Giving up any habit isn't easy. Here are some ideas, adapted from the National Cancer Institute and other sources, on how to keep from lighting up.
Once you've quit:
- Put it in writing. Why did you want to quit? Write the reasons in a list, and refer to it frequently. You may even want to tape the list to your bathroom mirror and repeat it to yourself every morning.
- Buy flowers. They smell nicer than smoke.
- Go to the dentist and get your teeth cleaned. Use mouthwash. Brush your teeth after each meal. Get to the point where anything other than a fresh, smokeless taste is unappealing.
- If you're used to having a smoke with your coffee or cocktail, avoid those drinks for now. More healthful alternatives: Fruit juices and water.
- Keep your money. Take the cash you normally would have spent on cigarettes and buy yourself something nice.
- Keep your fingers busy. Find something other than a cigarette to fiddle with, such as a ball-point pen. Try doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. Needlework is an artistically satisfying alternative.
- Chew on something. Smoking is orally gratifying. Chew on a plastic straw instead. Toothpicks work, too.
- Go where smoking isn't permitted. There are lots of places, such as public libraries, museums, many stores, malls, certain restaurants and houses of worship.
- Socialize with the non-smokers. If you're at a party, palling around with the cigarette crowd will only lead you into temptation.
When the urge is overpowering:
- Bite into a healthful, crunchy treat. Celery stalks, apple slices and carrot sticks will take the bite out of the craving.
- Hit the showers. Taking a shower or bath will relax you.
- Use some basic relaxation exercises. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Try to relax your muscles as you concentrate on a peaceful image, such as sunset at the beach or rocking your child or grandchild to sleep.
- Whatever you do, don't give in. You'll be tempted to "just have one." The reality is that it could become the first one of many more.
Great American Smokeout Home
The Best Ways To Quit
As If Cancer And Heart Disease Weren't Enough ...
Won't Quitting Make Me Fat?