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8 Tips to Quit Smoking

Learn the top 8 tips on how to quit smoking on your own.

By
Sanaz Majd, MD,

8 Tips to Quit Smoking

Here are my eight Quick and Dirty Tips to help you quit smoking:

  1. Buy a small notebook or journal. Start making your own list of reasons for wanting to stop smoking and look at this list every single day to remind yourself. 

  2. Write down why you smoke:  Keep a diary of not only when you smoke, but why you smoke in this same journal. Split the page in half. On the left side of the page, write down the time and reasons you smoke. On the right side, start making a list of more healthy alternatives. For instance, do you smoke to relax when you get home from work? If so, make a list of how you can relax instead of with a cigarette. Do you smoke because your coworkers do it during their breaks? Write down a list of things you can do on your breaks instead of following your coworkers outside.

  3. Come up with a plan: Then, come up with a plan to suppress your urges when they do arise. For instance, you may plan to call a friend to talk you out of it. Or maybe you want to take a brisk walk around the block, or distract yourself with an activity with your kids. These urges do not last long. And they tend to be strongest in the first two to three weeks of an attempt to stop smoking. Try to combat the urges with a plan before you experience them. 

  4. Get rid of your smoking gadgets: Also, get rid of all of your smoking paraphernalia-- throw away your ashtrays, lighters, matches, and of course cigarettes. Leave no reminders of your smoking around the house or at work. And then, choose a quit date and tell everyone you know about it. Ask your family and friends to not smoke around you, and to provide you with support. 

  5. See your doctor: Before you quit, be sure to see your personal physician and ask to discuss medications as well as a personal plan that uses a combination of medications along with other options, like the patch or the lozenge. Start taking your medication two to four weeks prior to your quit date. You may also want to join a smoking cessation program before your quit date for extra support. 

  6. Avoid triggers: On your quit date, remind your friends and family to continue to provide you with support. You may want to change your daily routine and avoid situations that trigger you to smoke. For instance, if you tend to smoke after having a beer, do not drink. If you smoke after having a stressful conversation with your mother, do not call her that day. Eat carrot sticks or chew sugarless gum to keep your mouth busy and the cravings away. Start an exercise program. Drink lots of water. Keep yourself busy at all times to distract yourself. 

  7. Give yourself rewards:  Reward yourself at the end of the day. In fact, keep a plan to reward yourself along the way at one hour, one day, one week, and one month after your quit day. Perhaps you can put the money you would have otherwise been spending on cigarettes into a piggy bank and use the money to reward yourself with a prize. 

  8. Ask for help:  If you need extra help, please don’t be shy to discuss this with your doctor. There are several medications and nicotine alternatives that are effective in smoking cessation. Ask your doctor about various prescribed medications and over-the-counter nicotine supplements, such as the patch or gum at your next doctor visit.

Do Not Give Up

Whatever happens, do not give up. Most people who successfully quit smoking will tell you that it often takes a few trials to accomplish. Be prepared for slip-ups and do not be so hard on yourself. Learn from your mistakes and try to find the trigger to your smoking; and prepare yourself to deal with the triggers using a healthier alternative when they happen again in the future. Forgive yourself, and get back to your plan to quit. Remind yourself of the reasons you are quitting.

Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

Quit Smoking image courtesy of Shutterstock

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