How vaping can help you resist the urge to smoke over Christmas and New Year
Over the festive period, it’s all too easy for those who have quit smoking to get drawn back into the familiar and comforting habit. This year, the challenges and temptations are likely to be stronger than ever because of the unusual Christmas and New Year that we will all be experiencing due to the covid-19 pandemic. In this blog, we take you through some of the most common triggers and pitfalls that you will encounter over the holiday season. Knowing exactly what to look out for in advance can help you avoid slipping back when you are faced with temptation.
Beloved Christmas scents
We all know how powerful smells can be, don’t we? You suddenly smell a particular perfume as you pass a stranger on the street and get instantly reminded of an old friend. Or you smell vegetables stewing and get taken right back to bad memories of school days. There are numerous smells that we associate with Christmas – from scented candles and the pine needles on the tree to the turkey roasting in the oven.
For long-established smokers, any one of these scents associated with Christmas can bring back pleasant memories of previous Christmases and the smoking that accompanied them. Remember to look out for these associations. Be prepared in advance with an alternative to smoking, such as a nicotine patch or a tobacco flavoured e-cigarette.
Along similar lines, we may be drawn back to cigarettes by our festive routines. It could be that for the last twenty years, you have always followed up your Christmas lunch with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. Or it might be that you always smoke when you have a few drinks on New Year’s Eve.
Overcoming the pairing of smoking with the routine of drinking coffee or alcohol is one of the most challenging elements for many quitters. Avoiding drinking coffee or alcohol at all is an option that some find helpful. This way you remove the substance and routine associated with smoking. However, this can be an extremely challenging technique. Vaping can be a very effective substitute for tobacco on these occasions, helping you to stay off cigarettes and be free of them once and for all.
Emotional triggers over Christmas and New YearWith the various covid-19 restrictions now in place, this festive period is going to be very different to most – with less contact with friends and family over Christmas and New Year. For those who are quitting smoking, the emotional triggers that result from this unusual situation could lead back to tobacco.
If we feel a strong sensation of loneliness, we can often take solace in cigarettes. Likewise, if we begin to feel anxious or stressed, tobacco can seem like the best way to calm down. And at the other end of the emotional spectrum, when we feel happy or excited, a cigarette can feel like the cherry on top of our good mood. Over Christmas and New Year, all of these emotions may arise. Remember that there are other ways than smoking to respond to them, from talking to friends and family about what you’re feeling, to simply taking deep breaths and listening to calming music. Exercise is also an incredibly powerful tool – not only for improving your health but also for releasing endorphins and providing a natural kind of high.
As you go through the festive period this year, be ready for triggers to strike. Use an alternative such as an electronic cigarette to control cravings, and take strength from the knowledge that triggers fade over time and will not last forever.