Steps to Take on Your Quit Smoking Day

By National Cancer Institute

Today’s the day you start your smoke-free life! Remind your family and friends that today is your quit date. Ask them to support you during the first few days and weeks. They can help you through the rough spots.

Using Your Support Program

If you decided to use a support program, use it fully. Go to the sessions. Call your telephone quitline. Visit your favorite quit-smoking websites. The more support you get, the more likely you will quit for good.

Are you using medicine to help you quit? If so, follow the directions. If you don’t, you’re more likely to go back to smoking. Also, don’t rush to stop using the medicine. Stick with it for at least 12 weeks. Or follow your doctor’s advice.

Keep Busy

  • Keep very busy today — the busier, the better. Go to a movie. Exercise. Take long walks. Go bike riding.

  • Spend as much free time as you can where smoking isn’t allowed. Some good places are malls, libraries, museums, theaters, department stores, and places of worship.
  • Do you miss having a cigarette in your hand? Hold something else. Try a pencil, a paper clip, a marble, or a water bottle.
  • Do you miss having something in your mouth? Try toothpicks, cinnamon sticks, lollipops, hard candy, sugarfree gum, or carrot sticks.
  • Drink a lot of water and fruit juice. Avoid drinks like wine and beer. They can trigger you to smoke.

Stay Away from What Tempts You

  • Instead of smoking after meals, get up from the table. Brush your teeth or go for a walk.

  • If you always smoke while driving, try something new: Listen to a new radio station or your favorite music. Take a different route. Or take the train or bus for a while, if you can.
  • Stay away from things that you connect with smoking. Do it today and for the next few weeks. These smoking connections may include things like watching your favorite TV show, sitting in your favorite chair, or having a drink before dinner.
  • Do things and go places where smoking is not allowed. Keep this up until you’re sure that you can stay smoke-free.
  • Remember, most people don’t smoke. Try to be near nonsmokers if you must be somewhere you’ll be tempted to smoke, for example at a party or in a bar.

Remember Your Smoking Triggers

Certain things trigger, or turn on, your need for a cigarette. They can be moods, feelings, places, or things you do.

Knowing your triggers is very important. It can help you stay away from things that tempt you to smoke. It can prepare you to fight the urge when you are tempted.

  • Stay away from places where smoking is allowed. Sit in the non-smoking section at restaurants.
  • Keep your hands busy. Hold a pencil or paper clip. Doodle or write a letter. Carry a water bottle.
  • Stay away from people who smoke. Spend time with non-smoking friends.
  • Put something else in your mouth. Chew sugarfree gum. Snack on a carrot or celery stick. Keep your mouth and hands busy with a toothpick, sugarfree lollipop, or straw.
  • Drink less or stay away from alcohol. Drinking alcohol often makes people want to smoke. Drink juice, soda, or ice water instead.

Remember that the urge to smoke will come and go. Cravings usually last only for a very brief period of time. Try to wait it out.

 

APA Reference
Cancer Institute, N. (2009). Steps to Take on Your Quit Smoking Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/steps-to-take-on-your-quit-smoking-day/0001549
Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.