For those that have tried to quit smoking before and failed, you’re not alone. Nearly nine out of 10 smokers try to quit each year, and less than five percent succeed long term. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can make quitting easier, which can give you the motivation you need to finally stop smoking for good. These tips will help ensure that you’re never tempted to smoke another cigarette ever again!
Determine your reason for quitting
If you want to quit smoking, ask yourself why you want to quit. Write your reason down and read it often. It’s a good idea to have a friend who is also quitting so that you can hold each other accountable. Quitting cold turkey is not always an option and there are many ways that work for different people.
Make a list of reasons to quit
There are many reasons to quit smoking. Smoking can lead to:
- Health Problems: Smoking causes cancer, including lung cancer and oral cancer. It also increases the risk of developing various other cancers, such as pancreatic, bladder, kidney and uterine cancers.
- Emotional Distress: The nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive which means that smokers often suffer from withdrawal when they try to quit or cut back on how much they smoke.
Choose a date to quit
Pick a date to quit. Figure out your reasons for quitting and write them down. Write down the pros of quitting, and the cons of continuing to smoke. Get rid of all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays. Plan what you’ll do with any money you would normally spend on cigarettes or other vices. Sign up for an online support program or find a buddy who’s willing to help you quit.
Tell your family and friends about your decision
The first step is to tell your family and friends that you have decided to stop smoking and need their support. Have a conversation with them about the difficulties you are likely to encounter and the benefits of quitting. Ask them not to smoke around you or offer you cigarettes. Offer them support in return if they decide they want to quit too.
Remove all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home
- Remove all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home, including those that are hidden in closets or drawers. Throw away any remaining packs of cigarettes you have.
- Put the money you were going to spend on cigarettes into a jar and keep it someplace you will see it every day such as on your dresser or by the door where you come and go from your house.
Avoid places where people smoke
If you have a hard time resisting the urge to smoke, avoid places where people smoke. Even if you’re not around people who are smoking, it can be difficult to ignore the smell of tobacco. You should also get rid of all of your cigarettes. Keep them far away and out of sight so that they don’t tempt you when you’re feeling stressed or depressed. If possible, try not to leave your house too much until the cravings subside.
Drink lots of water
Drinking lots of water is a great way to help you quit smoking. The more hydrated your body is, the healthier it will be and the less likely you are to want a cigarette. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day (or whatever your doctor recommends) and try some herbal tea as well.
Eat healthy foods
Eating healthy foods is a great way to naturally curb the desire to smoke. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are all excellent ways to satisfy your cravings in a healthier way. Switching up what you eat can also help you be more mindful of your food choices. Eating healthy will make it easier on your body and brain, which will ultimately help you quit smoking too!
The first step to stopping is recognizing that you need help. You’ve been through a lot, and quitting on your own is not easy. But you can do it.
Here are some steps:
- Set a quit date with your doctor or quit coach (if available).
- Cut down gradually on the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day before your quit date. Try cutting out one cigarette per day every week until there’s none left.
If you start by rewarding yourself with something that makes you happy every time you don’t smoke, it will soon become an addiction of its own. This way, when your cravings kick in and you feel like reaching for a cigarette, instead you’ll reach out to do the activity that brings you joy.