Whether you are trying to quit tobacco or someone you know is, it is a tough battle to win. Tobacco is addictive and if it’s been used as a coping mechanism for stress, it may take a few tries before the habit is put to rest. Thankfully there are helpful tips out there to get you or your loved one started. The biggest thing is to not give up, even after a setback. Better, healthier days are ahead, but you have to push forward.
Five Tips for Quitting Tobacco
1. Develop a plan. It is impossible to quit something (or start something) if you haven’t thought of a foundation to get you started. This doesn’t mean your plan will be fool-proof and keep you on the straight and narrow all the time, but it will give you guidelines and help you get back on track if you stray. Set a date to start and look into resources you can use to help. There are free tools provided by smokefree.gov, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or you can download an app to help track your progress.
2. Find a friend. Whether you find someone else to quit with, or just seek support from friends and family, you will want people in your corner. Let them know how they can help you get over the hump and spend time with people who want to see you succeed in your goal. Ask fellow friends and family that have quit for any advice on how they got through it.
3. Keep downtime to a minimum. Staying busy will help distract you. Bonus points if you try replacing smoking with a healthy habit like exercise or drinking more water. Some people opt for chewing gum. Maybe take up a hobby like painting, or furniture restoration. Whatever it takes to keep your mind from wandering back to smoking, do it.
4. Avoid triggers and bad examples. If you love smoking when you are at the bar or club, you probably should avoid going there. At least for a while. Same if you have a group of friends or family that you would go smoke with. Temptation is real, so why push those buttons if you don’t have to be there? You should even consider throwing out any remaining cigarette packs, lighters, ashtrays, etc. Out of sight, out of mind.
5. Treat yo’ self. As we mentioned above, quitting is not easy. You will have great days and not-so- great days on this adventure. When you do have a major break-through, celebrate it! Even a minor success should be rewarded with something. The nice thing is dropping cigarettes opens up your budget more for a nice dinner, new shoes, a massage or possibly even a dream vacation. Whatever it is you want to do for yourself, let it be known and work hard to get it.