The Pros and Cons of Quitting Cold Turkey: The Good & The Bad
If you are reading this, you are probably geared up to take the plunge and committed to quitting tobacco. Does going cold turkey excite you? If yes, we are with you to support you and cheer you on.
Stopping tobacco consumption smoking is hard, immaterial of the method you adopt. And going off it suddenly is no walk in the park. It demands dedication and willpower to stick to your goal. That said, quitting cold turkey can be an extremely effective way to stop smoking or chewing once and for all. But before you banish your tobacco habits to the Mounts of Mordor, do read through our blog to understand what going cold turkey means, its pros and cons and how to manage this journey to a smoke-free life.
What is Quitting Cold Turkey?
"Quitting cold turkey is like jumping into a pool - it's scary at first, but once you're in, you wonder why you were so afraid."
Quitting cold turkey is one of the toughest yet quickest ways to quit smoking for good. It means to stop smoking completely, all at once, without using any aid, medication, or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) product. The gradual weaning-off process, a hallmark of NRT, is absent in the cold turkey method.
What Happens When You Quit Smoking Cold Turkey?
Quitting cold turkey equals immediate health benefits. Your body begins the process of healing mere hours after you smoke your last cigarette. However, the withdrawal symptoms are another story.
The nicotine present in tobacco is habit-forming. It initiates dopamine (a pleasure hormone) release in the brain, so effectively, the body gets habituated to dopamine with regular tobacco use. When we stop consuming tobacco suddenly, the body begins to crave the dopamine hit. If you continue to stick to the cold turkey method, it leads to withdrawal symptoms, an expected aspect of this course.
From feeling like you have the flu to intense irritability, quitting smoking cold turkey can lead to a host of withdrawal symptoms. While the symptoms may vary in severity from person to person, rest assured that they are temporary. Here are a few symptoms you might experience when you quit smoking cold turkey:
- · Intense craving for a smoke
- · Restlessness
- · Trouble sleeping
- · Nausea
- · Increased appetite
- · Disturbed digestion
- · Sore throat
- · Difficulty concentrating
- · Mood swings
Pros and Cons of Quitting Tobacco Cold Turkey Method
Every coin has two sides, and every action, its pros and cons. So, if you decide to embark upon the challenging journey of quitting cold turkey, familiarising yourself with the pros and cons will help you to make an informed decision and prepare you to deal with any possible symptoms. Quitting tobacco cold turkey has been effective with proper support strategies like quit-tobacco groups, therapy sessions and solid support from family and friends. Before quitting tobacco cold turkey, consult a doctor to rule out any health risks.
Pros Of Quitting Cold Turkey
There are various pros of quitting cold turkey:
- You will reap benefits almost instantly, with your body going into repair mode as early as 20 minutes after you stop smoking.
- Your body will go nicotine-free earlier.
- You will avoid spending money on tobacco products sooner.
- You will regain a sharper sense of smell and taste sooner since tobacco numbs the taste buds.
- You will experience the peak and consequent ebb of withdrawal symptoms earlier.
Cons Of Quitting Cold Turkey
- You may experience more intense withdrawal symptoms than if you were to quit smoking gradually. The cravings will be challenging to manage so keep yourself mentally prepared for that.
- You may feel irritable and upset.
- You may gain weight.
- Quitting tobacco is very demanding in itself, and going cold turkey is another tough call. It requires an immense amount of willpower, but it is not impossible. You may feel sad and depressed.
- Alternative methods might be more effective for some, such as those with heavy tobacco consumption or those in high-pressure jobs.
How To Quit Cold Turkey Successfully?
Mushkil hai, par mumkin hai!
Once you have decided to quit smoking cold turkey, having a plan of action will ensure you succeed. Here are a few tips that might help you in your journey.
Make a Plan: Devise a plan that covers your why, how, and when. You can also write down your reasons or make posters with the quit date to remind you to stick to your goal. Once you have narrowed down a date, stay firm on it.
Remove Triggers: Once you have decided the day you plan to quit, prepare yourself for it. Identify your social or emotional triggers and determine how you will deal with them. Get rid of all possible temptations from your surroundings.
Prepare for Withdrawal Symptoms: Prepare yourself for withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, headaches, or cravings once you quit cold turkey. Strategies such as rest, hydration, and meditation may come in handy at this stage.
Seek Support from Your Tribe: Tell your friends and family about your plan to quit smoking. Quitting cold turkey is hard, and a support system will go a long way in distracting you when the cravings strike.
Keep Yourself Busy: We know it isn't as simple as it sounds! It is tough to handle a craving or bear withdrawal symptoms. But, remind yourself that a craving is as short-lived as a fleeting cloud. You can try picking up a new hobby, exercising, or meeting your gang!
Quitting smoking cold turkey is like ripping off a band-aid, with the long-term benefits far outweighing the initial sting. You will need immense discipline, willpower, and determination. So, take the plunge if you feel it is worth a try. Toss that last pack of tobacco in the bin. And remember, on your journey towards a smoke-free tomorrow, you are not alone. Your friends, family and us- we are all with you.