Find out what your smoking triggers are. What events or aspects of your life “feed” into past unsuccessful quit attempts? Smoke when you’re stressed? When you drive? When you feel uncomfortable? When you drink? With your morning cup of coffee? Worried about weight gain? Once you have identified what you associate smoking with, you will need to change your patterns.
Investigate medications. The most successful quits are a combination of a quit plan for behavior change and medication or Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Talk to your doctor about what he or she recommends for you.
Create a support team. Quitting smoking is not something you want to do alone. It is just too difficult of a change to accomplish by yourself. The good news is that you don’t have to do it by yourself; friends and family members are willing to help. Go to nh.quitlogix.org or www.becomeanex.com to join a community of smokers who are quitting, just like you. Or join others who are trying to quit smokeless tobacco at www.MyLastDip.com or www.KillTheCan.org.
Pick a day to quit. Pick an actual date. Mark it on your calendar. Give yourself some time to prepare for this day. Choose a day that is not a day that you will have stressful things to deal with or need to be highly productive. Some people choose a summer or spring break as a quit date.
Getting ready for your quit day:
- See your physician for a prescription to decrease nicotine withdrawal.
- Start using gum or lozenges between cigarettes.
- About a week or two before your quit day, try to smoke differently. Change brands, switch hands, whenever you feel like a cigarette, wait 5 minutes. Only smoke half. Do whatever you can to start changing your behavior around the act of smoking.
- Create a list of the reasons why you want to quit. Make a card and carry the list around with you or put it on your refrigerator. This list will help you stay focused.
- Remove all the items in your house that have to do with smoking: no lighters or ashtrays. Wash your clothes. Make a dentist appointment.
- Quit smoking the night before your quit day. This way you will put seven or eight hours behind you while you sleep.
- Get rid of your cigarettes! Break them up. Get them wet. Don’t just throw them in the garbage, that makes it too easy to get them.
Ready to start your Quit Plan? You have a choice:
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free, confidential telephone counseling OR go to www.becomeanex.com to start your plan online.