Tips for Quitting Tobacco
If you want to stop smoking or stop using another tobacco product, these tips can help you through the quitting process:
Plan ahead and set a goal. Consider small steps, like starting with just one day. Your goal could be to not smoke at all, or to smoke only half your usual number of cigarettes for that day. Set a goal that is attainable and yet challenging. After one successful day, you may feel like going for a second day of not smoking or, if you are reducing how much you smoke, to cut back even further.
Find a purpose. As with any change, it helps to think about why you want to quit smoking. It might be because you have been getting short of breath, because your doctor recommended it, or because you worry about not living to see your grandchildren grow up. Write the reason on a piece of paper and keep it with you as a reminder.
Derail the habit. Breaking the habit of smoking is often more difficult than dealing with the physical addiction to nicotine. Think about where and when you smoke. If you always light a cigarette when you pick up the phone, start the car, or have coffee, then make it a point not to light up when you do those things. Find something else to do and somewhere else to go instead of heading outside to the smoking area.
A short walk helps many people manage their urge to smoke. Gum, lollipops, toothpicks, hard candy, carrots, or celery can help keep your hands and mouth occupied when the urge to smoke hits.
Ask friends and family for support. Surround yourself with supportive people to help you through the quit process. Let your friends and family know about your goal. Having your own cheering section really can help you stay motivated.
Help yourself change. Once you've made the decision to quit, make a clean sweep of it: wash the drapes, wipe down or paint the walls, get rid of ashtrays, and clean out the car so that the cigarette smell is gone.
There are many ways to quit once you make the decision to do so. Using nicotine gum, lozenges or patches, or stop-smoking medications doubles your chances of success compared to quitting cold turkey. Remember, this could be one of the toughest personal challenges you ever face, so if you think you need help, get it.