As a socialite, you may feel that your social life will be altered quite dramatically should you take the necessary steps to quit smoking. However, stop smoking chewing gum makers Nicotinell are on hand to detail how your social life need not be affected once you’ve kicked the habit:
A look into the links between smoking and alcohol
Smoking and drinking alcohol do have some close links. At the extreme, government data has found that up to 90 per cent of people who are addicted to alcohol will 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 do.
Within the human brain are common mechanisms which will be affected by both alcohol and nicotine. When it comes to nicotine, the chemical compound will enter the bloodstream as soon as you smoke a cigarette and rapidly get transported to your brain. Once there, the nicotine will stimulate the brain by creating receptors which release chemicals that give a feeling of pleasure. 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.
Quit smoking and within 72 hours of going through with your decision, the nicotine supply found within your bloodstream will decrease. However, those receptors won’t disappear that quickly, 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 a quit.
Researchers claim 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 when you quit smoking in five simple steps
It’s great that you’ve taken that important first step and decided to quit smoking. However, you now face the dilemma of socialising in a scenario where you would have previously had a cigarette. Here’s how to stick to your goals and still have a good time:
Helping you to reach your goals after you’ve quit smoking will likely be your quit buddies — often a family member or a friend. Therefore, be sure to invite them along to whatever social event you’re attending. A quit buddy is someone who supports your quit. 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.
Invite your friends and family to your home
You don’t always need to go out to socialise; especially to places where there’s a good chance other people will be smoking. Why not invite people to you home for a social occasion instead? At your abode, you will be able to celebrate your smoke-free success with them. You’ll be able to control what is served, which can help stop those triggers, and completely avoid cigarettes in your smoke-free home.
Delaying a social event should be avoided
Having doubts should never be an excuse to put off heading out for a drink once you’ve stopped smoking. 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.
Give yourself a pep talk
It’s an unfortunate truth that smoking cravings can be triggered when you go somewhere that you’ve long associated with having a drink. 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.
Make more time for friends who are supportive of your decision to quit smoking and people in your social circles who don’t smoke. 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 quit attempt.