You may be wondering how your social calendar will be affected going forwards if you choose to quit smoking but see yourself as a socialite — be sure to take this quiz about smoker profiles put together by Nicotinell to see if you are indeed a social smoker.
Fortunately, we have a guide which will advise how you can progress along your stop-smoking journey and remain a socialite every step of the way…
Establishing the links between smoking and alcohol
Strong ties appear to be present between smoking and drinking alcohol. In fact, government data has established that up to 90 per cent 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.
There are scientific links as well, in that nicotine and alcohol both act on common mechanisms which are found in the human brain. 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 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 within your bloodstream will drop within 72 hours of your decision to stop 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 a
There are also researchers who 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.
Five tips to socialise during your stop-smoking journey
There is likely to be a time early on in your quit-smoking journey when you’ll be invited to a social event where you would have previously had a cigarette. Here’s how to stick to your goals and still have a good time:
1. Invite quit buddies
Try to invite quit buddies along to social events throughout 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.
2. Hang out with non-smokers
Non-smokers and friends alike are great to have with you at social events when you’re trying to give up cigarettes for good, as they will be there to help you reach your goal and support you as much as possible. 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.
3. Don’t keep cancelling plans
You should avoid putting off going to a social event over and over again just because you’re having doubts about how the occasion will go. 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.
4. Give yourself an encouraging pep talk
Your smoking cravings could very likely be triggered once you’ve chosen to head out for a drink.
Before leaving the house or you get 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.
5. Choose a no-smoking location
Instead of going to a social event at a place where you know there will be people smoking, select a location where you know there will be no smoking at all. For instance, why not invite 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.