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5 Steps to Quitting Smoking

  1. The first step is setting a quit smoking date - within the next two weeks pick a date to quit smoking. In order to not lose your drive don't wait to long to pick a date to quit. If you smoke at work you may want to pick a weekend date so you can return to work smoke free.

  2. Set up your support network - let your friends and family know of your intentions to quit smoking. Tell them how they can help, either by encouraging you or just being there to support you. Look into finding a support group while you are trying to quit smoking. Quit smoking programs can help smokers spot and cope with problems they have when trying to quit. They teach problem-solving and various other coping skills. A good quit smoking program can help you quit by helping you understand why you smoke, teach you how to handle the feelings of nicotine withdrawal and stress, and teach you tips on how to resist the urge to smoke.

  3. Realize there will be challenges - anticipate and plan for challenges while you are trying to quit smoking. Put together a plan on how you are going to handle these challenges when you are faced with them. Develop a list of your triggers (things that make you crave a cigarette). Some common triggers include: feeling stressed, talking on the phone, driving in your car, watching TV, after eating a meal, taking a break at work, drinking alcohol, or just being around other smokers. A good tool to help plan for cravings is to use a cravings journal. A cravings journal helps you keep track of what you were doing when you had the craving, the time of day, who you were with, and how you were feeling. If you have a good list of things that make you crave a cigarette the better plan you will be able to put together on how to avoid and manage these cravings when you do quit smoking. Not only will you have to anticipate cravings you will have to deal with the feeling of nicotine withdrawal while you are quitting smoking. Some common withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, tension, irritability, weight gain, nervousness, and fatigue.

  4. Talk to your doctor - when you decide to quit smoking you should consult with your doctor. Quitting smoking "cold turkey" is not your only option. There are over-the-counter products as well as prescription medication that can assist you in quitting smoking. By using a form of nicotine replacement therapy or prescription drugs you can double your chances of quitting smoking. These types of products can also help greatly with the feeling of nicotine withdrawal you will encounter when you quit smoking. More information on quitting smoking products.

  5. Remove all tobacco - one of the final steps before you quit smoking is to remove all tobacco and related items from your home, work, and car. Get rid of things that remind you of smoking. Get rid of the cigarette smell, make things clean and fresh at home and at work. Clean your drapes and furniture, wash your clothes. Have your dentist clean your teeth and get rid of the smoking stains. Avoid places that cause you to crave a cigarette such as bars or places where other smokers hang out. Don't use other forms of tobacco in place of cigarettes. You can quit smoking!
Are you ready to Quit Smoking? Read the next section on Quitting Smoking.

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