Sunday, January 04, 2009

STOP SMOKING

How to quit Smoking

The Lung Association offers the following advice to help you in your desire to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things you'll ever do. But it gets easier with practice. Research shows that every time you try to quit, you boost your chances of quitting for good. Your chance of success is even higher if you combine quit methods like counselling, nicotine replacement ("the patch") or other medications.

Four steps to quitting smoking

1. Pick a quit day Choose a date within the next two or three weeks to quit. Having a deadline makes it easier to plan how you will handle the people, places and situations that make you want to smoke. Try to choose a time that is not particularly stressful. But don't wait forever for the "perfect" day - pick a quit date now and work with it.

2. Chosen one or more proven quit-smoking methods Your chances of success are greater if you combine quit methods like counselling, self-help guides, the patch and other medicines. Learn more about methods to help you quit smoking. Choose the methods that will work best for you.

It also helps to:

  • List your reasons for quitting - health, family, money
  • Write down the things that can replace smoking: healthy alternatives like exercise, or a new hobby
  • Speak with friends, family, and colleagues who can give you support. Tell them about your plan to quit, so it feels more real to you
  • Start making the lifestyle changes that will support your plan - leave cigarettes at home when you go out, remove the ashtrays from your home
  • Consider joining a support group. Some people find it helpful to talk to others who are also trying to quit. Contact your provincial Lung Association to find a support group in your community.

3. Work your plan

  • It's your quit date. Be firm that you won't smoke.
  • Review your plan often. Knowing how you're going to handle the urge to smoke will help you better cope with cravings
  • Avoid those people and situations where you will be tempted to smoke
  • Go for a walk instead of a smoke.
  • Find a hobby that keeps your hands and mind busy
  • Clean your teeth, your clothes, your house of that stale tobacco smell
  • Be positive. You are choosing to be smoke-free

4. Celebrate your success

  • Believe in yourself and your plan
  • Understand that it takes time to re-learn smoke-free habits
  • Remember, that quitting is a process, not an event
  • Though your recovery begins within hours of your last smoke, it takes at least three weeks to make a new habit. Don't be discouraged if you slip. It's part of the process. You are not a failure. Review your plan and ask yourself how you can do it differently next time.
  • Reward yourself

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