14 Tips to Quit Smoking Today

Tip to Quit Smoking #1: The most important step is the first one: admitting you have an addiction.

Tobacco companies promote the idea that smoking is a matter of personal choice. But is it really? Ask yourself, do you need a cigarette or do you just want a cigarette? If you need a cigarette there’s a good chance that you’ve crossed over from personal choice to addiction.

There are two distinct phases to quitting, and each has its own distinct quitting tips:

Phase One – Quitting with help
Phase Two – Staying smokefree and not relapsing

Phase One – Quitting with help

Tip to Quit Smoking #2: Ask for directions. Studies show that 95% of self-reliant quitters fail, and go back to smoking within 1 year. Get into a program or more than one program! Many clinics and associations offer programs to help you quit smoking: On the Road to QuittingQuit4Life, and Be Still & Know Meditation.

Tip to Quit Smoking #3: Choices, choices choices. You have options, you don’t have to quit have to quit cold turkey, there is also “weaning”, nicotine replacement and Zyban. “Weaning”, means gradually decreasing your cigarette intake every day until, you become completely smoke-free. Nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch, hum or inhaler increase chances of quitting by 50% to 70%.

Tip to Quit Smoking #4: Let it out. The Canadian Cancer Society offers a free ‘smoker’s helpline’, 1 877 513-5333, where you can talk to a ‘Quit Coach’.

Tip to Quit Smoking #5: Moral support. You are not alone, try going to the free meetings offered by Nicotine Anonymous to meet and others fighting alongside you, to free their lives from nicotine.

Tip to Quit Smoking #6: No easy way out. Programs help reduce your distress, but there is no quick fix. It will be difficult for day or weeks, it depends on the degree to which you are addicted psychologically and physically. It is not a matter of whether the program works, but whether you are willing to put in the work.

Tip to Quit Smoking #7: Professional help. If you have trouble with self-denial, you can consider going to a nicotine rehabilitation center such as: the Narconon Natural Detox and Rehab Center in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. There are many more rehabilitation centers available to you listed on the Canada Alcohol and Drug Rehad Programs website.

Tip to Quit Smoking #8: Breathe deeply. Every time you want a cigarette, breathe deeply at least three times. Inhale counting to 5 slowly and exhale counting to 10 at the same pace. As you do this, close your eyes and let your chin fall to your chest.

Tip to Quit Smoking #9: Hydrate. For the first couple days after quitting drink lots of liquids to cleanse your body of nicotine and its accompanying chemicals.

Tip to Quit Smoking #10: Avoid temptation. For the first week after quitting, it is highly recommended to stay away from alcohol, sugar and coffee, as these substances tend to stimulate the desire for a cigarette.

Tip to Quit Smoking #11: Avoid stronger temptation. Ask friends and family not to smoke in front of you – this is crucial.

Tip to Quit Smoking #12: Give your metabolism a hand. Your metabolism will slow down when no longer supplied with nicotine, so in order to avoid gaining weight:

  • Avoid fatty food
  • Snack on low calorie food like celery, apples and carrots
  • Eat slowly with small intermittent bites
  • Instead of a cigarette after dinner, have a cup of mint tea
  • Go to a gym, exercise, join a sport

Phase Two – Staying smokefree and not relapsing

Tip to Quit Smoking #13: It’s not reasonable to be rational. When you get overwhelmed by the urge to smoke, a month or two after quitting and you rationalize that, “I could have one, just one, right?”, WRONG. You will have one right then, but it will be accompanied by another one the next day and then by a whole pack the next week. Therefore, do not let yourself think about it but refer to Tip 14.

Tip to Quit Smoking #14: The 5 minute window. When you get the urge to smoke, refer to Tip 8 and hold on for 5 minutes and the urge will pass.

If you’re trying to quit, you’re not alone. There are others like you and associations built just to help people kick the habit. So, utilize your resources and your chances of succeeding will never be higher.

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About the Author

Barbara Cybart | Other Articles

Barbara is a student at The Medical University of Gdansk.

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