Is Cold Turkey Safe for Quit Smoking?
August 13, 2020
Is Cold Turkey Safe for Quit Smoking?

Plenty of people do it, but is cold turkey safe for quit smoking? Quitting smoking cigarettes can be difficult regardless of which way you go about it, but for most people, going cold turkey can be incredibly challenging from both a mental and physical point of view.

Is cold turkey safe for quit smoking? What is cold turkey?

Quitting smoking ‘cold turkey’ is basically when you give up smoking cigarettes abruptly, without using any other quit-smoking aids, products, or any professional support. The idea is that you use your own mental strength and will power to avoid smoking cigarettes and combat your cravings for them.

If you’re wondering ‘is cold turkey safe for quitting smoking?’, whilst there is nothing technically ‘unsafe’ about quitting smoking cold turkey, there are just some things you should consider before you take the leap.

Smoking is a physical and mental addiction.

In fact, smoking and the subsequent nicotine addiction that eventuates over time are deeply rooted in the subconscious mind. What exactly does that mean? Well, it means that your body develops the physical addiction to nicotine, but your mind is addicted in a different sense; that is, it is triggered by day to day stressors and activities, possibly (probably) without you even realizing it. Things that you do without even thinking about them, like driving your car, having a meal, sharing a drink with friends, stressing over work deadlines…they can all trigger the urge to smoke.

Is cold turkey safe for quit smoking? What will happen?

Going cold turkey is an attractive game plan, especially for first-time quitters. However, whilst going cold turkey isn’t unsafe, it often leads to relapse. People fall off the wagon when the intense withdrawal symptoms hit, often making the person feel incredibly irritated, unable to sleep and sometimes even physically ill.  This is the effect of the withdrawals from the physical addiction to nicotine. These symptoms can sometimes last for up to three months, making it a challenging time for the person trying to quit. After that, the withdrawal symptoms tend to subside, however the mental, or subconscious urges are likely to still remain, unless they have been addressed with supportive therapies. The mental effect of quitting cold turkey often presents itself as feeling the urge to smoke when driving, or sharing a drink with friends, or perhaps when the person is stressed out at work.

Is cold turkey safe for quit smoking? How to prepare yourself…

If you’re considering attempting to quit smoking by going cold turkey, then you will need to prepare yourself (both physically and mentally) for dealing with nicotine withdrawals. You might like to consider the use of some stop-smoking aids, such as nicotine patches or gums. These can help to curb the physical cravings. You might also like to consider counselling or hypnotherapy to help address your subconscious cravings for nicotine and to help you tackle the daily triggers that might prompt you to reach for the smokes again.

Some other points that you might like to consider include:

  • Ask a trusted friend or family member to support you on your journey to quitting
  • Avoid putting yourself into situations that may trigger you to want to smoke
  • Plan to take up a new hobby or activity that will replace or fill time in, where you would have otherwise smoked. Exercise is a common choice
  • Make changes to your daily routine, so that your opportunities and triggers to smoke from the past are limited
  • Consider saving some of the money that you would once have spent on cigarettes to reward yourself with something later on.

So the bottom line, is cold turkey safe for quit smoking? Yes, it is. However, if you want to be successful in becoming smoke-free in the long term, you need to approach the situation from a few angles! If you would like further information on how we can assist you in your journey to a healthier, smoke-free future, contact us today.


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