When you are ready to quit smoking it helps to have a game plan in place. This helps to be more successful in the journey and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you meet specific goals within your quit plan.
Here is an example set of steps to quit smoking:
- Talk to your doctor.
- This should be the first step to everyone thinking about quitting smoking. Your doctor knows your specific health requirements and can guide you to the best solutions and steer you away from potential pitfalls in your plan. Talk about how you’ll deal with withdrawal symptoms, such as behavior modification techniques, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or smoking cessation.
- Cut back.
- Look for ways you can cut back on your smoking. This may include not smoking at a certain time or place, or cutting back to one cigarette at that time or place instead of two. Remember, every little bit counts. Don’t get discouraged if you only cut one cigarette a day. This may mean not going out with the gang on a smoke break or intentionally taking a walk or reading a book instead of lighting up. Start changing habits now, and the next step will be fairly simple. You can certainly start this step before seeing your doctor as long as you don’t start any therapy, drug or herbals beforehand.
- Set a quit date.
- For many people, setting a quit date gives the habit finality. If you set a quit date before you’ve cut back to 1 or 2 cigarettes a day or you’ve cut back over less than 3 to 6 weeks, you may struggle with physical withdrawal symptoms. Make sure you’ve talked to your doctor about how best to deal with those symptoms.
- Jump back on the wagon.
- No matter how much strength you have, you may fall off your quit plan. That is ok. Whatever you do, don’t verbally abuse yourself. It is a setback, yes, but if you forgive yourself and move on you are more likely to be successful. Keep in mind almost everyone who has tried to quit has smoked afterwards. Unless you are on NRT, this small misstep should not be cause for alarm.
- Consider yourself a non-smoker.
- This is an important last step. When you go from smoking to not smoking it changes your identity. Considering yourself a non-smoker gives you a sense of accomplishment and lets others know about your commitment.
Quitting smoking is a challenge, but you can do it. Taking steps in the right direction makes the process much easier. Talk to your doctor and start today. For more information visit the following sites:
Photo: Basher Eyre, Wikimedia. No endorsement implied. Licensing information available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en.
10 Ways to Quit Smoking
How Long do Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms Last?