Quitting smoking is not easy. If it were, many more people would quit smoking daily. You may find yourself suffering from irritability, nervousness, and sleeplessness. You may feel the need to have something in your mouth or hands. Chewing gum or mints can easily substitute for cigarettes. Rubber bands, paper clips, or other gadgets will help keep your hands busy. For most people, the side effects pass within a few days. It is critically important not to dwell on these adverse signs and to remain focused on the advantages to quit smoking.
- Make a serious mental commitment to quitting.
- Set a quit date.
- Refer to yourself as a non-smoker in the present tense. For example, say, “I am a non-smoker.” Similar affirmations that fit your individual situation may also be helpful.
- Get rid of all cigarettes and smoking accessories (such as ashtrays) in your home, car, and other places where you might be tempted to smoke.
- Do not let people smoke in your home.
- Get support and encouragement from family, friends, co-workers, former smokers and online resources like SmokeFree.gov
- When tempted, perform tasks that could help distract you: go for a walk, brush your teeth, exercise, or take a bath.
- Drink lots of fluids, preferably those with caffeine.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and avoid contact with smokers.
- You may want to try one of the many medications available to help smokers quit.
Most smokers have to kick the habit more than once to finally quit. If you are unsuccessful the first or second time, try again. These initial attempts are not failures but opportunities to learn how to quit. Success is falling down seven times, yet getting up eight times. With a sincere commitment and perseverance, you will be able to quit. When you do, your family, friends, and most of all, your body will thank you for rising to the challenge.