Decided to stop smoking but deem yourself a socialite?With Nicotinell’s smoker profile quiz, ideal for discovering if you are indeed a social smoker—you may question what will happen to your social calendar moving forwards.
We’re here to assist, with this guide on how to remain a socialite throughout your quit-smoking journey:
Is alcohol and smoking linked?
There does indeed appear to be close links between drinking alcohol and smoking. In fact, government data has established that up to 90 percent 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 do.
From a scientific perspective, both alcohol and nicotine act on common mechanisms which are present in the human brain. When it comes to nicotine, the chemical compound will enter your 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 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.
Quit smoking and the supply of nicotine that is within your bloodstream will drop within 72 hours of your decision. 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 a quit.
Researchers are also of the understanding 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.
What to do when socialising once quitting smoking
Received an invite to a social gathering early on in your stop-smoking journey at a location where you would have once had a cigarette? Here’s how to stick to your goals and still have a good time:
Have a pep talk with yourself
Cravings to smoke could well be triggered when you’re heading out for 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.
Don’t put off your plans
Even if you’re having doubts, try to avoid cancelling your social plans. 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.
Go to a place where there’s no smoking
Refrain from choosing a location where it is likely that a lot of people will be smoking and instead opt for a place where there’s no smoking at all — perhaps inviting a few friends around to your house? 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.
Hang out with a quit buddy…
Quit buddies will be great people to have with you when you’re going to social events during your quit-smoking journey. A quit buddy is someone who supports your 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.
Friends and non-smokers will be there to help you towards your goal to stop smoking and support you in your decision to give up cigarettes for good. 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 quit attempt.