Have you tried to quit smoking before ?
Whether or not, take comfort that most smokers try and fail many times, before they finally quit. Past failures do not suggest you cannot.
TIP: Begin with the fact that it is harder than you think. You will probably get frustrated several times, on the way.
But…DON’T GIVE UP TRYING!.
First of all: You need to change the way you think about smoking.
It may help if you think on any of those lines:
“Smoking is bad for me. Period.”
“Quitting is tough, but I am tougher.”
“I want freedom from Cigarettes.”
“I am in control, not my cigarettes.”
REMEMBER: You are the only one who has to make the decision. Your loved ones may want you to quit, but the real commitment must come from you.
Still strong on your resolve…go to the next step. 🙂
Second: Decide a quit day and make a plan.
• Pick a day within the next one month. It could be an important date ( a birthday, any anniversary etc or any number you like). Circle that date FIRMLY on your calendar. And make a strong, personal commitment to quit on that day.
• Tell your friends and family about the QUIT DAY
• Get rid of all ashtrays, cigarettes in home, car, workplace etc.
• Get ready with a stock of chewing gum, hard candy, cinnamon sticks, toothpicks, straws, coffee stirrers, even pencils/pens ( No am not kidding ).
Third: Decide on the right course: .
There is no one way—you can chose your own:
Stop all at once
Reduce gradually the no of cigarettes each day, then stop on the QUIT DAY
If you want to take the help of medications, or Nicotine Replacement like gums, lozenges, patches : You need to consult a doctor in advance who will prescribe medication and tell you if it is safe for you to take the nicotine replacement.
The medication will have to begin a week before the quit day. The Nicotine Replacement, however, will be used as and when needed.
TIP: Practice often repeating to yourself: “No thank you, I don’t smoke.”
Fourth: On the quit day: Make it a DIFFERENT DAY:
• Don’t smoke AT ALL….not even a puff.
• Make a routine that is busy, and keeps you on feet, be active. Change a routine…take breakfast, lunch at different location and different menu from the routine.
• Drink loads of water and juices.
• Tell friends and family to avoid smoking around you, and that they support your day without cigarette with louder support, pat, hug etc.
TIP: Know that withdrawal symptoms and craving are due to physical and mental nicotine dependence and NOT CIGARETTE.
Fifth: If and when you get a craving :
Do something that keeps your hands busy, like holding a pencil in the hand like a cigarette, which can help distract you from the urge to smoke.
Replace the pack of cigarettes in the pocket with a talisman(e.g., a photo of a loved one or a souvenir) that reminds you of what you want to accomplish.
Breathe deeply: When you smoked, you breathed deeply as you inhaled the smoke. So, when the urge strikes now, breathe deeply and picture your lungs filling with fresh, clean air.
Delay the lighting up: If you feel that you are about to light up, hold off. Tell yourself you must wait at least 10 minutes. Often this simple trick will allow you to move beyond the strong urge to smoke.
TIP: Remind yourself of your reasons for quitting and the benefits you’ll gain as an ex-smoker.
Sixth: Staying quit
Remember the Mark Twain quote?
You too may have to quit several times.
If so, you know that staying quit is the final, longest and most important stage of the process.
Use the same methods (as above) to stay quit as you did to help you through withdrawal.
Think ahead to those times when you may be tempted to smoke, and plan on how you will use other ways to cope with these situations.
IMPORTANT: Repeat in your heart “I am a non smoker”
Sounds silly? No, it isnt. Many smokers see themselves as one– a self image which wants them to still have a cigarette.
BEWARE: More dangerous, perhaps, are the unexpected strong desires to smoke that can sometimes happen months or even years after you’ve quit. Rationalizations can show up then, too. To get through these without relapse, try these:
• Remember your reasons for quitting and think of all the benefits to your health, your finances, and your family.
• Remind yourself that there is no such thing as just one cigarette — or even one puff. As you will often suddenly have the urge `just one cigarette.
• Ride out the desire to smoke. It will go away, but do not fool yourself into thinking you can have just one.
• If you are worried about weight gain, put some energy into planning a healthy diet and finding ways to exercise and stay active.
Seventh: What if you slipped and did smoke?
Don’t feel guilty. YOU DID NOT FAIL. You can look at it to realise what went wrong and renew your commitment.
REMEMBER: Even if you do relapse, very few people are able to quit for good on the first try. In fact, it takes most people several tries before they quit for good.
IMPORTANT: Figure out what helped to you during the Quit period, and what made you relapse.
MAKE A STRONGER COMMITMENT THIS TIME.
FINALLY: If you`ve succeeded:
Don’t pretend smoking wasn’t enjoyable. IT WAS.
After you have smoked your last cigarette, throw out all your tobacco products in the trash or burn them in a bonfire.
Do not give them to another smoker, and least of all to a friend.
Discarding your tobacco like a funeral that says goodbye to an old love and starts you onto a new life.
GRIEVE the loss of your love. It’s okay.
Credits: Smoking Cessation Program in Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.