Where Are You In Your Plans To Stop Smoking?
A few people can stop smoking just by throwing away their cigarettes. But for most people, quitting smoking is not that easy. Quitting takes more than willpower it takes a plan of action.
Most smokers like to smoke at specific occasions. It may be as soon as they wake in the morning, driving to work, following a meal or when they are having a cup of coffee. Some people light up whenever they talk on the phone or get into a car.
Often the triggers for smoking are feelings and emotions. Smokers sometimes smoke more when they are unhappy, anxious, or stressed. Reaching for a cigarette is used as a coping mechanism in an attempt to deal with the problem, such as a problems in the workplace, a breakdown in a relationship, or more often than not it becomes a habit which they struggle to shake off.
Why Do Most Smokers Have Trouble Quitting?
It is because they are addicted to the nicotine in their cigarettes.
Smoking cigarettes gives a smoker regular hit of nicotine. After a while, the body gets used to it. For an addicted smoker, being without nicotine brings on feelings of withdrawal.
But the nicotine is NOT what causes the major health risks of smoking. Cigarettes are filled with thousands of other chemicals. Doctors believe the deadly chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco smoke cause the bad health effects of smoking. Most brands are high in tar. Tar in cigarettes causes lung cancer. Cigarettes also have carbon monoxide, which takes oxygen from the blood and can lead to strokes.
Nicotine is an addiction, but quitting is possible.
There are many ways a smoker can gain control over urges to smoke. Here are some ideas.
- Drink a glass of water or milk while having a cigarette – and when you smoke only smoke – don’t do anything else (e.g. don’t be on the phone etc.)
- Try to change the place where you smoke (e.g. if you always smoke in the kitchen then smoke in the garden)
- Cut back on caffeine (coffee and tea). Caffeine increases agitation in your nervous system – leading to more stress and tension
- See how long you can go before having your first cigarette each day.
- Change your brand of cigarettes (to break habitual associations)
It may not be easy but stick to it until you succeed! Don’t give in. Then go on to the next thing you want to change.
Keep going until you have checked off all the smoking triggers on your checklist. If you can stop smoking at your key times, you are well on your way to stopping. Regardless whether you smoke 10 a day or 40 a day these tips will work for all smokers.
If you always smoke in the car, instead of smoking, listen to some of your favourite music.
Don’t try to do everything at once. Change one thing at a time. Set a date and a reason for wanting to stop smoking and stick to it.
You should choose a specific day to quit. Having a ‘Quit Day’ gives you a goal to reach. It is a promise to keep to yourself and your family. Setting a Quit Day 2 to 3 weeks in advance gives you time to get prepare. Circle your Quit Day on a calendar. Write it down. Carry it with you and inform your friends and family.
Your Quit Day is very important. Ask anyone you know who used to smoke. Five years from now, the day you gave up cigarettes for good will be a day that you remember, like the day you got married or passed your driving test.
Think positive thoughts. Say to yourself, “I can do it this time!” even if you have tried before. Think about how much better you will feel after you quit for good, the money that you’ll save and the health benefits.
Stopping Smoking – You Will Feel Better In The Long Run
Things will get better soon. The “quitting blues” do not last forever. The feelings of giving up cigarettes tend to be strongest during the first week. You may not feel like yourself or may cough more at first. The worst part will be over soon—2 to 3 weeks after you smoke your last cigarette. After a month, you will feel better than you felt when you smoked. So, be patient. Take it one day at a time.
It takes time to get over the urge to smoke. The urges will be strongest in the places where you smoked the most. In the beginning, you may want to avoid places where you used to smoke. After a while, the urges will get a lot weaker.
Avoid smoking even one cigarette. While a single cigarette may not drown your efforts to quit, any smoking makes it easier to relapse into addiction. It is not worth the risk.
If you do get the urge to smoke, don’t act on it. Instead, write down what you will do instead of smoking. It may be as simple as reaching for a notebook which contains the reasons why to stop smoking instead of reaching for a cigarette.
Some people who are still smoking may try to get you smoking again. Be ready to keep saying NO. Your life and your health are at risk. And no matter how much you miss your cigarettes, don’t start smoking e-cigarettes.
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