Five Healthy Alternatives to Cigarette Smoking

The quintessential Marlboro Man may have made smoking cool and hip in the 1950s but these days, cigarette smoking is on the decline because of studies that show the different negative effects cigarettes and tobacco have on your health. Those who have stopped this nasty habit can tell you that there is no easy way to stop smoking. Although many have tried nicotine patches, chewing tobacco and even the latest fad–electronic and herbal cigarettes–all these have been proven by research and studies to be as bad as, or even worse than cigarette smoking itself. So how do you quit smoking without succumbing to these harmful substitutes? With perseverance, a strong will and the following healthy, safe alternatives to cigarettes smoking:

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1. Sugarless gum. Some people find it hard to quit smoking because cigarettes to them are like pacifiers to babies. They need to be puffing on something regularly; they feel that cigarettes are some sort of security blanket—puffing on a cigarette makes them feel less stressed and more confident. Chewing on sugarless gum can be a good, healthy substitute for cigarette smoking. It can satisfy the craving for having something in your mouth and it can even keep the acidity in your mouth balanced for healthy teeth and gums.

2. Flavored toothpicks. Made from different types of wood (such as birchwood and bamboo), flavored toothpicks are also a great, safe substitute for cigarettes. Brands such as JuJu Stx and Flava Sticks offer toothpicks in a wide assortment of flavors—from cinnamon and tea tree to peppermint and spearmint. These special sticks retain their flavors for hours, making chewing on them or keeping them in your mouth a good alternative to cigarette smoking.

3. E-Z Quit Smokeless Cigarettes. These special cigarettes don’t contain tobacco or nicotine, which are bad for you. E-Z quit cigarettes are artificial cigarettes that provide you with a relatively easy way to stop smoking. E-Z sticks come in the form of plastic cigarettes with flavored filters. The filters release intense mint flavors when you suck on the E-Z cigarettes, which can satisfy your craving for cigarette smoking instantly. Each E-Z flavored cigarette stick can last for about two weeks.

4. Dark chocolate. Cigarette smoking can be addictive because cigarettes contain nicotine, which increases the levels of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of joy, pleasure and satisfaction. Dark chocolate also increases dopamine, thus triggering the same feelings of pleasure that cigarette smoking can. If you plan to quit smoking, try keeping bite-sized pieces of dark chocolate in your pocket to help you fight your addiction.

5. Start practicing yoga or exercising regularly. More often than not, you probably smoke whenever you feel stressed or tired. You use cigarettes as a way to calm down or to keep you levelheaded. Practicing yoga can prove to be an easy way to stop smoking by helping you relax and release tension without the need for cigarettes. Yoga incorporates deep breathing with different poses (asanas) that can help you curb your urge to smoke. Regular exercise and yoga also allows your brain to increase dopamine levels, which, as discussed previously, can trigger feelings of pleasure that you usually associate with cigarette smoking.

Cigarette smoking is a nasty habit that can ruin and do damage to your health and to your loved ones. It’s always better to quit smoking early, before it takes a toll on your life. And, although a lot of people may say that there is no easy way to stop smoking, there are a lot of healthy, safe substitutes for cigarettes. Keep the list of alternatives above in mind to help you kick the habit.

Lena Butler

My name is Lena Butler. I live in San Diego, California. I work as a customer service representative for TestCountry.com. I attended the University of San Diego and majored in marketing. I enjoy spending time at home, working on my painting and playing with my two pet rabbits, Carl and Lenny, when I am not here sharing interesting posts :)

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