Making the decision to quit smoking is a major life change. Not only for yourself, but for your friends and family as well. Quitting smoking is one of the best choices you can make to improve your overall health, but it is also extremely difficult. Just the though of getting started can cause anxiety. But your chances of being successful increase if you get ready first.
Set a date
Pick a date within 2 weeks to quit. That gives you plenty of time to get ready, but not too much time where you will loose motivation to quit smoking. Think about picking a special day, such as birthday or national event. If you smoke at work, quit on the weekend or during a day off.
Make and share your plan
A plan will help you stay focused and motivated. This plan highlights your quit date, reasons for quitting, smoking triggers and the ways you plan on fighting cravings. You can build your own, or use Smokefree.gov for help.
Quitting is always easier with support. Let friends, family and co-workers know your plan and what they can do to help. Let them know things such as your mood may change, not to smoke around you, and to support you during this time.
There will be challenges
No plan comes without challenges. The first few months will be difficult as you will be more tempted to go back to smoking. Especially when you are upset or stressed. It helps to be prepared and know what triggers your urge to smoke and plan how you will resist these urges. Triggers can include things like people, places, things and situations. Remember that you will experience withdrawal symptoms as a result of you giving up nicotine. This is normal and it will pass with time.
Discuss your plan with your Doctor
Going cold turkey is not your only option. Talk to your doctor about your plan so they can go over the options that will work best for you. There are numerous prescriptions, gums or patches available that may make this transition earlier for you.
Focus on the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle
Within a few days of quitting, you may notices that your sense of taste and smell is improving. Your breathing will become easier and your smoker’s cough will lessen over time. Best of all, your decision to quit smoking will extend your life expectancy.
Don’t be discouraged if you slip up. This is a difficult journey and it will take time. Do your best to stick to your plan and surround yourself with a good support system. Before you know it smoking will be a thing of the past and you will be a healthier you.