If you are reading these words, cheers to you on looking for ways to quit smoking! Whether you are thinking about quitting, ready to quit, or would like to stay tobacco-free, you are choosing to make a positive change for yourself.
Tips To Help
- Acknowledge that quitting is a difficult thing to do, since nicotine is habit-forming. Don't beat yourself up during weak moments, as it may actually backfire and encourage relapse.
- Get help and support from your family, loved ones and healthcare provider.
- Set a quit date, calendar and plan. Many people often make this a New Year's resolution, but you don't have to always follow suit. Why wait till the New Year when you can kick the habit, today?
- See a doctor for possible prescription medication.
- Call a hotline or quit line in your area to help you in times of need.
- Avoid smoking environments and tempting situations.
- Jot down why you want to quit and make sure these reasons are important to you. Then, make copies and post them in places you see in your daily routine to remind and encourage yourself. Some reasons may include:
- How much money you can save each year.
- Age healthier and better.
- Protect your loved ones from second hand smoke.
- Being able to breathe better.
- Keep a copy of the list of reasons why you want to quit with your cigarettes. It can encourage you if you falter.
- Remember, usage of nicotine patches or chewing tobacco does not constitute quitting, but can help ease you off of smoking. Once you have quit smoking, you can start the process of quitting nicotine altogether.
Tips To Fight Cravings
It is normal for body to have withdrawals from substances it is used to receiving, but it is important to remember that the urge to smoke will come and go. Here are some tips to fight those cravings to smoke:
- Try to wait it out.
- Reach for your list of reasons to quit and encourage yourself.
- Munch on some healthy snacks when you feel the urge to smoke. Try carrots, celery, walnuts or apples. For some reason, crunchier foods seem to work the best.
- Paint your nails or wash dishes to keep your hands busy.
- Take a shower or relaxing bath.
- Take a small run or light exercise. (For more information on light exercise, read about Low-Impact Aerobics: Easy Workouts For Anyone.)
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching or breathing techniques to help you relax.
- Do something to take your mind off of the craving. Anything is better than yielding to the urges. Remember, even one cigarette can undo all the work you have put in!
Benefits Of Quitting
Immediate rewards of quitting include:
- Better smelling breath.
- No more yellowing of teeth. (For more information, read 9 Things That Stain Teeth The Most.)
- Better smelling clothes and hair.
- No more yellowing of nails and finger tips.
- Skin will look less dry and ashy.
- Food will taste better, as the senses of the palate will return.
- Sense of smell will also become sharper and back to normal.
- Less coughing, less phlegm buildup and better breathing.
- Your loved ones around you will also breathe better.
Long-term rewards of quitting include:
- Smoother, less wrinkly skin.
- Decreased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
- Decreased risk of diabetes.
- Safer and healthier pregnancies for women. (Learn more by reading How Smoking Affects Pregnancy And Your Baby.)
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Healthier respiratory system.
- Cancer prevention of the lungs, larynx, pharynx, pancreas, bladder and cervix (for women).
- Setting a better example for others.
- Money saved from not purchasing cigarettes!
More than 435,000 Americans die each year from smoking, and it has been estimated that each cigarette may take away roughly 10 minutes of your life. Quitting cigarette smoking can be extremely rewarding. Either way, it is almost a guarantee that your quality of life will drastically increase.