1. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about
some of the most difficult things you have done in your life and
realize that you have the guts and determination to quit
smoking. It’s up to you.
2. After reading this list, sit down and write your own list,
customized to your personality and way of doing things. Create
you own plan for quitting.
3. Write down why you want to quit (the benefits of quitting):
live longer, feel better, for your family, save money, smell
better, find a mate more easily, etc. You know what’s bad about
smoking and you know what you’ll get by quitting. Put it on
paper and read it daily.
4. Ask your family and friends to support your decision to quit.
Ask them to be completely supportive and non-judgmental. Let
them know ahead of time that you will probably be irritable and
even irrational while you withdraw from your smoking habit.
5. Set a quit date. Decide what day you will extinguish your
cigarettes forever. Write it down. Plan for it. Prepare your
mind for the “first day of the rest of your life”. You might
even hold a small ceremony when you smoke you last cigarette, or
on the morning of the quit date.
6. Talk with your doctor about quitting. Support and guidance
from a physician is a proven way to better your chances to quit.
7. Begin an exercise program. Exercise is simply incompatible
with smoking. Exercise relieves stress and helps your body
recover from years of damage from cigarettes. If necessary,
start slow, with a short walk once or twice per day. Build up to
30 to 40 minutes of rigorous activity, 3 or 4 times per week.
Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
8. Do some deep breathing each day for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathe
in through your nose very slowly, hold the breath for a few
seconds, and exhale very slowly through your mouth. Try doing
your breathing with your eyes closed and go to step 9.
9. Visualize your way to becoming a non-smoker. While doing your
deep breathing in step 8, you can close your eyes and begin to
imagine yourself as a non-smoker. See yourself enjoying your
exercise in step 7. See yourself turning down a cigarette that
someone offers you. See yourself throwing all your cigarettes
away, and winning a gold medal for doing so. Develop your own
creative visualizations. Visualization works.
10. Cut back on cigarettes gradually (if you cut back gradually,
be sure to set a quit date on which you WILL quit). Ways to cut
back gradually include: plan how many cigarettes you will smoke
each day until your quit date, making the number you smoke
smaller each day; buy only one pack at a time; change brands so
you don’t enjoy smoking as much; give your cigarettes to someone
else, so that you have to ask for them each time you want to
11. Quit smoking “cold turkey”. Many smokers find that the only
way they can truly quit once and for all is to just quit
abruptly without trying to slowly taper off. Find the method
that works best for you: gradually quitting or cold turkey. If
one way doesn’t work do the other.
12. Find another smoker who is trying to quit, and help each
other with positive words and by lending an ear when quitting
becomes difficult. Visit this Bulletin Board and this Chat Room
to find a “quit buddy.”
13. Have your teeth cleaned. Enjoy the way your teeth look and
feel and plan to keep them that way.
14. After you quit, plan to celebrate the milestones in your
journey to becoming a non-smoker. After two weeks of being
smoke-free, see a movie. After a month, go to a fancy restaurant
(be sure to sit in the non-smoking section). After three months,
go for a long weekend to a favorite get-away. After six months,
buy yourself something frivolous. After a year, have a party for
yourself. Invite your family and friends to your “birthday”
party and celebrate your new chance at a long, healthy life.
15. Drink lots of water. Water is good for you anyway, and most
people don’t get enough. It will help flush the nicotine and
other chemicals out of your body, plus it can help reduce
cravings by fulfilling the “oral desires” that you may have.
16. Learn what triggers your desire for a cigarette, such as
stress, the end of a meal, arrival at work, entering a bar, etc.
Avoid these triggers or if that’s impossible, plan alternative
ways to deal with the triggers.
17. Find something to hold in your hand and mouth, to replace
cigarettes. Consider drinking straws or you might try an
artificial cigarette called E-Z Quit found here:
18. Write yourself an inspirational song or poem about quitting,
cigarettes, and what it means to you to quit. Read it daily.
19. Keep a picture of your family or someone very important to
you with you at all times. On a piece of paper, write the words
“I’m quitting for myself and for you (or “them”)”. Tape your
written message to the picture. Whenever you have the urge to
smoke, look at the picture and read the message.
20. Whenever you have a craving for a cigarette, instead of
lighting up, write down your feelings or whatever is on your
mind. Keep this “journal” with you at all times.