Helpful tips on how to quit smoking

Picture of grim reaper cartoon with a man smoking a cigarette.

Why do people smoke?


Addiction is the key word.

Once nicotine establishes a foothold in the body, there is a daily need for regular fixes of nicotine.

Combined with the addiction is habit. 

Certain situations, established by habit, trigger the desire for a cigarette.

It might be as soon as a person gets up or with the first cup of morning coffee, the after-lunch drink, the pressure and social interchange at work, or in recreation.

Dozens of apparently insignificant habits can be the “on” switch for a smoke.

Ask yourself: ‘Does this addiction dominate my thinking?

Will I go to great lengths to satisfy my craving, perhaps at the expense of my health, my family?

To what extent have I allowed my addiction to tobacco to damage my life?’

Facing these painful questions may very well give you the courage to quit!

Of course, you may need help and support from others to gain the mastery over tobacco.


Tips on quit smoking


Millions of people have successfully broken their nicotine addiction.

If you are a smoker, even a longtime one, you too can shed this harmful habit.

A few tips that may help:


1. Know beforehand what to expect.

The withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, dizziness, headaches, sleeplessness, stomach upsets, hunger, cravings, poor concentration, and tremors.

Not a pleasant prospect, to be sure, but the most intense symptoms last only a few days and gradually fade as the body becomes free of nicotine.

2. Analyze your smoking habits

Not only did your body crave nicotine but your mind was conditioned by behaviors associated with smoking.

Analyze your routine to see when you automatically reached for a cigarette, and alter that pattern.

For example, if you always smoked right after a meal, determine to get up right away and take a walk or wash the dishes.

3. Dealing with the cravings

Now the mental battle begins in earnest.

When an intense craving strikes, perhaps because of a stressful moment, remember that the impulse will usually pass within five minutes.

Be prepared to occupy your mind by writing a letter, exercising, or eating a healthy snack.

4. Do not give up 

If you are discouraged from failed attempts to quit, take heart.

The important thing is to keep trying.

5. Focus your mind on the benefits of quitting smoking  

If the prospect of gaining weight hinders you, keep in mind that the benefits of giving up cigarettes far outweigh the dangers of a few extra pounds.

It may help to have fruit or vegetables handy.

And drink plenty of water.

6. Set time goals

To quit smoking is one thing.

To stay off tobacco is quite another.

Set time goals for being smoke free—one day, one week, three months, forever.

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