1. Don't smoke any cigarettes.
2. Write down why you want to quit.
3. Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking.
4. Get help if you need it.
5. Remember that more than half of all adult smokers have quit, and you can, too.
Don't smoke any cigarettes
Once you decide to quit smoking, don't smoke any cigarettes at all. Even occasional smoking is harmful to your lungs, blood vessels and cells. So, once you determine to quit, put all your cigarettes/cigars/smokeless tobacco and smoking accessories out of sight. Out of sight may help you to keep it out of mind. If you do find your hand reaching for something and remember that it is usually a cigarette, find something else to put in your hand to occupy it, like a pencil or low calorie snack, like low-fat, low-salt popcorn, sugar free mints or sugar free gum.
Take frequent naps, if possible, to get your mind off smoking.
Write down why you want to quit
- Tired of paying $5 for a pack of cigarettes?
- Tired of hearing comments about how you smell?
- Tired of having to make an effort to find a place that you can smoke?
- Would you like to live a healthier lifestyle? Want to protect your loved ones from breathing other people's smoke?
- Want to set a good example for your children/friends?
- How much success you have in defeating addiction to smoking is determined by how much you really want to quit. Knowing what your reasons are for quitting, will help you to stay focused on the goal.
Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking
The NIH (National Institutes of Health) describe nicotine as an addictive chemical substance. This causes most people to have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit using nicotine products. This withdrawal can cause irritability and really wanting to use (smoke) again. These symptoms can last a few days to several weeks.
Nicotine replacement products, such as gum and patches, or prescription cessation medications may be helpful.
Get help if you want it
There are free resources and assistance to help you quit smoking. You may call the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669). You could also see the doctor at the Infirmary for his recommendation. The doctor is available at the Infirmary every day MWTHF at 7:30AM and Tuesdays at 9:00AM. You may also find it helpful to visit the CDC website for Tips From Former Smokers.
You can do this
You weren't born with a cigarette/cigar/chew in your mouth. It is not natural. Other people have been successful at quitting smoking and you can too. Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to protect your health and that of your family and friends.
Betty C. Sonnier, RN, BSN
Student Health Services