What You Can Do to Quit Smoking
Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.
- Get Ready
Set a quit date and change your environment (get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, and don't let people smoke in your home). Think about what has worked for you in the past. Once you've quit, don't smoke, not even a puff!
- Get Support and Encouragement
Tell your friends, family, and co-workers that you are going to quit, and ask for their support. Ask them not to smoke around you. Talk to your healthcare provider about quitting. Get counseling. Use freely available resources such as the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW). The more help you have, the better your chances of quitting.
- Learn New Skills and Behaviors
Distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task. Change your routines to avoid triggers (e.g. eat breakfast in a different place). Implement other mechanisms to help cope with stress, such as exercise, reading, etc. Plan something enjoyable to do everyday, and drink a lot of water and fluids.
- Get Medication and Use it Correctly
Medications (nicotine patches, gum, inhaler, lozenges, etc.) can double your chances of quitting smoking for good. Ask your healthcare provider for advice, and read the package information. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, nursing, younger than 18 years old, smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking any medicines.
- Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations
Most relapses occur within the first 3 months. Avoiding alcohol, other smokers, and eating a healthy diet and stating active are important to increasing your chances of quitting. If you are experiencing mood disturbances or depression, consider other ways to elevate your mood, and talk to your doctor about medications for depression if necessary.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Five Keys for Quitting Smoking. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/you_can_quit/five_keys/. Accessed August 15, 2012.
Last updated: Oct 31, 2012 2:13 pm