20 Quick Tips
1. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about some of the most challenging things you have done in your life and realize that you have the guts and determination to quit smoking. It’s up to you.
2. After reading this list, sit down and write your own list, customized to your personality and way of doing things. Create your own plan for quitting.
3. Write down why you want to quit (the benefits of quitting): live longer, feel better, for your family, save money, smell better, find a mate more easily, etc. You know what’s bad about smoking and you know what you’ll get by quitting. Put it on paper and read it daily.
4. Ask your family and friends to support your decision to quit. Ask them to be completely supportive and non-judgmental. Let them know ahead of time that you will probably be irritable and even irrational while you withdraw from your smoking habit.
5. Set a quit date. Decide what day you will extinguish your cigarettes forever. Write it down. Plan for it. Prepare your mind for the “first day of the rest of your life”. You might even hold a small ceremony when you smoke your last cigarette, or on the morning of the quit date.
6. Talk to your doctor about quitting. Support and guidance from a physician is a proven way to better your chances to quit.
7. Begin an exercise program. Exercise is simply incompatible with smoking. Exercise relieves stress and helps your body recover from years of damage from cigarettes. If necessary, start slow, with a short walk once or twice per day. Build up to 30 to 40 minutes of vigorous activity, 3 or 4 times per week. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
8. Do some deep breathing each day for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathe in through your nose very slowly, hold the breath for a few seconds, and exhale very slowly through your mouth. Try doing your breathing with your eyes closed and go to step 9.
9. Visualize your way to becoming a non-smoker. While doing your deep breathing in step 8, you can close your eyes and begin to imagine yourself as a non-smoker. See yourself enjoying your exercise in step 7. See yourself turning down a cigarette that someone offers you. See yourself throwing all your cigarettes away, and winning a gold medal for doing so. Develop your own creative visualizations. Visualization works.
10. Cut back on cigarettes gradually (if you cut back gradually, be sure to set a quit date on which you WILL quit). Ways to cut back gradually include: plan how many cigarettes you will smoke each day until your quit date, making the number you smoke smaller each day; buy only one pack at a time; change brands so you don’t enjoy smoking as much; give your cigarettes to someone else, so that you have to ask for them each time you want to smoke.
11. Quit smoking “cold turkey”. Many smokers find that the only way they can truly quit once and for all is to just quit abruptly without trying to slowly taper off. Find the method that works best for you: gradually quitting or cold turkey. If one way doesn’t work do the other.
12. Find another smoker who is trying to quit, and help each other with positive words and by lending an ear when quitting becomes difficult. Visit this Bulletin Board and this Chat Room to find a “quit buddy.”
13. Have your teeth cleaned. Enjoy the way your teeth look and feel and plan to keep them that way.
14. After you quit, plan to celebrate the milestones in your journey to becoming a non-smoker. After two weeks of being smoke-free, see a movie. After a month, go to a fancy restaurant (be sure to sit in the non-smoking section). After three months, go for a long weekend to a favorite get-away. After six months, buy yourself something frivolous. After a year, have a party for yourself. Invite your family and friends to your “birthday” party and celebrate your new chance at a long, healthy life.
15. Drink lots of water. Water is good for you anyway, and most people don’t get enough. It will help flush the nicotine and other chemicals out of your body, plus it can help reduce cravings by fulfilling the “oral desires” that you may have.
16. Learn what triggers your desire for a cigarette, such as stress, the end of a meal, arrival at work, entering a bar, etc. Avoid these triggers or if that’s impossible, plan alternative ways to deal with the triggers.
17. Find something to hold in your hand and mouth, to replace cigarettes. Consider drinking straws or you might try an artificial cigarette called E-Z Quit found here: http://www.quitsmoking.com/ezquit.htm
18. Write yourself an inspirational song or poem about quitting, cigarettes, and what it means to you to quit. Read it daily.
19. Keep a picture of your family or someone very important to you with you at all times. On a piece of paper, write the words “I’m quitting for myself and for you (or “them”)”. Tape your written message to the picture. Whenever you have the urge to smoke, look at the picture and read the message.
20. Whenever you have a craving for a cigarette, instead of lighting up, write down your feelings or whatever is on your mind. Keep this “journal” with you at all times.
** Article © Copyright Fred H. Kelley of QuitSmoking.com. Visit their web site at http://www.quitsmoking.com for great information and products designed to help smokers quit. Be sure to sign up for their FREE, twice-monthly email newsletter, which provides informative articles on how to quit, and stay quit, plus stories from other smokers. Just mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org