By Kevin Rail
10 Steps to Quit Smoking
Natural methods for quitting a smoking habit include steps as simple as getting rid of cigarettes and lighters, spending time in places that do not allow smoking, and making diet adjustments.
By Kevin Rail
According to the American Heart Association, approximately 26.2 million men and 20.9 million women in the United States are smokers. Smoking is well known for its damaging effects to the lungs, skin, heart and brain. After years of use, this often brings smokers to the point where it is time to jump ship and quit for good. When this is the case, there are several steps that can be taken to make that decision a lasting reality.Set a DateWhen you are about to quit, setting up a game plan is an important factor. You should know the exact day you are going to quit, the obstacles you may be in for and various strategies that can help you overcome those obstacles.DistractionOne of the main things to do when you quit is keep your mind occupied. A way to do this is to stay busy and keep your mind fixed on other things. Some examples are reading books, going to the movies or visiting an art gallery. It would also help to go to places where smoking is not allowed.InvestigateIt is very important to get rid of all the temptations that can lead you back to smoking. Go through all of your clothes, your dresser, your cabinets and your glove compartment and immediately throw out any cigarettes, lighters, matches or anything else that can cause you to smoke or remind you of smoking.AvoidanceThere are certain people, places and things that might cause you to think about smoking. For example, you might have hung out with certain people that you used to smoke with or you might have frequented a certain establishment where you used to smoke all the time. The habit of going to these places and seeing these people should also be broken.Gift YourselfOver time, the habit of smoking can really add up financially. After you quit, save the money you would have spent on cigarettes. This will give you an incentive to stay on track. You can also buy yourself a present after several months.Support TeamQuitting smoking is one of the hardest things one can do. For some, it may be the hardest thing they ever do. Setting up a support team of close friends and family members can make this easier. You can then turn to your support team when you need someone to talk to, or if you are about to break down and have a cigarette and you need someone to stop you.RelaxSmokers often pick up the habit to deal with high anxiety and stress levels. When you quit, the stress may still be there; it can even be worse. Calm yourself down by partaking in stress-relieving activities like yoga, tai chi and meditative breathing.Dietary AdjustmentsCleaning up the diet can also be a helpful tactic. Often times, smoking is done in conjunction with the consumption of fatty foods and alcohol. Replacing these foods with more nutrient-dense options like fruits and vegetables will help avert you away from smoking.AidsIf you are not able to quit cold turkey, there are various quit-smoking aids available. Some examples are nicotine gums, patches, lozenges or prescription medications. All of these help to reduce nicotine cravings.Stay StrictWhen you are quitting, there is no such thing as a reward system, and no hardship or joyous occasion should be used as an excuse to give yourself just one cigarette. This can act as a trigger, sending you into a tailspin and leaving you craving cigarettes again.ResourcesreferenceQuit Smoking Support: 10 Steps to Help You to Quit SmokingreferenceAmerican Lung Association: Quit-Smoking Action PlanreferenceAmerican Heart Association: Cigarette-Smoking Statistics
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REFERENCE/RESOURCE: Quit Smoking Support: 10 Steps to Help You to Quit Smoking