How to give the butt the boot

2009-07-23 00:00

TO stop smoking is not an easy task but you can increase your chances of stopping smoking successfully with a little forward planning and support. Here are some essential tips to help you become a non-smoker.

 

 Pick a target date

It helps to have a target date for when you’re planning­ to stop. Choose a date — for example a month from now — and stick to it. Although some people can stop by cutting down over time, the best way is give up completely in one stroke. Make sure that the day you choose is going to be relatively stress free.

 

 Keep a diary

Keep a diary, perhaps for a week just before you intend stopping. It’s important to understand your triggers and reasons for smoking before you give up.

Write down all the times that you smoke every day — as well as where you are and who you’re with — and note how much you needed each cigarette. You may then spot patterns, triggers or habits which you can think of dealing with once you start trying to stop.

 

 Prepare to stop

Get rid of all smoking materials around the house. If you’ve got to make an effort to get them, such as going to the shops, then your craving might pass (or the guilt may get to you) by the time you get there.

Get rid of lighters, ashtrays and matches — anything that will make it easy to light up again. Spring- clean your house, removing smoke smells from everywhere­ — including your clothing.

 

 Enlist help

Get help from all manner of sources. Start with family and friends and let them know that you’re giving up.

You might have to ask smokers not to smoke in front of you, or you may have to ask the family to bear with you, as you might be a little short tempered for a while.

Other assistance can be provided­ by your doctor or a pharmacist, who will be able to give you advice on how to stop.

 

 Stop with others

One way of gaining strength when stopping is to do it at the same time as other people.

Find at least one other person who would like to give up. Alternatively, you might like to choose a friend who you would like to make a pact with to stop at the same time.

 

 List your reasons for stopping

Write down all the reasons why you want to stop smoking. Don’t forget the reasons such as saving money, being and looking healthier, or doing it for the sake of your family.

Keep this list somewhere handy — perhaps on your desk at work – or leave little reminder notes around your house, so that wherever you go there’ll be a note staring you in the face to remind you why you are stopping.

 

 Break the routine

Most smokers will have times when and places where they always have a cigarette. For some people this could be a cigarette after their first couple of hours at work.

Some smokers light up after a meal. Try to avoid these situations by not going outside to smoke or by visiting somewhere where smoking is banned.

 

 Take the “cold turkey” approach

Many people attempt the “cold turkey” approach, and try to stop smoking without any additional help other than their own willpower.

Although it does work for some, it will certainly make the first week after you’ve stopped rather difficult­, as your body will crave nicotine.

 

Stay off

Once you’ve stopped, stay off the cigarettes. Even just one cigarette can lead to the habit forming again. Keep reminding yourself about the benefits of giving up smoking even when you think you have kicked the habit.

 

And if it doesn’t work out…

It’s important not to beat yourself up if you fall back into bad habits. Just treat it as part of the process­ of giving up.

Try to regain your original thoughts of giving up, rediscover your determination and try again.

You can do it. — Health24.

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