We support your New Years resolution - Keep going! - 1st of 3 parts on Smoking cessation
Posted by Eamonn Brady on
Smoking Cessation Part 1
Three steps to giving up
Deciding to give up smoking and really wanting to succeed are important steps in becoming a non-smoker. There are three steps to giving up smoking:
- preparing to stop,
- stopping, and
- staying stopped.
It can take up to three months to become a non-smoker, but it usually takes less time. The physical craving for a cigarette often disappears in less than a week, but the psychological craving can last longer.
Step 1 - Preparing to stop
It is important that people stop smoking because they want to. Think of the many benefits gained by stopping smoking. Giving up smoking is not easy, but the first 3-4 days will be the most difficult. If a person can, give up with a friend, or family member, who also wants to quit.
Self help tips:
- Set a specific date to give up, and cutting down on the number of cigarettes smoked before that date,
- Support of family and friends will help give up,
- A reward for the end of the first day, first week, first month
- Get rid of everything smoking related, such as cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters, on the day before giving up.
Step 2 - Stopping
The initial goal is to get through the first day without smoking. If there is a need to put something in the mouth, use chew sugar-free gum, or something else that is healthy and non-fattening, such as fruit. If needing to do something with one’s hands, find something to fiddle with, such as a pencil, a coin, or a stress relief ball.
Step 3 - Staying stopped
Take it one day at a time. Think positively, remain determined, and rewarding oneself can help. At the beginning, it may help to change normal routine, to avoid situations that are normally associated with smoking. Avoiding alcohol for a while may also help. Most importantly, do not give up trying to quit, even if not successful the first time. Most people need several attempts at quitting long-term before they stop smoking completely.
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To be continued…next week
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