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Quit Smoking Tips

The following are different tips that smokers have used in retraining themselves to live without cigarettes. Any of these methods in combination might be helpful to you. Use the ones you like and/or develop your own program.

  • Throw out all cigarettes, ashtrays, matches and lighter.
  • When the urge to smoke hits, take a deep breath and hold it for ten seconds; then release it slowly.
  • Exercise to help relieve tension.
  • When tempted to reach for a cigarette, select your worst memory connected with the habit (i.e. burned a hole in a suit/dress) and imagine this for 15 seconds.
  • Reward yourself with oral substitutes (i.e. sugarless gum, lemon drops, carrots, cinnamon sticks).
  • Eat three meals. Avoid sugar-laden, and spicy foods which can trigger your desire for a cigarette.
  • Change daily habits which remind you of smoking (e.g.: take a different route to work, eat lunch in a new place, avoid your “smoking chair” at home).
  • Cleanse your body of nicotine by drinking lots of liquids. Avoid coffee, caffeinated soft drinks and alcohol as they increase the urge to smoke.
  • Keep your hands and mind busy (i.e. knit, play cards, crossword puzzles).
  • Spend the day with friends who don’t smoke.
  • Get rid of smokers’ breath by brushing teeth several times.
  • Go public with your plans to quit. Ask friends, family, and coworkers to help you quit and not to smoke around you.
  • Congratulate yourself on quitting smoking it’s hard work!
  • Indulge in a bath, massage, nap, listen to music; realize you don’t have to smoke to have a good time.
  • Avoid foods that are high in calories; try carrots, gum, apples.
  • Try smoking a few extra cigarettes for a day before you quit, so the taste of cigarettes is spoiled.
  • Make a list of what you like and dislike about smoking. Add to it and read it daily.
  • Wait 3 minutes after a cigarette craving before smoking. During the 3 minutes, change your activity by telephoning an ex-smoker, or spouse.
  • Plan a memorable date for stopping, but not too distant.
  • If you smoke under stress at work or school, pick a date when you are not at work or school.
  • Decide if you are going to stop suddenly or gradually. If gradually, develop a tapering system, so you have intermediate goals.
  • Don’t store cigarettes. Buy one pack at a time. Keep them as far away from you as possible.
  • Purchase cigarettes which are lower in nicotine and tar.
  • Say “I don’t want to smoke” instead of “I quit smoking” so you maintain your resolution if you accidentally have a cigarette.
  • Try to help someone else quit smoking, especially your spouse or significant other.
  • Always ask yourself, “Do I need this cigarette, or is it a reflex?”
  • Each day, delay lighting your first cigarette.
  • Decide to smoke only on even or odd numbered hours.
  • Go to bed and arise early, to avoid rushing to work or class.
  • Only smoke half a cigarette.
  • After you quit, exercise your lungs (i.e. brisk walk, aerobics).
  • If you gain weight because you are not smoking, wait until you are over the craving before you diet. Dieting is easier then.
  • If you are depressed or have physical symptoms which might be related to smoking, discuss these with your physician.
  • Visit your dentist after you quit have your teeth cleaned to get rid of tobacco stains.
  • If you are a “kitchen smoker” in the morning, volunteer your services to schools or non-profit organizations to get out of the house.

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