It is never too late to give up smoking. Quitting smoking now will improve your health and lower your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses.
How to Quit Smoking: A Step-by-Step Guide
To achieve your goal, you must ask these questions:
There is no one correct way to quit smoking (also known as tobacco cessation), but there are some important steps that can help a person’s decision to quit be successful. These steps can help you or a loved one quit smoking cigarettes or smokeless tobacco (chew, dip, or snuff).
- Make the decision to stop smoking
Only you can decide whether or not to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Others may encourage you to quit, but the true commitment must come from you.
Consider why you want to quit.
- Are you concerned about contracting a tobacco-related disease?
- Do you think the advantages of quitting outweigh the advantages of continuing to use tobacco?
- Do you know anyone who has suffered from health problems as a result of using tobacco or being exposed to it frequently?
- Do you want to save the money you’re currently spending on cigarettes, chew, dip, or snuff?
- Do you want to be healthier and have more energy for upcoming events like a family wedding?
- Are you ready to give up smoking for good?
Make a list of your reasons so you can refer to them whenever you want to smoke or dip.
- Make a plan for your Quit Day
What is the significance of choosing a Quit Day?
When you’ve made the decision to quit, you’re ready to set a quit date. This is a critical step. Choose a date within the next month to be your Quit Day. Choosing a date that is too far in the future allows you to change your mind. You must, however, allow yourself enough time to prepare. You could choose a date with a special meaning, such as a birthday or anniversary, or you could just pick a random date. Make a note of the date on your calendar. Make a firm, personal commitment to quitting on that particular day. Inform others about your plan.
- How do you intend to leave?
There are numerous methods for quitting, some of which are more effective than others. Nicotine replacement therapy, prescription drugs, and other methods are available to help people quit smoking. It may also be beneficial to use these when quitting smokeless tobacco. Learn more about quitting methods so you can find the one that works best for you. It’s also a good idea to consult your doctor or dentist for advice and support. Also, check with your insurance company to see if they cover quit programs and quit aids like medications and counseling.
Another important aspect of your strategy is supported. In-person quit programs, advice from trusted health care professionals, phone quitlines, phone reminder apps, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help materials like books and pamphlets, and counselors can all be extremely beneficial. Inform your family, friends, and coworkers of your decision as well. They can offer your assistance and encouragement, increasing your chances of quitting for good.
- What else can you do before your Quit Date?
Reduce the amount you use.
Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day or the amount you dip or chew each day as a way to cut back before quitting. This gradually reduces the amount of nicotine in your body. Before you quit, try cutting back to half of your usual amount. If you normally carry a supply, try leaving it at home. Carry something else with you to eat instead.
- Reduce the amount and frequency with which you use
You could also try limiting when and where you smoke, dip, or chew. This allows you to identify when your cravings are at their peak. Knowing what triggers your cravings can help you devise a game plan. Again, if you’ve decided not to use tobacco in a particular location, leave it at home when you go there. Instead, try your alternatives.
When you have a craving for tobacco, put it off.
Try to go as long as you can without succumbing to a craving. Begin with at least 10 minutes, then gradually increase the time as you get closer to your Quit Day. Choose your three worst triggers and abstain from tobacco use during those times. This will be difficult at first, but practice will make perfect.
On the day you decide to quit,
Tobacco use develops into a strong habit over time. Daily events, such as waking up in the morning, finishing a meal, drinking coffee, or taking a break at work, frequently elicit the desire to use it. Breaking the link between the trigger and tobacco use will assist you in quitting.
On your Quit Day, go through the following:
- Tobacco is not permitted. This translates to not at all – not even a single puff!
- Keep yourself busy by walking, doing short bursts of exercise, or engaging in other activities and hobbies.
- Consume plenty of water and juices.
- If you want to quit smoking, start using nicotine replacement therapy.
- Attend a quit-smoking class or stick to your self-help plan.
- Avoid situations where there is a strong desire to use tobacco.
- People who smoke should be avoided.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption or abstain entirely.
- Consider how you can alter your routine. Take a different route to work. Instead of coffee, drink tea. Breakfast should be eaten in a different location or with different foods.
Be prepared to feel the desire to use tobacco, and that desire will most likely be quite strong. But it’s important to remember that whether you give in or not, the urge will pass.
- Delay for a total of ten minutes. If necessary, repeat.
- Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Consider your lungs filling up with clean, fresh air.
- Sip your water slowly, sip by sip.
- Change your mind. Cravings are triggered by certain activities. Get up and get moving.
This simple trick will frequently allow you to overcome the strong desire to use tobacco.
If you have any other tips for quitting smoking, please leave them in the comments section so that others can benefit.