Can you stop smoking and still be a socialite?

 

There may be question marks hanging over your social calendar if you make the decision to quit smoking but see yourself as a socialite. This quiz about smoker profiles put together by Nicotinell will help you discover if you are currently a social smoker.

Don’t fret though, as this guide will explain how you can continue to be a socialite during your quit-smoking journey:

 

The links between smoking and alcohol

There appears to be a close link between smoking and drinking alcohol. In fact, government data has established that up to 90% of people who find themselves addicted to alcohol also smoke. Furthermore, smokers have been found to be more likely to drink and have a 2.7 times greater risk of becoming dependent on alcohol than non-smokers.

Scientific links also tie the two together, as nicotine and alcohol act on common mechanisms present in the human brain. When it comes to nicotine, the chemical compound will enter the bloodstream as soon as you smoke a cigarette and is rapidly transported to your brain. Once there, the nicotine will stimulate the brain by creating receptors which release chemicals that give a feeling of pressure. These receptors will increase in number as smoking becomes prolonged and your brain will become reliant on nicotine in order to release these feel-good chemicals.

The supply of nicotine present in your bloodstream will drop within 72 hours of your decision to quit smoking. Those receptors won’t disappear that quickly though, so your brain’s chemistry will react to cause powerful cravings and strong emotional reactions. Persistence is key, as nicotine receptors will go away with time and your brain chemistry should be back to normal within three months of quitting.

On top of this, researchers understand that alcohol fosters the feeling of pleasure. If true, this reinforces the effects of nicotine on the brain. There are suggestions that nicotine and alcohol will moderate each other’s effects on the brain due to the fact that nicotine stimulates while alcohol sedates.

 

Socialising throughout your stop-smoking journey

Have you been invited to a social event early in your quit-smoking journey where you would have previously had a cigarette? Here’s how to stick to your goals and still have a good time:

 

See if a quit buddy can join you

A quit buddy will be an excellent addition to whatever social event you’ve been invited to. A quit buddy is someone who supports your decision to quit; possibly a family member or a friend. Should you encounter old smoking friends who ask you to join them, make sure they are aware of your situation so they can be respectful. Not only that, you’ll also have your quit buddy to hang out with.

 

Don’t cancel plans time and time again

You shouldn’t cancel social plans just because you’re having doubts. Everything you did as a smoker, you can do as a former smoker. Holding off too long from social drinking after quitting can create a sense of intimidation. Plus, socialising with friends is an important part of your life. The sooner you teach yourself how to enjoy a drink or two without a cigarette, the sooner you’ll feel like your life is back to normal.

 

Deliver a pep talk to yourself

Going out for a drink may well trigger cravings to smoke. Before leaving the house or in the car, be mentally prepared by saying aloud: “I’m a former smoker.” Or try: “I don’t smoke. I’m healthier and happier without cigarettes.” The main point is to remind yourself that you’re a former smoker and that you don’t need to light up anymore.

 

Socialise with non-smokers

Supporting your decision to stop smoking and helping you towards your goal will be friends and non-smokers. Therefore, who you choose to hang out with can help support your ex-smoking status. Slip-ups can occur when quitters are in the company of other smokers who may not be aware of how to support their attempt to quit.

 

Choose a place where no one is smoking

Instead of going to a location where a lot of people are likely to be smoking, choose to socialise at a place where there’s no smoking — your house being the ideal choice for a get-together with a few friends. You can celebrate your smoke-free success with them. You’ll be able to control what is served too, which can help stop those triggers and completely avoid cigarettes in your smoke-free home.

 

 

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