If you've tried to quit before and haven't succeeded, don't be discouraged. Quitting isn't easy.
It takes time, commitment, and the right strategy.
What would you like most in a smoking cessation product?
Steady Nicotine Release?
Satisfies Oral Fixation?
Always check with your doctor before starting any smoking cessation program.
Many proven smoking cessation options are available. Each one offers unique benefits and choices for quitters.
While patches may be more discreet, inhalers and nasal sprays offer greater immediacy. Some options require prescriptions. Other options are available over the counter, such as nicotine gum, enabling smokers to personalize their therapy to best suit their needs.[1,3] Your own success is what counts, so it's important to find the best fit for your lifestyle.
Talk to your health-care provider to find out what nicotine replacement therapy may be right for you.
Using nicotine replacement therapy can increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking. As it releases nicotine into the body, it reduces the tobacco withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting.[1,2] This satisfies the physical cravings - leaving you free to plan how to deal with situations that tempt you to smoke.
Nicotine replacement therapy should be used as part of an overall quit plan - it is not a complete quitting solution by itself. You need to be motivated. A little motivation can go a long way to enhance your chances of successfully quitting. Having the support you need can also make a difference.[2,3]
Your reason for quitting may be a combination of concerns about health, the effect of smoking on your appearance, and pressure from your family and friends to stop smoking. Or maybe you're concerned about the dangerous effect of second-hand smoke on the people you care about. All of these are good reasons and you probably have others.[2,3] Determine your most important reasons, and write them down. In difficult moments, when you want to smoke, this list will help remind you why you are quitting.
Talk to your doctor to find out what helpful tips may be right for you.
Prepare for Quitting:
Ask your family, friends, and co-workers to support you in your efforts to stop smoking.[2,3]
Throw away all your cigarettes, matches, lighters, ashtrays, etc.[2,3]
Figure out how much money you'll save.[2,3] Most ex-smokers can save more than $1,000 a year.
Think about what you will do with the money you save.
Learn when you are most at risk of smoking and plan ahead to avoid difficult situations.[2,3]
Right After Quitting:
Spend time at places where smoking is not allowed.[2,3]
Try to avoid alcohol and other beverages you associate with smoking.[2,3]
Remember that temporary urges to smoke will pass.
Keep your hands busy with something like a pencil or a paper clip.
Find activities which help you relax without cigarettes, and start to create some new habits.[2,3]
Spend time with non-smokers in difficult situations where you might be tempted to smoke.
Satisfy that oral fixation with sugar-free gum or a hard candy.
Individual results may vary. Talk to your doctor to find out what you can expect while quitting smoking.
How You Might Feel After You've Quit Right after you stop smoking, you might feel edgy and nervous. You may have trouble concentrating. You may feel depressed. You might even have trouble sleeping at first. These are typical withdrawal symptoms that will go away with time.
After A Few Days. In a short while, you may noticing some positive signs: better breathing and an improved sense of taste and smell. Your smoker's hack may start to go away with time, although you may keep coughing for a while.
Within time, you may have fewer urges. Urges and withdrawal symptoms go away with time. But they may still occur. . Plan ahead for these difficult times. Concentrate on the ways non-smokers are more attractive than smokers. Their skin is less likely to wrinkle. Their teeth are whiter. Their breath is fresher.[2,3] Their home, car, and clothes smell better. Their children and others around them are healthier, too.[2,3]
Weight Gain - Many people do tend to gain a few pounds after they stop smoking. Always check with your doctor before starting any diet or weight loss program. Talk to your doctor about reducing your fat intake, choosing healthy snacks, and getting regular exercise.
What To Do About Relapse - What should you do if you slip and start smoking again? The answer is simple. A lapse of one or two or even a few cigarettes or cigars has not spoiled your efforts! Discard them, forgive yourself, and try again.
1. Henningfield JE, Fant RV, Buchhalter AR, Stitzer ML. Pharmacotherapy for nicotine dependence. CA Cancer J Clin. 20055