Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To stay smoke-free over the long haul, consider these tips:

  • Stay motivated. Decide to quit, pick a date and create a plan to make it happen. Start by thinking about the mixed feelings you may have about smoking. Then make a list of your reasons for stopping smoking.
  • Don't get discouraged if you slip. Remember, it's common to lapse, and sometimes relapse. But your goal is no smoking at all — even light or occasional smoking is dangerous. You can learn from past experiences about what may have led to a lapse or relapse. Armed with that knowledge, you'll be stronger during your next attempt.
  • Identify your major smoking triggers and challenges. This will help you solve problems and have a plan to deal with high-risk situations.
  • Seek support. Social support is key to achieving a stable and solid, smoke-free life. Ask your family, friends and co-workers for support and encouragement. Be direct, and let them know what specifically helps you most.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Think of one or two phrases to use repeatedly for encouragement, such as "I am grateful to be smoke-free."
  • Set smoke-free boundaries. If there's another smoker in your household, set boundaries by making your home and car smoke-free. Ask smoking co-workers not to offer you a smoke or invite you outside for a smoke break.
  • Regularly review the benefits you're getting from quitting. Short-term benefits include breathing easier, saving money and having better smelling clothes. Long-term benefits include a lower risk of disease, increased chances for a longer life and a healthier environment for your family. Add up how much money you've saved.
  • Avoid alcohol. Drinking is a high-risk situation. Avoid drinking situations until you're confident that you can remain smoke-free.
  • Reward yourself. Buy a magazine, go to the park, meet a friend for lunch or take a class.
Jun. 04, 2013

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