You know you need to quit smoking. Maybe your family has been urging you to quit, or perhaps you want to avoid the ill effects tobacco products so often cause. Whatever the case may be, you’re ready to make the change and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The problem? You have no idea where to begin.
The Smoking Cessation Landscape
When you first venture out into the world without cigarettes, you may be surprised at the many options available for those who are trying to quit. Knowing which aids to choose, or whether you should use them at all, can be daunting. It’s hard to determine how difficult quitting will be for you individually until you actually get started, so making the right choices for your budget, lifestyle, and health needs can be a challenge.
First, relax. You don’t have to decide on everything all at once. Secondly, explore all of your options with an open mind before you take that first step, and come up with a plan for navigating the road ahead. Doing so will help ensure your success.
Know Your Reasons
Why do you want to quit? There are a number of reasons, and the answer to this question will be a personal one. It’s not enough to say “to get healthier.” Do you want to dance at your daughter’s wedding? Live to see your grandkids grow up? Overcome a chronic health condition? Whatever your reasons are, write them down. When you need a reminder or lift in motivation, pull out your list and read it again.
Read more about personal reason to quit smoking at My Reasons for Quitting
Explore Your Options
There is no one right way to quit. Many smoking cessation options are available now, so determining which one you think will work for you may help make the transition easier. Remember, you can always switch to another method if the one you choose doesn’t work for your situation. There is nothing wrong with using smoking aids to help, so don’t get caught up in the idea that only those who go “cold turkey” are doing it the “right” way. The most important thing is that you quit, by whichever means you choose to get there.
Plan Ahead for Cravings
You will almost surely experience cravings during the first days or weeks of quitting. They may be intense, or manageable. Each person experiences them differently. During cravings, your electronic nicotine delivery system will come in handy, so keep them in an easily accessible place. For instance, you may keep your vape pen and vape juice in your car for when you are on the go, as well as at home. Or, carry patches with you in your purse or wallet to have handy at all times.
It’s also a good idea to have distractions at the ready for when your smoking cessation aids aren’t enough. Gum, a book to read, or a music player with your favorite songs are all ideas which have worked for some former smokers.
Set Yourself up for Success
In the beginning, you should avoid trigger situations. For instance, if you used to smoke with coffee in the mornings, you might consider skipping the cup of java or saving it for later in the morning. If you normally smoked in the car on the way to work, take a new route to the office, or keep your distractions or cessation aids with you to use instead.
Don’t let Setbacks Derail You
You may slip up. That doesn’t mean you have failed, it just means you need to try again or you should try a different tool. Remember that you can always move at your own pace. The important thing is that you do not give up. You only fail when you stop trying.
You’re more likely to succeed if you enlist the help and support of family and friends. This can be a challenge if they are smokers themselves, but even if they are not ready to quit, you can still get them on board. Tell loved ones the reasons you want to quit. Pull out your list, and go over each of those reasons with them. Knowing your motivations will help them support you in reaching your unique goals.