Last semester, students would walk down Appian Way vaping, smoking and being the young adults they are. This has all come to a halt with the new city ordinance restricting the use, sale and distribution of tobacco products. The Keene Sentinel reported, “council committee meetings have also drawn several opponents of the ordinance: libertarians defending individual freedoms, business owners concerned about lost profits, and former smokers who claim vaping is a successful cessation tool.” Keene is the second city in New Hampshire, after Dover, to change the tobacco age law from 18 to 21, and has had many struggling to quit as they come back to campus.
Many are being forced to do something about their addiction to vaping and smoking. College can be a very overwhelming and stressful time, and studies show this is why young adults on campus resort to nicotine. Research has shown that there are other ways to wean off nicotine. Distracting yourself by eating healthier options, text therapy to help when you’re craving and exercise are the best things you can do to start the process of quitting.
Students on campus under 21 are unable to buy nicotine patches or gum. However, a study done by Truth Initiative said that eating healthier options could help the urge to smoke. “Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet will restore these nutrients and, as some research suggests, may help with reducing cravings to smoke. Ginseng (tea) could be therapeutic for nicotine addiction because it may weaken the effect of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with pleasure and is released when smoking tobacco. Drinking ginseng tea could reduce the appeal of smoking and make it less enjoyable. Chewing gum and mints can keep your mouth busy when you have an urge to smoke,” according to the Truth Initiative. They also mention to avoid foods and drinks that can enhance your cravings. “Foods and drinks that have been shown to enhance the taste of cigarettes and trigger a craving to smoke include alcohol, caffeine, meat and sugary or spicy foods.” This is an easy way to change up your lifestyle on campus that doesn’t take much effort or money.
Therapy can be expensive and time consuming for a college student. Smokefree.gov has come out with a free text messaging app that can help students when they’re feeling the urge to relapse or have trouble quitting. They send three to five messages a day for a program that’s six to eight weeks long. This is a great idea if you are looking for that extra boost of encouragement while quitting. You can easily sign up at smokefree.gov and Text CRAVE, MOOD, or SLIP to 47848. Quitting shouldn’t be as difficult as it is, but using resources like text therapy can be very beneficial to an active student’s day to day life.
Exercise might not seem like a way to quit vaping or smoking, but it is a useful tool. We understand how healthy it is to work out and be active, but it can also help individuals looking to quit vaping or smoking. Health Everyday states in their article titled Exercise the Urge Away to Smoke said, “The beauty of exercise is that it helps you deal with both the physical and psychological aspects of nicotine addiction: Exercise helps limit weight gain and it also helps in dealing with cravings for a cigarette, says Norman H. Edelman, MD, senior medical advisor of the American Lung Association. Studies have shown that even moderate physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, reduces the urge to smoke. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings for cigarettes decrease during exercise and for as long as 50 minutes afterwards.” Exercise can help aid the process of recovery towards nicotine. Spaulding Gym on campus is free to use, with group fitness classes, and student trainers that are there to help.
WebMD put out an article called How to Quit Smoking, which goes into detail on the benefits of quitting tobacco. It said, “Within hours of stopping cigarettes, your body starts to recover from the effects of nicotine and additives. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature—all of which are higher than they should be because of the nicotine—return to healthier levels. You can breathe easier. The levels of poisonous carbon monoxide in your blood drops, so your blood can carry more oxygen. No doubt about it: Quitting helps your whole body. It can even improve your looks: You’ll be less likely to get wrinkles when you’re still young. And you’ll save money, too.” I hope this helped you rethink quitting nicotine and find it less stressful being on campus to quit.
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