Tips on Stopping Smoking – How To Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Top 10 Tips on Stopping Smoking

1. Start with some pre-preparation by ensuring that you really do want to quit smoking cegarettes and understanding why you smoke.

Are these reasons powerful enough to motivate you when you are faced with those tricky situations?

Write down your reasons for quitting. You may want to take a look at some of the benefits of quitting.

2. Set yourself a date for quitting. Try and choose a date that will be stress free but when you can find plenty to do to keep yourself busy. Try and set a date within about two weeks of reading this.

3. Ask your doctor for advice. This is especially important if you have health problems or are concerned about issues such as weight gain.

4. Consider finding yourself a quitting partner relatives, work colleagues and friends are a good place to start. Set a date to quit together and you will be able to give each other support.

5. Tell your family and friends about your intentions. Ask them for their support before you quit and explain that you may not be yourself while experiencing withdrawal. When you reach your quitting date rely on those that have been most encouraging for support.

6. Think about starting an exercise program and a sensible eating plan. Again speak to your doctor or dietician. Exercise will give you more energy and help you to relax and relieve stress.

7. You should know what triggers your desire for a cigarette, such as stress, the end of a meal, drinking in a bar, etc. Avoid these triggers while you are trying to quit or if that’s  not possible, decide how you will deal with the triggers.

8. Decide what you will do when you experience cravings. As we’ve discussed deep breathing, a short walk and keeping you self busy will help to take your mind off the cravings. Perhaps you can think of other ways. Write them down. Remember these cravings will only last for 3-5 minutes at a time.

9. If you have tried quitting before maybe you came across a stumbling block which we have discussed such as finding something to do with your hands. If so, you need to arm yourself with a solution to these foreseeable problems. Get yourself a pen, or stress relief aid to fiddle with, if occupying your hands is a problem.

10. Be positive and confident you can quit. You have spent time and energy planning how you will deal with the task ahead by following our tips for giving up smoking. Believe you can and you will do it if you persevere.

Ten of thousands of people are quitting every day around the world. You can be one of them.

Designing your personal game plan

Tailoring a personal game plan to your specific needs and desires can be a big help. List the reasons why you want to quit and then keep copies of the list in the places where you’d normally keep your cigarettes, such as in your jacket, purse, or car. Your reasons for quitting smoking might include:

  • I will feel healthier and have more energy, whiter teeth and fresher breath.
  • I will lower my risk for cancer, heart attacks, strokes, early death, cataracts, and skin wrinkling.
  • I will make myself and my partner, friends, and family proud of me.
  • I will no longer expose my children and others to the dangers of my second-hand smoke.
  • I will have a healthier baby (If you or your partner is pregnant).
  • I will have more money to spend.
  • I won’t have to worry: “When will I get to smoke next?”

We all know the health risks of smoking, and most of us know that kicking the habit is the single biggest improvement to health a smoker can make. But that doesn’t make it any easier to kick the habit. Whether you’re a teen smoker or a lifetime pack-a-day smoker, quitting can be tough.

To increase your chances of success, you need to be motivated, have social support, an understanding of what to expect, and a personal game plan.  It is possible to learn how to replace your smoking habits, manage your cravings, and join the millions of people who have kicked the habit for good.

Many smokers have successfully given up cigarettes by replacing them with new habits, without quitting “cold turkey,” planning a special program, or seeking professional help.

The following approaches include many of those most popular with ex-smokers. Remember that successful methods are as different as the people who use them. What may seem silly to others may be just what you need to quit – so don’t be embarrassed to try something new. These methods can make your own personal efforts a little easier.

Pick the ideas that make sense to you. And then follow through – you’ll have a much better chance of success.

PREPARING YOURSELF FOR QUITTING…

  • Decide positively that you want to quit. Try to avoid negative thoughts about how difficult it might be.
  • List all the reasons you want to quit. Every night before going to bed, repeat one of the reasons 10 times.
  • Develop strong personal reasons in addition to your health and obligations to others. For example, think of all the time you waste taking cigarette breaks, rushing out to buy a pack, hunting for a light, etc.
  • Begin to condition yourself physically: Start a modest exercise program; drink more fluids; get plenty of rest; and avoid fatigue.
  • Set a target date for quitting – perhaps a special day such as your birthday, your anniversary, or the Great American Smoke out. If you smoke heavily at work, quit during your vacation so that you’re already committed to quitting when you return. Make the date sacred, and don’t let anything change it. This will make it easy for you to keep track of the day you became a non-smoker and to celebrate that date every year.

KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT…

  • Have realistic expectations – quitting isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. More than 3 million Americans quit every year.
  • Understand that withdrawal symptoms are TEMPORARY. They usually last only 1-2 weeks.
  • Know that most relapses occur in the first week after quitting, when withdrawal symptoms are strongest and your body is still dependent on nicotine. Be aware that this will be your hardest time, and use all your personal resources – willpower, family, friends, and the tips in this booklet – to get you through this critical period successfully.
  • Know that most other relapses occur in the first 3 months after quitting, with situational triggers – such as a particularly stressful event – occur unexpectedly. These are the times when people reach for cigarettes automatically, because they associate smoking with relaxing. This is the kind of situation that’s hard to prepare yourself for until it happens, so it’s especially important to recognize it if it does happen. Remember that smoking is a habit, but a habit you can break.
  • Realize that most successful ex-smokers quit for good only after several attempts. You may be one of those who can quit your first try. But if you’re not, DON’T GIVE UP. Try again.

