How to quit smoking
Here are some things you can do to quit smoking and kick the habit forever!
- Set a quit date
Decide when you are going to stop. And while you should make it a day when you won’t be under much stress, don’t find excuses for putting off your quit date. Set a day about a week from now and in the meanwhile get ready for stopping.
- Get support
Family and friends can be a big help to someone who wants to stop smoking. Here are some things you can ask them to do to help you quit smoking:
1. “Don’t tempt me! Seeing and smelling cigarettes will make it harder for me to stop. So please don’t offer me a cigarette. And, if possible, don’t smoke in front of me.”
2. “Be helpful. Keep telling me that you’re glad that I stopped smoking.”
3. “Reward and praise me. Do small things to show that you are proud of me.”
4. “Don’t nag me. Be understanding and supportive.”
5. “Give me encouragement when I’m finding it difficult. Tell me not to give up this challenge.”
- Find an ex-smoker
Someone who has been through it him or herself would be an ideal support person. Find someone you can call all the time-someone who will listen, not judge. You may also want to join an ex-smokers’ support group- if there is one in your area.
- Plan your “Survival Kit”
You’ll need substitutes for the pleasures of smoking. You can get oral satisfaction from low calorie snacks, chewing gum or toothpicks. You can keep your hands busy with pencils, worry beads or a squash ball. You should also decide whether you are going to make use of nicotine skin patches and/or chewing gum. These aids can be very useful in helping you to reduce withdrawal symptoms after you give up. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible. Put all these items in package, ready to use.
- Decide on your rewards
Because you are making a major life change, you should give yourself regular treats. Plan small rewards that you can give yourself along the way (healthy rewards! ). These rewards don’t have to be expensive. And you can pay for them by using the money you’re saving by not buying cigarettes. Some examples are books, pot plants, back rubs and finding more time for hobbies.
- Draw up a contract
You may find it easier to stick to your goal if you make a contract with yourself. Write up a smoke-free contract, including your quit date. Sign it and have it witnessed by your support person.
Here are some quick fixes for how to quit smoking
Your best chance however, is to make a clean break rather than slowly cutting down, also called “going-cold-turkey”. If you try to cut down, each cigarette becomes more important to you, making it very difficult to give up the last few cigarettes. However, everyone is different and you may prefer to cut down slowly before quitting.
- Start smoking less of each cigarette.
Begin to reduce the number of puffs you take on each cigarette. Start by drawing a ring around your cigarette at the halfway point. Only smoke up to this point and then stop. Each day, move the ring up so you smoke less and less of each cigarette.
- Turn off your Automatic Pilot
Put an elastic band around your cigarette packs so that, in order to remove the lid, you’ll be forced to remove it. This will stop you automatically reaching for a cigarette because you will have to make a conscious decision to smoke. So from today, only smoke those cigarettes you really want.
- Just say ‘NO!’
Only smoke your own cigarettes and refuse all offers from now on.
After stopping, you’ll probably find the first few days and first week to be the hardest. After that, the problems become more manageable. It usually takes about three months before you completely become comfortable with your new life as a non-smoker.
We wish you the best of luck!