make easy-to-use chew sticks that you can pop in your mouth whenever you have the urge to smoke; satisfying your oral fixation while tasting this combination of essential oils is a win-win situation! Below are the ingredients instructions needed to create the Nicotine Nix Stix yourself:
DIY Nicotine Nix Stix Recipe
- 1-2 tsp. Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO)
- 10 drops Black Pepper essential oil
- 8 drops Clove essential oil
- 50 wooden toothpicks
- 8 oz. glass jar with lid
1. Pour the carrier oil (FCO) into the jar, just enough to cover the bottom of the jar with a layer.
2. Add the drops of essential oils.
3. Place toothpicks in the jar standing up. Use the sides of the jar for support to keep them upright.
4. Screw on the top of the jar and allow the toothpicks to soak overnight. You will notice the the mixture of the carrier oil and essential oils has absorbed up into the toothpicks.
5. Use one toothpick as needed (when you get a craving to smoke!)
When using essential oils, it is extremely important they are of the highest quality. To buy the essential oils and fractionated coconut oil needed for this recipe, click here.
Other essential oils that would complement the black pepper and clove are lavender and lemon. These two oils can work together to calm some of the withdrawal symptoms. Lavender essential oil can help calm agitation, relieve anxiety, reduce mood swings, and fight insomnia while lemon can reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and can be energizing and promote relaxation. For more information on these essential oils and how to use them, please e-mail me directly via the message box below.
If you would like to incorporate essential oils into your life you could benefit greatly from a wholesale account. With a wholesale account you get 25% off everything, plus become a part of a wonderful community of like-minded people (there’s a bunch of other perks too, but those are the two biggest ones). If you want to be set up with a wholesale account, please click here. If you have any questions, please email me through the box below.