Quit-smoking action plan
Trying to quit smoking but having nicotine cravings? Don't give in. If you do feel like you're going to grab that cigarette or other tobacco product, tell yourself that you must wait just 10 more minutes. Then do something to distract yourself from the urge, such as taking a walk, texting your friends or doing a set of pushups. This simple distraction trick may be enough to derail your urge to have a cigarette, since tobacco cravings usually pass within minutes. Repeat as often as needed.
Urges for a cigarette or tobacco are likely to be strongest in the situations where you smoked or used tobacco most often. Don't set yourself up for a smoking relapse. Identify situations that trigger your tobacco cravings, and then create a plan so that you can either avoid them or get through them without using tobacco. For example, if you used to smoke after eating, leave the table when you finish your meal and go for a walk.
Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings and reduce the intensity of cravings. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can make a craving go away. Go out for a walk or jog. If you're stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, pushups, running in place, or walking up and down a set of stairs a few times. Or do chores, such as vacuuming or filing paperwork.
The more support you have, the more likely you are to stop smoking. Tell your family, friends and co-workers that you are going to quit smoking. Ask them to check in to see how you're doing. Ask friends who smoke not to smoke around you or offer you a cigarette. Ask them to be patient with your changes in mood. Also consider joining a support group in person or online.
Creating a quit-smoking plan improves your chance of quitting for good. A quit-smoking plan helps you cope with the challenges that arise when you stop smoking, such as nicotine withdrawal and strong urges to smoke. So although going cold turkey on the spur of the moment may work for some people, you increase your chances of staying quit when you create a quit-smoking plan first.
If you're thinking about quitting, go ahead and pick a day to quit. Here are a few do's and don'ts. Do: Pick a random day as your quit day or pick a day that holds special meaning for you. Do: Pick a day within the next month, to allow time to create a quit-smoking plan. Don't: Pick a quit day too far in the future or you may find it hard to follow through.
Don't be afraid to ask your doctor for help to stop smoking. Treatments that can lessen cravings include nicotine replacement therapies, which can be administered with a skin patch, lozenges, gum, inhalers or nasal sprays. These treatments begin on your quit day. Other non-nicotine medication can help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms by mimicking how nicotine functions in your body. Treatment with these drugs should begin one to two weeks before your quit day.
Getting through your quit day can be emotionally and physically challenging. Use these tips to help get through the day: 1. Begin using nicotine replacement therapy if you've chosen that method. 2. Avoid situations and people that trigger cravings. 3. Keep physically active. 4. Attend a support group, counseling session or stop-smoking class. 5. Keep your hands busy by texting, writing, squeezing a ball or knitting. 6. Remind yourself of why you decided to make this healthy change.
Consider what you don't like about smoking and why you want to quit smoking. Do you want to feel better? Are you worried about health consequences, such as lung cancer and heart disease? Set a good example for your kids? Rid yourself of that lingering smoke smell on your hair, skin and clothes? Write it all down and carry the list with you. Each time you go to pick up a cigarette or other tobacco product, read your list and remind yourself why you want to quit.
If you've tried quitting abruptly a few times and it hasn't worked for you, you might want to start the quit-smoking process by gradually cutting back on your smoking. To cut back gradually: 1. Delay your first cigarette of the day. 2. Smoke only half of each cigarette. 3. Progressively lengthen the time between cigarettes. 4. Buy only one pack of cigarettes at a time. 5. Trade one smoking break a day for physical activity. Build on each success until you've entirely quit smoking.