The path to quitting smoking is different for everyone, we all have different motivations to quit. The only part of quitting that is common is that it is hard, but quitting can be a bit easier with a plan.
Nearly 70 percent of current adult smokers say they want to stop, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Commit to quitting by setting a quit date. The first step to becoming smokefree is choosing when you want to quit. Pick a date that gives you time to prepare, this helps build the confidence and skills needed to quite successfully. Choose a date that is no more than a week or two away and write it somewhere you can see it every day. Circling the quite date on your calendar reminds you of your decision to become smokefree and gives you time to prepare to quit.
Everybody has a personal reason to quit smoking and it is important to understand why you are choosing to quit. Make a list of all the reasons you want to become smokefree. Keep the list in a place where you will see it often, like your car or where you used to keep your cigarettes. When you feel the urge to smoke, take a look at the list to remind yourself why you want to quit.
Consider these questions and statements about smoking: What do I dislike about smoking? Health Director for Jackson Tobacco Reduction Coalition says 45% of high school students and 40% of middle schoolers report being around second-hand smoke. What do I miss out on when I smoke? I will get healthy to make sure I am around to share in my family’s special moments. How is smoking affecting my health? My chances of having cancer, heart attacks, heart disease, stroke, cataracts, and other diseases will go down when I quit smoking. What will happen to me and my family if I keep smoking? I will set a great example for my kids because it takes a lot of strength to quit. How will my life get better when I quit? I won’t have to worry about when I can smoke next or where I can or can’t smoke.
Triggers are specific persons, places, or activities that make you feel like smoking. Knowing your smoking triggers can help you learn to deal with them. Cravings are short but intense urges to smoke. They usually only last a few minutes. Plan ahead and come up with a list of short activities you can do when you get a craving. Getting rid of smoking reminders can keep you on track during your quit. Smoking reminders can include your cigarettes, matches, ashtrays, and lighters. It may also help to make things clean and fresh at work‚ in your car‚ and at home. Even the smell of cigarettes can cause a cigarette craving.
Quitting smoking can be hard, especially because of a highly addictive chemical in tobacco products called nicotine. Be kind to yourself. Tobacco users who are addicted to nicotine are used to having nicotine in their bodies. Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes that makes you addicted to smoking. When you stop smoking, your body has to adjust to no longer having nicotine in its system. This is called withdrawal. Withdrawal can be unpleasant, but you can get through it. You may be tempted to smoke to relieve these feelings. Just remember that they are temporary, no matter how powerful they feel at the time.
Quitting smoking happens one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Reward yourself throughout your quit. Celebrate individual milestones, including being 24 hours smokefree, one week smokefree, and one month smokefree. Quitting smoking is hard, be proud of your accomplishments.