Tips to Help You Stop Smoking
- To help resolve mixed feelings about stopping, consider identifying the positives and negatives concerning smoking, along with alternatives to smoking. (Hint: You will know when you are ready to stop when the negatives associated with smoking outnumber the positives.)
- When you are motivated to quit, set a target quit date. This will allow time to prepare to mobilize resources for quitting. Remember to allow sufficient time to acquire skills for quitting.
- Keep a smoking diary. Write down when you smoke, why and how much. Use this to determine what you are going to do when you are in the process of quitting. When you stop, keep a non-smoking diary. Explain how you cope with cravings. Rate them on a scale from one to 10. You will notice how the cravings gradually decrease with time.
- Prior to stopping, gradually decrease your daily cigarette use. Put the cigarettes you would usually smoke that day into a clear plastic bag. This is a visual for showing you how the number of cigarettes will gradually decrease with time.
- Change your routine. If you smoked in the morning with your cup of coffee, change it to tea or go in another room and read the paper. Consider making your home a smoke-free environment.
- Set goals for yourself. Initially say you won’t smoke for one-half hour, then one hour, then one day, one week, etc. Make sure you give yourself a reward when you meet your goal.
- Make a list of people who will support you in your goal to quit. Call them when you have the urge to smoke.
- Make a list of people who are non-smokers. Spend time with them doing activities.
- Make a list of activities you want to do that do not involve smoking.
- Write a list of reasons to quit on an index card. Every time you want to smoke, look at it. Carry it in your purse or wallet.
- If you need a break at work, instead of smoking, take a walk.
- Keep sugar-free gum or candy around for when you have a craving.
- Practice using relaxation techniques (such as deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation or imagery) to calm yourself when you are angry or upset.
- When possible, avoid stressful situations that might tempt you to smoke.
- Try to keep busy on your quitting days-exercise, go to the movies, or take long walks. It may help to spend most of your free time in places where smoking is not allowed, such as a library, store, or museum. Remind your family and friends that this is your quitting day. Ask them to help you through the first week or so-it is the hardest.
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support with a trained counselor in Pennsylvania who will talk with you about quitting, whether you are ready to quit or just thinking about it. You can request a variety of free services, including self-help materials, a referral list of other programs in your community, and one-on-one phone counseling to help you quit.
Call 1-800-227-2345 to find a QUIT LINE phone counseling program in your area through the American Cancer Society.
Call 1-877-448-7848 for QUITNET (free) WEBSITES The following list offers some helpful smoking cessation websites and chat rooms.
On the Web
When surfing the web for “stop smoking” sites, please be cautious and avoid sites promising a “quick fix” or guarantees as these may represent scams.