The Butt Stops Here: 17 Tips to Quit Smoking
Courtesy of Seton Health Center for Smoking Cessation
1. SET A QUIT DATE
7-14 days from now
2. CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
- Make a commitment – a firm decision that says, “I will quit smoking.”
- Write a list of all the reasons why you want to quit. The reasons should be very personal and very important to you. Read this list every day.
3. KEEP TRACK OF WHEN YOU SMOKE
For at least one week write down on a sheet of paper every cigarette you smoke, what you are doing and how strong your desire is based on a scale of 1-5. You’ll learn about your smoking triggers and this will help prepare for the fight ahead.
4. FEAR OF QUITTING
- It’s a life change, not very comfortable and many fear they will not succeed.
- Think of fear as extra energy to help you stay focused on quitting.
- Take it one day at a time.
- Ask your friends for support.
- Think positive! No one ever died from quitting smoking.
- PRAY. Say a prayer or meditate every day.
5. BEHAVIOR CHANGES – Practice these the week before you quit.
- Never smoke when you first get the urge. Wait 5 minutes.
- Keep cigarettes out of reach.
- Buy only one pack at a time.
- Cut down on the places you smoke.
- Switch brands.
- Start smoking later every day.
- Smoke fewer cigarettes every day.
6. THE 6 “D’s” – These are tips that help almost every quitter.
- DEEP breathe
- DRINK a lot of water
- DISTRACT yourself
- DIAL a friend
- DO physical exercise
7. WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
Common symptoms are headaches, sleeplessness, can’t concentrate, cough, weight gain and feeling cranky, nervous, and/or sad. Nicotine Replacement Therapy or Zyban can help. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about what works best for you.
8. MAKE A SURVIVAL KIT
Your survival kit should include things that you can use as cigarette substitutes, like hard candy, mints, toothpicks, plastic straws, swizzle sticks, a stress ball or any small ball that you can squeeze when you feel stressed.
9. MAKE A PLAN
Having kept track of your smoking you know your triggers.
On a sheet of paper write down the smoking trigger and next to it write, “Instead of smoking I will…”
10. QUIT DAY
- Remove all cigarettes from car, home and work.
- Keep busy.
- Know your plan and do it.
- Practice the 6 D’s every day.
11. REWARD YOURSELF
You are going to have more money as an ex-smoker, use that money and buy something special for yourself. Give yourself positive strokes like “I’m proud of you.”
12. COPING SKILLS
- Take naps
- Go easy on yourself
- Do relaxation exercises
- Plan something fun
- Stay away from caffeine
13. CRAVINGS LAST 1-3 MINUTES
A craving will pass whether you smoke or not. Wait it out, it’s only 3 minutes.
- “Impatience” You can’t hurry this process, but you can do things that help. Remind yourself how long you smoked and remember that your body is healing from cigarettes and that takes time.
- “Pity-party” A little self-pity is actually comforting, limit it to 10 minutes day.
15. ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Start keeping a list of all the good things that are happening to you as a result of quitting smoking and soon you will find yourself a “gratefu” ex-smoker.
16. BEWARE THE “JUST ONE”
Even though you are moving ahead in the quitting process, you have to stay tuned in to that “little devil” inside of you who says, “Just one is okay.” Talk back and say something like, “No thanks, I’m a non-smoker.”
17. DON’T SLIP
If you slip, get right back on track as soon as possible. Call a friend, get rid of cigarettes, change your surroundings, leave the situation, take a walk and read your list of reasons for quitting smoking.