According to the American Cancer Society, smoking cigarettes increases a person’s chance of having a heart attack, getting lung disease, and getting cancer. The best way to reduce these risks is to stop the habit of smoking. To quit this powerful addiction, a person needs to have a solid plan and dependable support system.
Set a Date to Quit SmokingThe first step in kicking this habit is setting a specific date. For example, a person should not say that he is going to stop in the winter. Instead it should be a specific date such as November 21, 2009. If someone is not yet motivated to quit smoking, he should talk to friends, family members, or a licensed mental health professional. Even though smoking is bad for people’s health, there are psychological reasons that people do it. Maybe it helps a person to relax or makes the person feel more social. If a person is not ready to quit, she needs to examine those reasons and how it might conflict with other goals such as being able to attend her granddaughter’s fifth birthday.
Support SystemWhen someone decides that she is going to quit smoking cigarettes, she needs a support system in place. She will need someone to talk to when it gets extremely hard, someone to encourage her, and someone to hold her accountable. People are more likely to reach their goals if they tell people about them.
If a person doesn’t have friends or family members to rely on or wants extra support, she could see a licensed mental health professional. A therapist could help the person set a date, discuss goals, and help her look at her ambivalence around quitting. The therapist might also help the person come up with a plan of action when the cravings are strong.
Nicotine Replacement TherapyNicotine is extremely addictive which makes quitting smoking very difficult. Many people need the help of nicotine replacement therapy through patches, nicotine gum, or nicotine nasal spray. If a person thinks that he needs nicotine replacement therapy, he should discuss it with his general physician to decide the right plan for himself.
Rewards for QuittingA person should reward herself for quitting. Before the start date, she should make a timeline and rewards for getting to that timeline. For example, she might say that after not smoking for twenty-four hours she will take a long bubble bath, one week after not smoking she will treat herself to a new outfit, and one month after not smoking she will get a massage. People can stay motivated by giving themselves healthy rewards, and they will be able to afford it if they don’t have to buy cigarettes on a regular basis.
Smoking is a habit that many people struggle with on a regular basis. It’s something that many people are embarrassed about and want to give up for their health. To be successful in quitting the habit of smoking now, people need to put a plan in place for themselves.