(WGHP) — May 31 marks World “No Tobacco Day.”

This is a worldwide campaign to highlight the health risks of smoking. We spoke to Alyssa Dittner, a complex disease navigator and COPD program coordinator with Novant Health, about some strategies to kick the bad habit for good.

What are the keys to kicking the habit for good?

  • Pick a date
  • Speak with your doctor
  • Know what you’ll do to combat cravings.

Even if you’ve triad before, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Addiction is 20% physical and 80% mental, so it’s important to treat the mental first.

What are withdrawals and how can I avoid them?

Symptoms of withdrawal can include

  • Cravings
  • Mood changes
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia

Withdrawals can often be combated with

  • Nicotine replacement
  • Having support
  • Be knowledgeable, so you aren’t taken by surprise by your symptoms

Is nicotine replacement addictive?

Nicotine is absorbed through the lungs much faster than the steady dose delivered through the skin. The sudden spikes of nicotine followed by a low is what creates addiction. Patches help control the level of nicotine in the system to negate the sudden plummet and withdrawal. A

Additionally, patches don’t come with social rituals – we don’t seek joy in applying a patch with our friends, so many of the mental components leading to addiction aren’t present.

What should be my first step to quit smoking?

Making a plan with a doctor is always your first step. You can also consult North Carolina Quitline or Live Vape Free NC, which is a program aimed at teens and parents.

The most important thing to remember as you embark on efforts to quit smoking is that you aren’t alone!