The best way to stop smoking is to just stop – no ifs, ands or butts. Smoking has a wide variety of health effects and can affect just about every organ in the body. But one of the organs that is most directly affected is the lungs. This is maybe not surprising as this is the organ in direct contact with cigarette smoke.
Start your stop smoking plan with START
S = Set a quit date.
T = Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.
A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting.
R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.
T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.
Designing your personal game plan
Tailoring a personal game plan to your specific needs and desires can be a big help. List the reasons why you want to quit and then keep copies of the list in the places where you’d normally keep your cigarettes, such as in your jacket, purse, or car. Your reasons for quitting smoking might include:
- I will feel healthier and have more energy, whiter teeth, and fresher breath.
- I will lower my risk for cancer, heart attacks, strokes, early death, cataracts, and skin wrinkling.
- I will make myself and my partner, friends, and family proud of me.
- I will no longer expose my children and others to the dangers of my second-hand smoke.
- I will have a healthier baby (If you or your partner is pregnant).
- I will have more money to spend.
- I won’t have to worry: “When will I get to smoke next?”
Questions to ask yourself
To successfully detach from smoking, you will need to identify and address your smoking habits, the true nature of your dependency, and the techniques that work for you. These types of questions can help:
- Do you feel the need to smoke at every meal?
- Are you more of a social smoker?
- Is it a very bad addiction (more than a pack a day)? Or would a simple nicotine patch do the job?
- Is your cigarette smoking linked to other addictions, such as alcohol or gambling?
- Are you open to hypnotherapy and/or acupuncture?
- Are you someone who is open to talking about your addiction with a therapist or counselor?
- Are you interested in getting into a fitness program?
Take the time to think of what kind of smoker you are, which moments of your life call for a cigarette, and why. This will help you to identify which tips, techniques or therapies may be most beneficial for you.