Quitting smoking is always a popular New Year’s Eve resolution, and always a good idea no matter what time of year. But quitting smoking can be very difficult, too. This article will provide you with some tips on how to quit smoking for good this time. It does not constitute or replace medical advice.
Have a Plan.
Pick a day to quit smoking and stick to it. Get rid of all your cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, and other smoking paraphernalia. Mark the day on your calendar and let everyone know that is the day you are quitting. The American Cancer Society has some great resources for quitting smoking if you need more ideas. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/subsite/greatamericans/Smokeout.asp
Make sure your family and friends know you are quitting smoking and know you will need their help. If you like to smoke during your commute to work, enlist friends to call you on your cell phone during this time and “talk you down.” If you like to smoke while you talk on the phone, let your phone buddies know you may not be calling for a while.
Get Some Help.
There are many, many items out there to help you quit smoking. Nicotine gum, nicotine patches, even prescription drugs can help you manage your cravings and quit smoking. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Watch Your Diet.
Have plenty of healthy foods on hand to snack on when the cravings hit – celery sticks, low fat dip, carrots, whatever can keep your hands and mouth busy without packing on the pounds. But if you do gain a little weight, don’t despair. Quit smoking now and worry about losing weight later. A few pounds are better for you than smoking (notice I said a few pounds.)
There was also a really interesting study done at Duke University that revealed that 70% of the participants found that meat, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks made their cigarettes taste better, but 45% of the participants said that foods such as fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and drinks like water, juice, and non caffeinated drinks made their cigarettes taste worse. So incorporate lots of fruits, vegetables and (low-fat) dairy products into your diet and cut down on your meat, caffeine, etc.
Avoid Your Triggers.
As mentioned above, there might be certain times or activities that make you crave a cigarette. When you are quitting smoking, you may need to modify your behavior. If you like cigarettes with your coffee, try tea, or have your coffee somewhere where smoking isn’t allowed. If you like to smoke while you drink beer, try a glass of wine or even doing without. Everyone is different, and some behaviors that work well for some people won’t work for others. Just keep trying, stay committed, and you will be able to quit smoking.
Happy New Year!