If you’re a life-long cigarette smoker, we know know how difficult it is to stop cold-turkey. Smoking cessation can be a long process. Rather than quitting cold, many experts recommend that smokers try to ween themselves slowly by establishing some limitations and guidelines to help govern their smoking.
Here are 15 great ways to help you ease into quitting:
- Keep a record of when you smoke and why.
- Learn stress management and relaxation techniques.
- Find a support person to help you quit.
- Limit the places you can smoke.
- Steadily cut down on the number of cigarettes you have per day.
- Avoid places of situations that would make you feel like smoking.
- Substitute smoking with a healthy habit like exercising your arms, doodling, or reading.
- Increase your physical activity to 30 minutes a day most days of the week.
- Cut down on the fats in your diet to offset possible weight gain while quitting.
- Keep healthy snacks available for nibbling, like pretzels, carrots and popcorn.
- Drink plenty of water to flush the nicotine from your system.
- Get rid of your smoking materials- like ashtrays and lighters.
- Reward yourself for quitting.
- Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapies like patches, gum, or oral medications.
- Set a quit date and have a plan set-up for quitting prior to the date. If you think you may still have trouble holding the date, sign a personal contract with a family member for your date.
Remember, smoking is a huge contributor to heart disease- the number one killer in the United States. By quitting you are lowering your chances of experiencing a heart attack. Learn more about your heart disease risk by taking our quick, easy online assessment!