The American Cancer Society cautions consumers against smoking because of the negative physical and psychological effects of nicotine. Unfortunately, many smokers are addicted before they realize how seriously these vices and habits can affect their lives. Once you’re addicted, how do you stop smoking? Thousands of smokers understand the necessity of quitting, but feel they don’t gain enough support in finding ideas that help them quit. In order to increase your chances of success, pay close attention to four factors.
Make a Decision and Be Committed
You might have heard from family members and friends for years that you should quit. Without a commitment from you, it simply won’t happen. Similar to other addictions, you must be dedicated to giving up a habit that is seriously detrimental to your health and your relationships. You must want to quit for yourself, not for everyone else. If you are getting tired of your habit, ask yourself the following questions.
- Are you concerned about developing diseases that can be caused by smoking?
- Do you feel the benefits of stopping are greater than the benefits you gain from smoking cigarettes?
- Do you have close family members or friends who have diseases that are smoking related?
- Are you truly committed to giving up cigarettes and smoking?
Make a Plan and Set a Date
If you are truly committed to giving up this harmful habit, don’t go into the process without planning and organizing. Set a plan for how you will give up cigarettes. Research the best ways to stop and be prepared with tools to help you fight the side effects. Surround yourself with people who support your decision and will protect you from exposure to cigarettes.
Once you have a plan, set a date for when you plan to quit. Mark your chosen date on your calendar, and inform all your friends and family about your plan. Remove all ashtrays and cigarettes from your office, car and home.
On your set quit day, make sure to not even partake of one cigarette. Set up a meeting with a support group and avoid those in your life that smoke. Avoid alcohol and do your best to stay active. Stock up on juices and water and stay hydrated. Change your regular routine in ways that will aid you in your goal.
The bottom line is that it is going to be difficult to give up cigarettes. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to succeed when you decide to quit.
Keep your hands active with things like woodworking or needlework when you need a distraction. Buy snacks like hard candy, sugarless gum or raw vegetables to occupy your mouth when you get a craving. Enjoy breathing deeply and take things one minute at a time. Don’t think of giving up nicotine for life, just for the next 20 minutes, and eventually it will become easier.
Regardless of how committed you are when you make the choice to quit, you’re probably going to slip up. Give yourself the chance to be human and ask your support system for help quit smoking. When you feel the urge, make a list of all the reasons you want to quit, and remember that even one puff can have you back on the road to addiction very quickly.
Ella Gray is a happy home maker and writer who has long since quit smoking cigarettes and never passes up a chance to help others do the same. Please email her at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
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