8 Tips to Quit Smoking

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Smoking endangers your health and the people you love, but the damage caused by smoking is not entirely irreparable. You still have time to quit, but it will take commitment and dedication. Follow these tips to encourage yourself to quit and increase your likelihood of sticking with it.

1. List your reasons for quitting

There are many reasons for you to quit smoking cigarettes but the most pertinent ones to your life and values will be the ones that mean the most to you. It could be your own health or the health of your family. It could be preventing your family from having to take care of you when you get sick. It could be the financial cost of smoking or its environmental impact. Choose the top three reasons why you can’t smoke anymore and write them down. Put them someplace you see often to remind yourself why you’re quitting for good.

2. Pick a day to quit

Don’t wait for the right day and time to quit. Choose a day that you want to quit and stick to that. Schedule it in and begin to cut back until you reach that date. It is much harder to quit smoking cold turkey, so if you choose a realistic goal to be off of cigarettes completely. When that day arrives, don’t make a big deal out of it. Just go about your day as normal and try not to think about smoking.

3. Replace smoking time with other activities

Find other activities that replace smoking in your life. Do something that you’ve always wanted to try and put the money you would have spent on cigarettes toward that new hobby. Better yet, choose a hobby that is healthful and will help you detox. Try to pick something fun that isn’t too difficult to keep up. Consider an activity that will keep your hands busy like knitting or building.

4. Find the support you need to quit

Your family and friends are here to help you. Find people in your life who can support you along your path to independence from cigarettes. Have someone to call in case you really want to smoke, someone who can remind you why you’re doing this. Sometimes your family may be bound up in their own addictions and attempt to sabotage your efforts to become healthy. While this is unfortunate, it shouldn’t sway you from your goal. Consider looking online for support or joining a local A.A. group. By finding people who share your commitment to creating a healthy future, you’ll be able to share your struggles in a supportive environment.

5. Consider the hidden costs of smoking

Did you know that smoking cigarettes is one of the leading causes of bladder cancer in adults? Carcinogens from smoking eventually end up in the bladder and kidneys, causing cancer. Once diagnosed, your bladder will likely be removed and replaced with an external urostomy bag. There are a multitude of other hidden health costs to smoking like increased cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Crohn’s Disease and many more. If you think these diseases won’t affect you, think again.

6. Plan ahead for your withdrawal symptoms

Consider purchasing a nicotine cessation patch or going on a smoking cessation program to improve your chances of success. Have a back-up plan for when cravings strike, and try to choose options that are healthy and not merely replacing one addiction for another. If you have a plan to follow for when you crave a cigarette, you will be less likely to cave in to your cravings.

7. Be positive about quitting smoking

Quitting cigarettes will cause a number of side-effects like depression and anxiety. This is perfectly normal. Try to replace negative thoughts and self-doubt with self-praise and positivity. You’re working hard toward improving your life and doing good for the world as well. You can stay healthy to provide for your family. You are preventing medical care costs. You’re even helping the environment by not introducing smoke into the air. There are a number of reasons for you to celebrate quitting smoking so encourage yourself throughout the challenging moments.

8. Everyone slips up, so try again

If you smoke again, it doesn’t mean that you should feel ashamed. Encourage yourself to try again and try to discover why you went back so you can prevent relapse in the future. Quitting smoking is a long-term goal that requires consistent effort. Remember your reasons for quitting and plan for when cravings strike and try again.

The first step to quitting smoking is determining your motivation to quit. From there, these tips will help you throw away your cigarettes for good and start on your path to a positive, healthy future.

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