Quit Smoking for Good

August 19, 2011

 

Don't Get Mad if You Can't Quit Smoking. Get Creative.

Maybe you've tried in the past without any luck. But as the old saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

Quitting smoking is one of the toughest jobs you'll ever face. You probably have friends who've won the smoking battle. You probably also have other friends who've tried and failed. Remember, everyone is different. What works for one person may not always work for another.

This article will give you some tips to help you prepare to quit smoking. The more prepared you are, the greater your chances of success. We'll also share some creative ways that others have quit smoking. Maybe one of these will be the one that works for you!

Preparation is the best inspiration.

Before you can quit smoking, you have to want to quit smoking. Getting into the right frame of mind is half the battle. Here are some tips from WebMD.com to get ready for your day to quit.

Plan ahead.

Choose a date to stop smoking. But make sure you give yourself enough time to create a plan. Also, get advice from other people who have quit successfully.

Buy a journal before your "quit date" (the day you've set to stop smoking). As your quit date approaches, write in your journal how often you smoke. Also, write down the things that cause you to smoke. Once you know your triggers, you can come up with ways to beat them.

Pick your method.

No single program works for everyone. You may need to try a few different ways to quit smoking. You may need to attack the problem from different angles.

It helps to understand that your addiction to smoking is both physical and mental. This means you're fighting a battle on two fronts.

Your body craves nicotine (the drug in tobacco). And your brain also tells you to smoke when you're stressed, bored or angry. It's important that you prepare yourself for both cravings. Knowing your triggers – the things that make you stressed, bored, or angry – can help keep you from falling into the smoking trap.

It's a little like learning to walk through your house in the dark. The first few times you do it, you bump into a lot of things.

Another site with lots of ways to quit is smokefree.gov. It also has a wealth of information so you can research your options.

Create new routines.

Smoking is most likely a big part of your day. So you'll need to form new habits.

Here are a few ideas: Instead of smoking after lunch, chew gum. Instead of taking a cigarette break, play a computer game. Avoid places and situations that might make you feel you need to smoke. Go to smoke-free restaurants. If you smoke in your car, have it cleaned to clear out the smell.

Get support.

You are the only one who can make yourself stop smoking. But it always helps to get the support of family and friends.

Surround yourself with fellow quitters who can help you get through the tough days. Pick someone who really wants you to kick the habit. Then, make him or her your go-to person when a craving hits.

There are probably other options in your neighborhood, too. To talk to a quit coach in your area, call 800-QUIT-NOW.

Think good thoughts.

Each day you don't smoke is a success.

Reminding yourself of your reasons for quitting can help you stay inspired. You can also tell yourself you are bigger than your cravings. And – this is important – reward yourself regularly. Save the money you would have spent on cigarettes to buy something you want for yourself. Now that you're quitting smoking, you deserve it!

Maybe it's time to try something new.

Quitting smoking is hard work. It can make you upset, irritable and short-tempered. But with all these negatives related to quitting smoking, it can also be fun. You just may have to get a little creative.

One success story we like features employees who quit after a six-month no-smoking challenge from their company's owner. The owner came across a group of employees taking a smoke break outside the building. He later asked what it would take to get them to stop smoking. One woman said he'd have to pay her to quit. So that afternoon he gave them a challenge.

The smokers would get $5 per day taken out their paychecks. The $5 was the cost of a pack of cigarettes then. The owner then put the money in a quit-smoking fund for six months. The company also matched the $5 payment with another $5. If any of the smokers who signed on faltered or got caught smoking, the others would share that person's payment.

The company also paid for whatever help the employees needed to quit. One employee chose acupuncture. Another employee picked a nicotine patch. Another used nicotine gum, and then switched to watermelon bubble gum, which her boss also bought.

Five employees joined in, and all five earned the payout. Nine years later, at least one employee is still smoke-free. The final payout to each employee came to around $2,000.

Vitamin C drops helped another person succeed. The woman in this story once tried to quit using nicotine lozenges, but didn't like the taste. She thought of using gum, but worried about her dental work. In the end, she settled on the vitamin C drops because she liked the citrus flavor. At first, she went through quite a few, like 15 a day. But over time she used fewer and fewer drops. She also found a phrase online. The phrase, "NOPE," means "Not One Puff Ever." She repeated it over and over again. Finally, after 12 years as a pack-a-day smoker, this method helped her quit. She hasn't smoked since 2007.

Some people win when they replace smoking with another activity. One man, who spent years trying to quit, found the only thing that really worked was running.

This man no longer craves cigarettes. He does say he's now addicted to running, but that's a much healthier addiction.

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