You say you want to feel better, live longer, and even have a little extra cash on hand? Easy. Just quit smoking.
Step 1: Ready yourself Ready yourself. Make a particular day your quit day. Don’t deviate from this plan.
Tip Psych yourself up by making a list of all the reasons to quit—you’ll be healthier, develop fewer wrinkles, have nicer breath, save money, and you won’t be subjecting people to second-hand smoke.
Step 2: Write down smoking triggers Write down your smoking triggers. When you drink? After dinner? With coffee? Knowing what prompts you to smoke can help you quit.
Step 3: List health risks List all the health risks associated with smoking—such as stroke, heart disease, several types of cancer, ulcers, diabetes, eye diseases, and osteoporosis.
Tip Remind yourself that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, some of which are used in insect and rat poisons!
Step 4: Tell friends & family Tell your friends and family about your decision. They can encourage you, plus you’re less likely to back out if others know your goal.
Step 5: Call stop smoking line Call your state’s stop smoking line for free advice, nicotine substitutes, and a plan.
Step 6: Buy gum or lollipops Buy lots of gum or lollipops. When you have a craving for a cigarette, suck on a lollipop or chew some gum.
Step 7: Keep busy Keep busy so your mind doesn’t start craving a cigarette. Begin a project or new hobby.
Tip If you experience severe withdrawal—with symptoms such as intense cravings, tension, irritability, headaches, drowsiness, or trouble sleeping—consult your physician about the possibility of using a nicotine patch.
Step 8: Mark achievements Keep going. Mark your achievements on a calendar: one day smoke-free, one week, one month, and so on. Use your calendar as motivation.
Step 9: Prepare for relapses Be prepared for difficult situations or even relapses. If you relapse, start the process over.
Step 10: Try prescription drug If willpower isn’t working for you, ask your doctor if you might be a good candidate for a prescription drug that may help you quit – like Zyban, also known as the antidepressant Wellbutrin.
Tip Some people swear by hypnosis; that’s how Courteney Cox, Billy Joel, and Drew Barrymore kicked the habit.
Step 11: Enjoy healthier life Enjoy a healthier, happier and better-smelling life.
Did You Know? More than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are caused by smoking-related illnesses.