It is thought that nearly 44 – 46 million people smoke. Smoking is a bad habit, as it is the leading cause of lung death. It kills nearly half of the population per year.

When you smoke, you inhale more than 7.000 harmful compounds, including 560 carcinogens, such as arsenic butane, tiny glass particles and carbon monoxide. The tobacco leaves contain radioactive materials, which may build up in the lungs and lead to a high risk of radiation in the body, which in turn can contribute to cancer development.

Smoking is thought to increase the risk of developing lung illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and heart diseases, like congestive heart failure and heart attacks.

In addition, nicotine raises the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) hormone and weakens the immune system.

Moreover, smoking may lead to:

• Osteoporosis
• Infertility
• Blood sugar problems
• Hormonal imbalances
• Insomnia

When the nicotine passes the brain barrier, it releases dopamine, which makes you feel pleasant. However, when it turns into an addiction, you feel nicotine cravings. Nicotine is very addictive, so it may be harder to give up smoking than giving up cocaine or heroin.

The best way to avoid the side effects of smoking and to promote the overall health is to completely give up smoking. As more people are becoming aware of the hazards tobacco products offer to the human health, the need for smoking cessation aids gradually increases.

Even though many pharmaceutical methods are effective, they can be rather expensive for people living on a budget.

Luckily, there are some cheap natural methods that will relieve nicotine cravings and help you to give up smoking:

1. Physical activity

Doing regular exercise may help reduce nicotine cravings.

2. Lime

Slices of lime can replace 2 – 4 mg of nicotine gum. Limes are loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants, which also help reduce cigarette cravings.

3. Nicotine patch

Using nicotine patches is a common way to treat cigarette addiction. If you use nicotine patches with certain drugs, like varenicline and bupropion, you will get permanent effects.

4. Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy, a type of psychotherapy, relates smoking to unpleasant things, like poor health. Through visualization, guided meditation, deep breathing and relaxing music, hypnotherapy will put you in a trance state.

5. Mindfulness meditation

If you want to obtain positive long-term effects, you have to learn to deal with the nicotine cravings and its symptoms. The stress and psychological distress that ex-smokers undergo during the first few weeks of quitting smoking may be controlled through mindfulness meditation.

6. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is considered to help active smokers to kill nicotine cravings and to give up smoking within a month. It can relieve the withdrawal symptoms related to nicotine, like the jitters, irritability and restlessness.

7. Olfactory training

A study exposed a group of smokers to the smell of cigarettes and rotten fish and eggs for a week. After that, it evaluated the non-REM sleep compared to the other types of sleep. It found out that the smokers smoked less during the second week.

8. Magnesium

Magnesium raises the levels of NMDA receptors that produce dopamine and increases the levels of GABA that acts as a relaxing neurotransmitter.

9. Self-massage

Many people smoke in order to keep their hands busy. Therefore, if you keep them busy in another way, you will be able to give up smoking. It is considered that a two-minute ear or hand massage can reduce cigarette cravings. Touching the ear or the hand can help calm the mind and kill nicotine cravings, as they are systems which represent the entire body.

10. Ginger

When you try to give up smoking, you will begin to feel nauseous. It is one of the most common symptoms that people experience when they try to give up smoking. To relieve this nausea, you can take ginger in the form of capsules, tablets or tea. It will sooth nausea and relive stomach pain.