Tips for Smoking Cessation

Jade Augustine

You may have said it time and time again, "This is my last pack of cigarettes, and then I'm done." Then once the cravings hit, you're back to the convenience store counter, obtaining your next pack. Smoking is very addicting, but with a strong plan and a strong will, it's possible to quit entirely.

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Make a Plan

Are you going to stop cold turkey? Are you going to slowly taper off until you get yourself down to zero cigarettes a day? Are you simply going to delay your next cigarette break 30 minutes or an hour more than usual?

Whatever your plan is, it must be reasonable and measurable.

For example, telling yourself that you will smoke fewer cigarettes may sound like a good idea. However, this isn't measurable in practice.

Measurable goals can be something like:

  • I will delay smoking by an hour when I get a craving.
  • I will only smoke up to 10 cigarettes a day.
  • I will quit smoking cold turkey on December 12th.

So whatever your plan is, make sure it is specific, measurable, and realistic.

Tell Others

Once you have a plan in place, telling others about the plan is one of the key steps in sticking to it. If you have someone who wants to quit with you, you can share tips and tricks that you learn along the way. Or, if you're not comfortable sharing your smoking cessation journey with others in real life, an Internet forum might be helpful for you.

Once you tell others, you have accountability. And when you have a craving, you'll have people to talk to that can potentially help you avoid giving in to those cravings.

Remind Yourself of Your Goals

Amid a craving, it can be hard to think of the bigger picture. Make a list of the reasons you want to stop. There are lots of reasons that people want to stop smoking, including:

  • Better health
  • Healthier lungs
  • Saving money
  • Not exposing others to secondhand smoke

So find your reasons, write them down, and remind yourself of them often. It can be beneficial to reread your list when you are having cravings for nicotine.

Plan For Triggers

There are certain situations where you will undoubtedly come face to face with cravings and triggers. If you often found yourself smoking at parties or during breaks at work, it's good to have a plan in place to deal with these triggers as they come since you can't always avoid these things entirely.

So during breaks at work, if you used to sit outside and smoke, you might want to do something else to divert your attention. Reading a book, taking a walk, eating a snack, or listening to some music might be able to do the trick for you.

If other people are smoking around you, it might be best to step away from the situation lest you end up bumming a cigarette off of someone.

Ride Out The Cravings

Cigarette cravings are going to happen when you stop smoking. It can be all too easy to tell yourself that you'll only have just one. In reality, just one cigarette is what led you into nicotine addiction in the first place.

So when the cravings seem to hit you in the face, there are things that you can do until the urge passes, such as:

  • Journaling
  • Doing household chores
  • Meditation
  • Calling a friend
  • Drawing

Sometimes all you need is a bit of time and distraction.

Nicotine Replacement

There are nicotine replacement lozenges, sprays, patches, gum, and more. These replacements provide nicotine without the use of tobacco. These can be very helpful in reducing your nicotine intake over time. However, you will want to take care that you have a plan for reducing these replacement treatments. You don't want to stop using cigarettes only to become addicted to nicotine in a different form.

Don't Be Discouraged by Relapses

Not everyone who quits smoking will relapse, but it is incredibly common to begin smoking again after trying to quit. If this is something that happens to you, don't fret. Relapse can be a part of recovery. Ask yourself what you learned from your relapse and try to figure out how to avoid it in the future. When you're ready, the option to quit smoking again will always be there for you.

Nicotine addiction is very real and can be challenging to overcome, but remember, you are stronger than your cravings. With a good plan set in place and a strong will, you can be sure that you'll come out victorious on the other side.

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Jade Augustine is a writer from Fort Collins, Colorado. She is passionate about cats, dogs, entertainment, vegan food, and traveling.

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