Thinking about quitting smoking? Congrats! Putting the pack of cigarettes down can be one of the best decisions you ever make— for your health and quality of life. It can be very hard to change this habit, especially if you’ve been smoking for a long time. The good news? You can start reaping the benefits in as little as an hour after your last cigarette. Quitting can also help reduce your risk of heart and lung disease, cancer, and other smoking-related conditions.
Here are some of our most helpful tips to quit smoking for good.
Willpower is great, but willpower alone may not be enough to help you quit smoking. Instead, many experts agree that a combination of counseling and medication may be the best bet when it comes to quitting for good. While no one method can be pointed to as a silver bullet, people are encouraged to find what works for them. Some say that using evidence-based smoking cessation treatments can double or triple the chances for success.
Working with a counselor can help you establish a plan that works for you. In fact, 1-800-QUIT-NOW is a support line that can connect you with one that is trained specifically to help smokers quit. In addition to counseling, it can be a good idea to talk to your doctor about the seven different medications that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for smoking cessation. These may help lessen withdrawal symptoms.
Having a plan is essential. While you may be amped to put smoking behind you for good, diving in without a plan can set you up for failure. Since different methods work for different people, the best way to choose a method (or several methods) that work for you is to be prepared. It can be helpful to start by listing the reasons you want to quit. For some, it may be health-related. For others, the economic factors may be the biggest push. No matter what your reasons may be, write them down. That way, you can reference your motivation whenever you feel a craving.
Another thing to consider is what prompts you to smoke and how you’ll handle the pressure from those areas of your life on your journey into quitting smoking. The most obvious is the physical addiction to nicotine. Nicotine replacement therapies can be helpful as they enable a smoker to wean off of nicotine gradually over time. You may also want to consider the psychological factors that contribute to smoking. Making a list of triggers that typically prompt you to smoke (having your morning coffee, finishing a meal, happy hour, talking on the phone, etc.). Having this list handy can heighten your awareness and help you mentally prepare the next time you face one of your triggers. Identify healthy habits to replace smoking in these situations.
A lot of smoking behavior centers around your daily routine. There are probably several times each day when you habitually light up. Consider switching up your daily routine where you can. If you usually enjoy your morning coffee on your outdoor patio with a cigarette, consider heading to a local coffee shop with a book instead. If switching up your routine too much is out of the question, consider adding in substitute behaviors. Some people turn to physical exercise to help ease physical cravings and to distract from the discomfort of wanting a cigarette.
Prepare to avoid social situations where you feel pressured or tempted to smoke. Tell people about your plan to quit smoking and surround yourself with people who support you and your goals. Being accountable and having a support team to cheer you on can make or break an attempt to quit smoking.
As mentioned earlier, talking to your doctor is an important step when quitting smoking. In addition to planning and building a support system, speaking to a medical professional can make the path to quitting much smoother. Your doctor is a powerful ally who can help you successfully quit smoking for good. Use your doctor as a knowledgeable resource about what quitting smoking will look like. Come prepared with a list of questions you would like to get answered. Your doctor can provide information about the most successful methods for quitting, potential medications to aid cessation, and what to expect at each stage.
Your doctor can also make recommendations on how to ensure you continue to take care of yourself, which can also lead to long-term success in quitting. S/he may make recommendations about nutrition and exercise as well as alternative ways to relax.
Decent is here to help you live your best life with our affordable, comprehensive health plans. Whether you’re trying to quit smoking or have other important health goals, we provide easy access to the care you need. All of our plans are centered around the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model. In short, you don’t pay anything to see or talk to your primary care physician. That’s right — you can access your doctor 24/7 through telephone, email, or text. Arrange same- or next-day appointments to see your doctor in-person or to communicate virtually about all your important health matters. It’s all included in your premium. Interested? Get your free quote today!