Every bride-to-be has her own goals she wants to meet or accomplish before her wedding day. From fitness to beauty and everything in between, the general theme is that you’ll want to not only look, but feel your best before your walk down the aisle.
A huge step towards being the best version of yourself is getting healthy—and for many, this means quitting smoking. We bet you're thinking: How can I possibly manage to quit smoking in the midst of facing the stressors that come along with planning a wedding? And we're here to tell you: It is possible.
We spoke with Dr. William Bulman, Pulmonologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center for some expert tips on how to approach smoking cessation. Here’s what he had to say.
By now, you know that smoking is extremely hazardous to your health, and yet, both the struggle to quit and addiction are very real forces. However, knowing all the dangers of smoking might be the extra motivation you need to take the next steps.
Bulman warns that smokers are at increased risk for a multitude of non-cancerous diseases, including heart disease, stroke, COPD, and peripheral vascular disease, and many cancers, like lung and laryngeal cancer.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides some scary statistics that might make your decision to kick the habit a bit easier, too. Their “fast facts” regarding cigarette smoking hazards provide some sobering information including: Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body,” and it's “the leading cause of preventable death.”
The Best Strategy
When you talk to others who have quit, you’ll undoubtedly hear claims that quitting “cold turkey” worked for them. However, Bulman warns that approach is likely to fail. It also can provide more stressors and struggles during an already stressful time.
So, before you wake up one morning and decide to try to quit on your own, it’s important to know that planning is key to success.
Bulman suggests ensuring these key components are involved in your quitting plan:
· Advanced planning
· A firm quit date
· Reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked in a day leading up to quit date
· Help and support of family and friends
· By quit date, disposal of everything smoking related
Managing Your Cravings
Cravings are considered to be the temptation that can lead to an unsuccessful cessation attempt. Therefore, managing the very real nicotine cravings are essential. Luckily, you have some options to keep in your toolkit.
Of the over-the-counter nicotine replacements, Bulman says, “Some help with cravings on demand, such as nicotine gum, and some control cravings all day, such as the nicotine patch.” There are also two medications available by prescription that may help to increase the chances you’ll be successful, and Bulman says that the best strategy may be combining some prescription medication with nicotine replacement. Though, he stresses, it is essential to discuss your plans with your doctor, as these medications are not right for everyone.
Another incentive for kicking cigarettes to the curb? The beauty benefits, which might be especially appealing before the big day. Accoring to Bulman, “There are many beauty-related benefits to quitting, including whiter teeth, healthier nails, tighter skin.
If you’re considering quitting, first things first – good for you. It’s not easy, but it’s worth every trial you face on the road to becoming healthier and happier.
So, what to do now? “A plan for quitting should begin with a visit to your doctor, to discuss how to plan your cessation efforts and to discuss how medications and over the counter nicotine replacement aids may help improve your chances of being successful,” explains Bulman. With a plan, motivation, support and strength, you’ll be well on your way to being a cigarette free bride, and overall healthier person.