Let’s face it, the new warning labels that will soon be displayed on all cigarette packs in the United States might deter a few of us from starting smoking, and they may even help some smokers to quit. However, knowledge of the effects of smoking tobacco is nothing new—we already know about lung cancer, emphysema, birth defects, and so on…and still we smoke. We smoke a lot. We often talk about quitting, but even those of us who try and succeed sometimes backslide and buy a pack when our car breaks down, a relationship breaks up, or we’ve just had a bad day at work. If you really want to quit, if you want to improve your life, your bank account, your health, try some of these tips to help get you on your way to a smoke-free life.
If you’re considering quitting smoking, you first need to come up with a plan. Figure out the times you smoke the most, the things that make you want to smoke, and try to either cut those out of your life, or change them or the way you react to them in some way. For example, if you smoke while you drink, try and cut back on the alcohol. You can go out for a drink or two once in awhile, but perhaps spending a night out having drink after drink, and realizing once the night is done that you’ve blazed through an entire pack of cigarettes is not the best idea. If leaving work triggers the need to light up in the car on the way home stash a bag of Dum Dums in your glove compartment, and have one of those instead.
Find a stop-quitting solution that is right for you. Do not try one and then give up if it does not give you the desired results. Lozenges may have worked for a coworker, but they may not work for you. That is okay. Move on to the patches, the gum, or even a prescription such as Chantix. Chantix is expensive, but in the long run, you will save much more in cigarette packs you won’t buy, and medical procedures and treatments you won’t have to have. Talk to your doctor about which method would be best for you.
Create a network of support for yourself. Perhaps you and a friend can try to quit together. Go out for coffee once in awhile, and talk about how the process is going. Find someone you can call if you are stressed and tempted to buy a pack. Perhaps this person can help calm you down so that the need to smoke will wane. Tell others when you have gone for three days, a week, a month without smoking. Your loved ones will be proud of you.
Remember that just because you may give in to the urge to smoke once in awhile during a particularly stressful moment of your life, it does not mean that all is lost. Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult endeavors you will encounter. Just keep getting back on the horse.