INVOLVING SOMEONE ELSE…

  • Bet a friend you can quit on your target date. Put your cigarette money aside for every day, and forfeit it if you smoke. (But if you do smoke, DON’T GIVE UP. Simply strengthen your resolve and try again.)
  • Ask your spouse or a friend to quit with you.
  • Tell your family and friends that you’re quitting and when. They can be an important

JUST BEFORE QUITTING…

  • Practice going without cigarettes.
  • Don’t think of NEVER smoking again. Think of quitting in terms of 1 day at a time.
  • Tell yourself you won’t smoke today, and then don’t.
  • Clean your clothes to rid them of the cigarette smell, which can linger a long time.

ON THE DAY YOU QUIT…

  • Throw away all your cigarettes and matches. Hide your lighters and ashtrays.
  • Visit the dentist and have your teeth cleaned to get rid of tobacco stains. Notice how nice they look, and resolve to keep them that way.
  • Make a list of things you’d like to buy for yourself or someone else. Estimate the cost in terms of packs of cigarettes, and put the money aside to buy these presents.
  • Keep very busy on the big day. Go to the movies, exercise, take long walks, go bike riding.
  • Remind your family and friends that this is your quit date, and ask them to help you over the rough spots of the first couple of days and weeks.
  • Buy yourself a treat or do something special to celebrate.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER QUITTING…

  • Develop a clean, fresh, non-smoking environment around yourself – at work and at home. Buy yourself flowers – you may be surprised how much you can enjoy their scent now.
  • The first few days after you quit smoking, spend as much free time as possible in places where smoking isn’t allowed, such as libraries, museums, theaters, department stores, and churches.
  • Drink large quantities of water and fruit juice (but avoid sodas that contain caffeine).
  • Try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and other beverages that you associate with cigarette smoking.
  • Strike up a conversation instead of a match for a cigarette.
  • If you miss the sensation of having a cigarette in your hand, play with something else – a pencil, a paper clip, a marble.
  • If you miss having something in your mouth, try toothpicks or a fake cigarette.

Avoid temptation

  • Instead of smoking after meals, get up from the table and brush your teeth or go for a walk.
  • If you always smoke while driving, listen to a particularly interesting radio program or your favourite music, or take public transportation for a while, if you can.
  • For the first 1-3 weeks, avoid situations you strongly associate with the pleasurable aspects of smoking, such as watching your favourite TV program, sitting in your favourite chair, or having a cocktail before dinner.
  • Until you’re confident of your ability to stay off cigarettes, limit your socializing to healthful, outdoor activities or situations where smoking isn’t allowed.
  • If you must be in a situation where you’ll be tempted to smoke (such as a cocktail or dinner party), try to associate with the non-smokers there.
  • Try to analyze cigarette ads to understand how they attempt to “sell” you on individual brands.

Find new habits

  • Change your habits to make smoking difficult, impossible, or unnecessary. For example, it’s hard to smoke when you’re swimming, jogging, or playing tennis or handball. When your desire for a cigarette is intense, wash your hands or the dishes, or try new recipes.
  • Do things that require you to use your hands. Try crossword puzzles, needlework, gardening, or household chores. Go bike riding; take the dog for a walk; give yourself a manicure; write letters.
  • Enjoy having a clean-mouth taste and maintain it by brushing your teeth frequently and using a mouthwash.
  • Stretch a lot.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Pay attention to your appearance. Look and feel sharp.
  • Try to find time for the activities that are the most meaningful, satisfying, and important to you.

When you get the crazies

  • Keep oral substitutes handy – try carrots, pickles, sunflower seeds, apples, celery, raisins, or sugarless gum instead of a cigarette.
  • Take 10 deep breaths and hold the last one while lighting a match. Exhale slowly and blow out the match. Pretend it’s a cigarette and crush it out in an ashtray.
  • Take a shower or bath if possible.
  • Learn to relax quickly and deeply. Make yourself limp, visualize a soothing, pleasing situation, and get away from it all for a moment. Concentrate on that peaceful image and nothing else.
  • Light incense or a candle instead of a cigarette.
  • Never allow yourself to think that “one won’t hurt” – it will.

About gaining weight

Many people who’re considering quitting are very concerned about gaining weight. If you’re concerned about gaining weight, keep these points in mind:

  • Quitting doesn’t mean you’ll automatically gain weight. When people gain, most of the time it’s because they eat more once they’ve quit.
  • The benefits of giving up cigarettes far outweigh the drawbacks of adding a few extra pounds. You’d have to gain a very large amount of weight to offset the many substantial health benefits that a normal smoker gains by quitting. Watch what you eat, and if you’re concerned about gaining weight, consider the following tips:

Tips to help you avoid weight gain…

  • Make sure you have a well-balanced diet, with the proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
  • Don’t set a target date for a holiday, when the temptation of high-calorie food and drinks may be too hard to resist.
  • Drink a glass of water before your meals.
  • Weigh yourself weekly.
  • Chew sugarless gum when you want sweet foods.
  • Plan menus carefully, and count calories. Don’t try to lose weight – just try to maintain your prequitting weight.
  • Have low-calorie foods on hand for nibbling. Use the Snack Calorie Chart to choose foods that are both nutritious and low in calories. Some good choices are fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, low-fat cottage cheese, and air-popped popcorn without butter.
  • Take time for daily exercise, or join an organized exercise group.