SET A QUIT DATE
Identify your reasons for quitting smoking. Quitting is challenging. You can rise to the challenge, but it helps if you have your goals in mind. Review your mental list as you approach your quit date.
PIN DOWN TRIGGERS
Smoking is more than just a physical addiction to nicotine. It is also a psychological addiction. Why do you smoke? Is it a break from your hectic day?
Is it a moment of peace when you can be alone with your thoughts?
Most people smoke for the same reasons alcoholics drink. It’s a chance to escape, relax, or reward yourself.
Anticipate your high-risk situations and plan for them. This will help you deal with them better. Here are some common triggers for smoking cravings:
Finishing a meal
Driving your car
Using the phone
Every smoker understands that smoking is also an oral addiction. When you quit smoking your brain will still crave the oral sensation of a cigarette. As part of your smoking cessation plan, stock up on oral substitutes like gum, raw vegetables, carrot sticks, hard candy, coffee stirrers, straws, etc.
LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW WHATS UP
Quitting can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! Consider telling at least one friend, family member or coworker you trust that you’re quitting–maybe even ask them not to smoke around you, if they’re smokers, too. It can be quite difficult to quit if your peers smoke around you, and separating yourself from these social situations might be best to do until you have gotten over the urge to smoke.
TAKING CONTROL OF WITHDRAWALS
Expect some physical symptoms. If your body is addicted to nicotine, you may go through withdrawal when you quit. Physical feelings of withdrawal can include:
headaches or stomachaches
crabbiness, jumpiness, or depression
lack of energy
dry mouth or sore throat
a desire to eat
The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal will pass — so be patient. Try not to give in and sneak a smoke because you'll just have to deal with the withdrawal longer.
Keep yourself busy. Many people find it's best to quit on a Monday, when they have school or work to keep them busy. The more distracted you are, the less likely you'll be to crave cigarettes. Staying active is also a good distraction, plus it helps you keep your weight down and your energy up.
Quit gradually. Some people find that gradually decreasing the number of cigarettes they smoke each day is an effective way to quit. But this strategy doesn't work for everyone. You may find it's better for you to go "cold turkey" and stop smoking all at once.