QUIT FOR GOOD
Getting into the habit of not smoking
The Best Choice You Can Make
Quitting smoking is the best health choice you can make. Few things have more benefits. You can expect to :
Greatly improve your health.
Improve your family's health by not exposing them to second-hand smoke.
Feel and look better.
Save a lot of money.
Enjoy the freedom of not depending on tobacco when you're at work, under stress or in social settings.
Sticking to It
Your first few days becoming a non-smoker will test your will. But each day, you'll be closer to your goal. Here's how you can make it a little easier:
Avoid places like bars and cafés that you know will tempt you to light up.
Avoid your old smoking buddies for a while. (Let them know why.)
Tell the people in your life that you've quit. Ask for their support (and patience and understanding).
Talk to friends who have quit.
Avoid Your Triggers
Certain events, places or even people may give you an urge to light up. Avoid these triggers when you can. Check which of the following you can try:
Meet with friends at non-smoking clubs, restaurants or cafés.
Have a plan ready to deal with times that trigger you to smoke, like when in a car or talking on the phone.
If you find yourself around smokers, have a list in your wallet to remind yourself why you're quitting.
Change your routine. For example, if you used to have coffee and a cigarette before showering, take a quick morning walk and then shower.
Find Real Stress Relievers
When you're a non-smoker, you have to deal with stress head-on. The following may help:
Blow off steam by exercising. It's good for both your body and mind.
Sit quietly and breathe deeply, visualising yourself on a beach or mountain trail.
Take mini-breaks during the day when you feel stress mounting.
Keep a squeeze ball or hand grips nearby and use them when you're feeling stress.
Keep a Healthy Weight
You may be tempted to eat more once you quit smoking. The following steps can help prevent you from gaining weight:
Go for a walk around the block when you feel the urge to smoke. You'll get some fresh air and burn calories, too.
Keep a pack of sugarless gum handy at all times. Chewing gum will help you satisfy your oral cravings.
Stockpile crunchy, healthy snacks, like carrot and celery sticks and pretzels, at home and work.
Cut back on fried foods, red meat and whole-milk dairy products.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
By quitting, you'll improve your health and the health of your family. For that you deserve a reward.
Each day, place the cash you once spent on cigarettes in a jar.
Make a list of the things you'll treat yourself to with the money you've saved.
Reward yourself for your hard work. A pack-a-day habit can add up to quite a sum.
A Little Extra Help
Many people who quit smoking need support. Nicotine is highly addictive. Cravings can be very strong for many people. This can get in the way of quitting. If that includes you, consider trying the following:
Products like nicotine patches and gum. They help you overcome your cravings for nicotine. Talk to your doctor if you plan on using them. Follow all instructions. They can cause side effects and medical problems if used incorrectly.
Support groups. These can put you in contact with ex-smokers who know what it's like to quit. They can give advice that may be a big help.
Internet. Visit Internet newsgroups on quitting smoking. It may help you to hear how other smokers have coped.
Yourself. You will need to support yourself by refusing to light up even when you really want to. It may be a struggle at first. Always remind yourself of your goals and your reasons for quitting. Those reasons will help you through tough moments. Write them on a card and carry it with you at all times.
If You Slip
Many ex-smokers slip (or relapse) in the early stages of quitting. It's a setback, but not the end of all your hard work. Forgive yourself. And don't light up again. Think about what triggered your smoking. Then plan ways to prevent it from happening again the next time you face that trigger. Quitting smoking can take practice before you finally quit for good.
Local hospital and library
Support organisations like the Cancer Association