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How to Look and Feel Your Best at Your Wedding by Quitting Smoking: Wedding Wednesday

The consequences of smoking are well-known. It can cause lung cancer and heart disease- but did you know it can also negatively affect your mood and looks? Smoking can cause fatigue because it decreases blood oxygen, making your heart and lungs work harder. Thus, you might feel lightheaded or tired on your wedding day.

Smoking can also increase your wrinkles because it decreases collagen. Additionally, it can turn your teeth yellow due to the staining caused by tar. While our post on 'How to Have the Perfect Wedding Day Smile' recommends staying hydrated and regularly brushing your teeth, taking these steps may not be enough to reverse teeth discoloration if you smoke.

Given this, you should consider quitting smoking to look and feel your best on your wedding day (and for years to come). After all, you'd want to look amazing in your photos and feel confident during the ceremony. To start, here are some things you can do:

Avoid what triggers your smoking habit

Triggers are what cause you to smoke in the first place. For instance, you may have gotten used to smoking during social events or when you're stressed. You can start quitting by avoiding these triggers so you're not tempted to pick up a cigarette. Instead, distract yourself by doing other tasks, such as doodling when taking a call or staying away from fellow smokers on special occasions (including your stag or bachelorette party). You can also focus more on planning your wedding to keep your mind off smoking.

Gradually quit smoking

Try switching to smokeless alternatives like nicotine pouches and patches to consume small doses of nicotine at a time. That way, your body can gradually adjust without you experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine pouches are oral products that are discreet enough to use, even during your wedding, to prevent relapse. These usually come in strengths between 3mg and 8mg. However, this blog post on Prilla shared that strong nicotine pouches can go up to 15mg, which you may appreciate if you're a heavy smoker looking to quit smoking gradually. Meanwhile, you could also use nicotine patches, which are placed on the skin. This online report from Biospace reveals these are becoming more popular, especially those that regulate nicotine release over the course of 24 hours. You can also hide a patch under clothing, making it useful to avoid withdrawal both before and on your big day.

Learn to change your behavior toward smoking

Sometimes, smoking is so ingrained in your routine that it's extremely difficult to quit. In this case, you may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to change how you think and behave when it comes to smoking. During CBT sessions, a mental health professional will help you determine what exactly motivates you to smoke. From here, they'll develop alternative behaviors you can use to replace smoking. This may include better coping strategies, such as walking when you feel like lighting a cigarette, or relaxation techniques like breathing exercises you can use to repel cravings. Do note that CBT may take some time, so you might want to start treatment a few months before your wedding.

Take smoking cessation medicine

If you need more support, smoking cessation medicines may be the answer you're looking for. These work by blocking the pleasant effects of smoking or reducing your cravings. That way, you're less motivated to smoke and can successfully avoid the habit in time for your wedding. One you can try is Varenicline, one of the most popular medicines for smoking cessation. This informative piece from the National Institutes of Health notes that it's effective for short-term and long-term relapse. It blocks any enjoyment you get from smoking, so you're less likely to pick it up again. Another option is Bupropion, which works by easing you withdrawal symptoms. Much like CBT, you'll need to take Varenicline and Bupropion over the course of a few weeks. That said, it's best to get a prescription from your doctor a few months before your wedding if you feel these medicines may work for you.

*Blog post by Rose Koerner.



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