To stay smoke-free over the long haul, consider these tips:
June 04, 2013
- 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.
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- Frequently asked questions about quitlines. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/quitlines-faq.aspx. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Quit guide: Clearing the air. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/quit-guide.aspx. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Find tools to help you quit. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/tools.aspx. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- A report on the surgeon general: How tobacco smoking causes disease — The biology and behavioral basis for smoking-attributable disease fact sheet. Surgeongeneral.gov. www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/tobaccosmoke/factsheet.html. Accessed April 18, 2013.
- Ebbert JO (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 23, 2013.
- Nicotine replacement therapy labels may change. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm345087.htm. Accessed April 26, 2013.
- Hurt RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 15, 2013.
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