Smoking is responsible over 440,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Cigarette smoking affects every organ in the body and can lead to cancer, heart, and lung disease, among others. It’s a nasty, expensive habit, so it makes sense that you might want to quit.
If you’re looking to quit smoking, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Commit fully – If you want to quit, you have to be all-in. Your commitment level will determine whether you succeed or fail.
- Know why you want to quit – Find a powerful, personal reason that you want to kick the habit. “Because it’s bad for you” probably won’t cut it.
- Make a plan – Plan out some rewards for achieving milestones. Find someone to call if you find yourself in trouble. Figure out what you’ll do when you get urges. Like the old cliché says, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
- Don’t go it alone – If you try to quit smoking on your own, you’re probably not going to succeed. Find someone to be accountable to. Tell your spouse, your kids, your friends. Include people who care about whether you succeed or not and you’re much more likely to quit for good.
- Don’t go cold turkey – Quitting all at once is extremely difficult, and there’s a chance you may be crushed under the weight of your urges. If you step it down gradually, you’ll be better able to manage your urges.
- Get medicinal help if needed – If you’re having trouble stifling urges, try nicotine replacement patches or gum. If you’re suffering from withdrawal symptoms, try prescription drugs to manage them.
- Find a replacement – One reason some smokers fail to quit is that they don’t find anything to replace cigarettes in their lives. Try chewing gum. If you smoke after meals, try eating some fruit.
- Reward yourself – You’re going to save yourself some cash by giving up cigarettes, so take some of the money and reward yourself for your successes. Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for achieving milestones. That’ll help you grow confidence and keep you motivated.
- Don’t give up – Relapses happen, and they will likely happen to you. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself down about it. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again. If you keep trying, eventually you’ll win out!