A helpful step on your way to smoking cessation is creating a list of reasons to stop. Health reasons aside, it is helpful to think about how much money you will save by avoiding cigarettes. Also, think about the time you will save taking smoke breaks, rushing out to buy a pack or searching for a light. Smoking cessation will also allow you to avoid the side effects such as shortness of breath, Think about how embarrassing it is to climb stairs with a co-worker and not be able to talk at the top. Your children will thank you later for setting a good example and staying alive long enough to thank you. Your clothes will smell better and your teeth whiter after quitting.

One way to remind yourself of these reasons is to make a list and place it in all the places you would traditionally keep your cigarettes such as your purse, car, kitchen, or pant pocket. That way when you reach for a cigarette out of habit, the list will be there to remind you.

Just thinking about never smoking again is enough to make you anxious and want to light up immediately. The first of five steps is to set a quit date. You want to pick a date in the next couple of weeks so you have enough time to plan but not so long that you will forget about trying. Some people choose a special day like an anniversary or holiday. The Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November and New Yearís Day are also a popular dates.

The second step is to tell family, friends and co-workers you plan to quit so you have the support of those around you. Let them know how they can help you and what does not help you. For example, a family member who shows disappointment when you mess up might be warned that this type of behavior is harmful to your efforts to kick the habit. You might warn those around you that you might experience mood changes as a result. Let them know it is not personal and should not last long. If you have people around you who smoke, ask them to either quit with you or to not smoke in your presence. Tell them you would appreciate it if they would not offer you a cigarette or give you one should you have a weak moment.

Also, it is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist (if you are taking medications) you quit because it might alter the way some drugs affect the body. You can also get support from outside sources such as a hotline, chat room online or group that meets in person. The American Cancer Society and the U. S. department of Health and Human Resources are great organizations to help you find what you are looking for in a support system.

The third step is to anticipate and plan for the obstacles you will face while stopping smoking. This step prepares you for the road ahead. No one will go without challenges despite will power, and it is important to know this going into the process. Statistics tell us that most people who go back to smoking do it within three months of their quit date. You may be stressed out or felling down. But it is best to remember that should you give into temptation, you will not feel any better about the situation. Most likely you will feel worse. You should know when you need a cigarette most. Whether it is after a large meal or when you get off work, those are the time you should watch yourself the most.

The fourth step is to remove all tobacco, lighters and matches from your home, car and work. Getting rid of things that remind you of smoking will help you get ready to quit. You might have your car details to remove the smell and all ashes from your vehicle. By shampooing your carpets, cleaning the drapes and throwing away the ash trays in your home you can also avoid any reminders of smoking. You might also reward yourself for quitting by having your teeth whitened. After spending the money on a bright new smile, you will be less likely to pick up the next cigarette. Some smokers will save a pack for emergency situations. Donít do it! It will make it that much easier to pick up your habit again. Additionally, you should not switch to another form of tobacco such as smokeless or a low-tar cigarette. They are just as harmful. Despite claims, herbal cigarettes are just as harmful as the regular ones. All smoking products are harmful to the heart and lungs.


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