How to Quit Smoking by WikiHow

By WikiHow

Nicotine is one of the most addictive, harmful and widely available legal drugs in the world. Smoking is a bad habit and it is annoying and harmful to people who don’t smoke. It harms children who are exposed to it passively. Cigarettes are responsible for around 4.9 million deaths each year. Quitting smoking is difficult but not impossible.

Steps

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    Realize that tobacco creates a habit on a variable reinforcement schedule. Sometimes, it gets you high. People smoke long after they have any expectation of getting high. At some point, you can combine it with coffee and alcohol, and it still does not work, but you’ve done it a hundred, thousand, or more times by then, and so they are all habit smokes. Sometimes, it actually hurts to smoke, and yet people keep doing it.

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    3. Find a strong inner determination to stop smoking. Consider making a list of the reasons you’re thinking about quitting to shore up your determination. Specific, current, emotion-based reasons are better than factual, future-based reasons. For instance, “It’s embarrassing to ride the elevator at work smelling like a giant cigarette” is more motivating than “I don’t want to get cancer when I’m 40, 50 or 60.”
    4. Get some facts. Look up smoking on the internet and find out the history behind it, and what happens to smokers later on in life. You’ll learn about the profit motives behind the industry as well as some medically gruesome reasons to quit. Also, get the facts about any quit-smoking product or technique you’re considering, as research shows that some are more effective than others. Your local consumer or community health organization might have comparison charts for you to check out.
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    2. Be positive and confident that you can successfully quit. You have spent time and energy planning how you will deal with the task ahead by following our tips for giving up smoking. Believe you can and you will do it if you persevere. Use goal accomplishment techniques and regular milestone rewards to stay focused and committed.
    3. Always start your new life with a sense of excitement and enjoyment.
    • Give yourself rewards for milestones (1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc.). For example, if you smoked three packs a week at $4 per pack, after 6 months you would have saved $288, probably even more. Reward yourself with that money.
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    2. Choose a specific quit date. Instead of trying to quit each year on your birthday or for your New Year’s Resolution, try quitting on a Monday! And not just next Monday – but every Monday. That gives you 52 chances in a year instead of just one chance––making it more likely that you’ll succeed. The Healthy Monday Campaign, a non-profit national public health campaign associated with the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, encourages people to quit smoking and take other healthy actions on Mondays.
    3. Between your decision to quit smoking and your “quit date”, do not smoke the same brand. The difference in flavors and chemicals will make smoking less enjoyable, but not intolerable. Switching brands also helps to ‘de-automate’ smoking, which can help you become more conscious of your habit and increase your chances for success.
    • Remove all tobacco products, like lighters and matches from your home and office. Also, don’t even keep a pack of cigarettes at your home, because it will make it easier to start smoking again.
    • That last step will not help people who have bummed a few thousand smokes in their life. In that case, refuse to open a pack. Keep it on you for at least a month, and maybe a year, until delaying yourself, distracting yourself, and denying that urge to open your pack is strong.
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    2. Find a medication or a doctor to help you quit smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy is one option. Nicotine patches release a steady stream of nicotine into your bloodstream through your skin, and nicotine gum delivers nicotine through the lining in your mouth. Other forms of nicotine replacement therapy include nicotine sprays and inhalers that also work by delivering nicotine to your body. Alternatively, ask your doctor about prescription medications to help you quit.
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    3. Survive the first week. Use a cigarette substitute like mints, sunflower seeds, toothpicks, and coffee stirrers to help you get used to not smoking. When you were smoking, your mind and body became accustomed to the physical act of smoking, holding the cigarette in your hand, and putting it to your lips; using harmless substitutes eases the psychological transition to not smoking.
    4. Get out and about. Doing things to distract you from smoking is a good idea. Play a sport, go to the movies, walk along the beach, catch up with smoke-free friends for a gaming session, etc.
    • You might be able to stop the cravings by doing twenty push-ups or brushing your teeth whenever you experience a craving.
    • Place a big fat rubber band on your wrist. Everytime you get a craving, pull the rubber band back and “snap” your wrist, the trigger sensation goes away w/ the sting of the snap.
    • Replace smoking by drinking water heavily; be careful not to drink too much or it will make your stomach look like a balloon for a few weeks. You may need to stay close to a bathroom.
    • Have a low-calorie mint instead of a dirty, stinky cigarette.
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    2. Try abstaining from smoking for a month. Keep telling yourself you will go back to smoking after that month. Then, when the month ends, decide on whether you really want to go back. The answer should be “no!”
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    3. Try a novel approach if you’re unsure of the cold turkey approach. Do not force yourself to quit! Instead, observe yourself and the habit of smoking for a week normally as you usually do. Play with the cigarette you hold in your hands and notice how it looks, feels and smells. This will make you aware of yourself in spite of the habit, and will help when finally you take control over yourself, because you cannot stop doing something you are not even aware of. In most of the cases, the person is aware of buying a cigarette pack, lighting it and puffing out the smoke and stubbing the butt in the end, but is unconscious of his or her sensations while they are happening during the process. Usually smokers use smoking to relax or to enjoy the time to think and ponder over something while still feeling the emotion of being in control or doing something engaging with their hands.
    4. Avoid being over-aware. Just take a normal casual approach and write it down or make mental notes. Even better, imagine the whole scenario of “how you will light the next one”. This way your mind will now have all the necessary sequences required to accept the habit and process your response in future.
    • Because of this focus, you may begin to feel the sour taste in your taste buds, or diminishing sense of smell, or anything else that may pop up that may entice you to leave it.
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    2. Get back on track if you slip up. Don’t get discouraged if you “slip” and smoke while trying to quit. Forgive yourself and try again. The key is to not give up, no matter how hard it feels.
    3. Pinpoint times, locations, and stresses that trigger an urge to smoke. Think of activities you can occupy yourself with as an alternative.
    • Tell your friends and family that you’re trying to quit. Find support in those you love the most.
    • When you feel a craving coming on, take several slow, deep breaths until the feeling subsides.
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    2. For those who believe that no time is like the present, why not quit at the end of your pack? For every smoke you take, break one and throw it in your toilet. Make it your last pack with a little ceremony, always trying to keep one, perhaps as a souvenir.
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      Throw remaining cigarettes away, stop buying them, and think about living a long healthy life, rather than thinking of dying! Don’t hang out with the friends who smoke or don’t go near the people who do.

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      Tell your friends and your family that you don’t want to smoke and you don’t want to see tobacco anywhere near you. Your family and your friends will try to help you out with that.

By WikiHow

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