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ICSE > ICSE Articles > Health > How to Finally Quit Smoking

How to Finally Quit Smoking

More than four hundred and forty thousand people die in the United States each year from smoking. Smoking is directly responsible for causing lung cancer, heart disease, strokes, and pregnancy complications, not to mention contributing to overall poorer health. So why do so many people still smoke? Because trying to quit is one of the most difficult things to do. However, you CAN do it with a little help and determination.

If you smoke and have tried to quit, you know how difficult and painful it can be. Many people actually try a number of times before they are successful. What makes it so difficult is the fact that nicotine is an incredibly addictive drug, on the same level as cocaine or heroin.

Switching to low-tar and/or low-nicotine cigarettes is a tactic that many people try, thinking that it will be less harmful. However, because nicotine is so addicting, switching will only make you puff harder and more often on each cigarette. Your only choice for your body’s health is to quit completely.

In spite of the many risks associated with smoking, some smokers, particularly women, believe there are also risks associated with quitting. These perceived risks, gaining weight, increased stress, and damaging relationships with friends who do smoke, can reduce a smoker’s motivation to quit resulting in a lower chance of success.

What can help motivate a smoker to quit? Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you will ever do. Consider the following:

REASONS FOR QUITTING

*First and foremost, you will live longer and you will live a healthier life.

*Your risk for developing heart disease, cancer, lung disease, stroke and other health conditions will diminish significantly.

*Your family will no longer be subjected to breathing in your smoke. Secondhand smoke kills!

*If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, stopping smoking will improve your baby’s chances of being healthy.

*You will be amazed at how much better you will feel and how much better you will be able to taste and smell.

*You will save money. (The price of cigarettes today means you will save a lot of money!)

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE READY

When you are ready to quit, follow the steps below. They will increase your chances of success and help you kick the habit for good.

*Set a quit date and stick to it. Period.

*Change your environment. You MUST do this to succeed.

1. Get rid of every ashtray you have, in your home, your car, your office, everywhere.

2. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home, ever.

3. If you associate any particular item or event with smoking, such as having a cup of coffee, eliminate those things for a period of at least a couple of months.

*Change your behaviors.

1. When you have the urge to smoke, participate in activities that will distract you like going for a long, leisurely walk with a friend or family member, clean house, play with your kids, call a support person to talk you through the tough time.

2. Change your routine. Drink hot tea instead of coffee, instead of eating in front of the TV, eat at the kitchen table with your family.

3. Try some soothing stress reducers like taking a long hot bath, starting an exercise regimen, or reading a good book.

4. Plan something different or enjoyable every day, whether it is a solitary activity or something to do with family or friends.

*If you have made previous attempts to quit and failed, analyze those attempts and try to deduce why they did not work.

*You will have a better chance of success, if you enlist the support of others.

1. Tell everyone you know, your family, friends, and co-workers that you are going to quit and ask for their support.

2. Ask them not to smoke around you and not to leave cigarettes laying around.

3. Find out what kind of support programs your local hospital or health care center offer.

4. There are medications that can double your chances of success. Ask your doctor for advice.

*Drink lots of water to help flush the toxins out of your body. Drinking a lot of water will also help fill you up so you will not be so inclined to overeat.

*Once you quit, DO NOT TAKE ANOTHER PUFF, EVER! Keep yourself away from as much temptation as possible.

BE PREPARED FOR DIFFICULTIES

Many people have relapses within the first couple of months after quitting and many people try to quit several times before they are successful at it. Do not be discouraged and give up if this happens. Set a new date and start over but DO NOT GIVE UP! Below are situations that may challenge you:

*DO NOT BE AROUND OTHER SMOKERS unless you have to. Being around other people who are smoking when you are trying to quit can be an agonizing experience.

*DO NOT GET DEPRESSED. There are many ways to uplift your spirits. Count your blessings, congratulate yourself for quitting, and find something to do that you enjoy.

*AVOID DRINKING ALCOHOL. It can lower your chance of success.

*DO NOT WORRY ABOUT WEIGHT GAIN. The most common concern for many people who are considering giving up smoking is weight gain. Do not ever use this as an excuse.

While most people usually gain around 10 pounds after they quit smoking, there is no reason you have to. Follow a healthy eating plan and get 20 minutes of physical activity every day.

Follow the tips above. You CAN quit smoking!

About The Author

Chris Chenoweth is the author of the DO-IT-YOURSELF HOME, HEALTH & MONEY GUIDE, 500 pages of household tips, home remedies, diet and nutrition information, health issues and thousands of recipes! http://www.money-home-biz.com.

Date Posted: May 17, 2007

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