Quitting Smoking

Although studies have shown that relapse rates for smoking are higher than for any other drug, the following can help you with trying to quit.  The good news is that the physical addiction to nicotine only lasts for about three days. After that it’s all psychological, and mostly habit.

The first step is deciding that you want to cut down, or even stop, smoking. Then choose a date for when you want to quit, but make it one or two months in the future. Don’t try to quit tomorrow or the next day. Many people find quitting on a Monday works best. Tell everybody you know that you are going to quit on your quitting day. Ask them not to offer you a cigarette after that day.

Take a week and write down every time you have a cigarette. Write down the reason why you are having a cigarette. It may be because it’s first thing in the morning, after a meal, with a coffee, you’re stressed, you’re happy, you’re driving, and so on.  Theses are your triggers.  Things that make you want to smoke.

Once you have a list of your triggers, order them in priority. Put the ones that are less meaningful to you at the top and the ones that are more meaningful to you at the bottom. This is the order you will be addressing your triggers.

Now try to come up with an alternative to smoking cigarettes for each of these triggers. For example, first thing in the morning, instead of having a cigarette try doing a few push-ups or situps. By the end of the exercise, you will likely not want to have a cigarette. For smoking in the car or house, make a deal with yourself that you have to go outside to smoke. If you’re on the highway, you have to pull over and get out of the car to have a cigarette. This will help keep your car and house from smelling like cigarettes, and will reduce the trigger of cigarette smell making you want to have a cigarette. After a while, you will start to dislike the smell of cigarettes.

One thing to watch out for is to not replace one habit with another. For example, replacing smoking when you’re stressed with eating chocolates can results in other problems. Try something you like to do, but that is good for you.

Once you have done this, you will likely be one or two weeks into the quitting process. Trying to eliminate the trigger at the top of the list. Once you have done that, move to the next one. By the time you get to your quitting day, you will likely be down to the last two or three triggers. These will probably be the hardest triggers to remove, but you will have had experience in removing the other triggers.

After quitting day, try to avoid people who are smoking, places where there is smoke, and things that make you think of smoking. Do this for at least a month.

If this doesn’t seem to work, talk to your doctor about some medication that can help you with the cravings. Most people do not need any such medications, but they come in handy for some people.

Good luck in your endeavour to improve your health and enjoyment of life. Things really do smell, taste, and look better once you quit smoking.

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