Quit Smoking (cont.)
If you decided to use a
support program, use it fully. Go to the sessions.
telephone quitline. Visit your Internet site. The
more support you get, the more likely you will quit for
Are you using
medicine to help you quit? If so, follow the
directions. If you don't, you're more likely to go back
to smoking. Also, don't rush to stop using the medicine.
Stick with it for at least 12 weeks. Or follow your
Stay Away from What Tempts You
- Keep very busy today.
- Go to a movie.
- Take long walks.
- Go bike riding.
- Spend as much free time as you can where smoking
isn't allowed. Some good places are malls,
libraries, museums, theaters, department stores, and
places of worship.
- Do you miss having a cigarette in your hand?
Hold something else. Try a pencil, a paper clip, a
marble, or a water bottle.
- Do you miss having something in your mouth? Try
toothpicks, cinnamon sticks, lollipops, hard candy,
sugarfree gum, or carrot sticks.
- Drink a lot of water and fruit juice. Avoid
drinks like wine and beer. They can trigger you to
Managing Cravings when you really crave a cigarette
- Instead of smoking after meals, get up from the
table. Brush your teeth or go for a walk.
- If you always smoke while driving, try something
new: Listen to a new radio station or your favorite
music. Take a different route. Or take the train or
bus for a while, if you can.
- Stay away from things that you connect with
smoking. Do it today and for the next few weeks.
These may include:
- Watching your favorite TV show
- Sitting in your favorite chair
- Having a drink before dinner
- Do things and go places where smoking is not
allowed. Keep this up until you're sure that you can
- Remember, most people don't smoke. Try to be
near non-smokers if you must be somewhere you'll be
tempted to smoke, for example at a party or in a
Remember: The urge to smoke will come and go.
Try to wait it out. Or look at the plan you made last
week. You wrote down steps to take at a time like this.
Try them! You can also try these tips:
- Keep other things around instead of cigarettes.
Try carrots, pickles, sunflower seeds, apples,
celery, raisins, or sugarfree gum.
- Wash your hands or the dishes when you want a
cigarette very badly. Or take a shower.
- Learn to relax quickly by taking deep breaths.
- Take 10 slow, deep breaths and hold the last
- Then breathe out slowly.
- Relax all of your muscles.
- Picture a soothing, pleasant scene.
- Just get away from it all for a moment.
- Think only about that peaceful image and
- Light incense or a candle instead of a
- Where you are and what is going on can make you
crave a cigarette. A change of scene can really
help. Go outside, or go to a different room. You can
also try changing what you are doing.
- No matter what, don't think, "Just one
won't hurt." It will hurt. It will undo
your work so far.
- Remember: Trying something to beat the
urge is always better than trying nothing.
Find New Things To Do
Starting today you may want to create some new
habits. Here are some things you might try:
- Swimming, jogging, playing tennis, bike riding,
or shooting baskets. It's hard to smoke and do these
things at the same time. How about walking your dog?
- Keep your hands busy. Do crossword puzzles or
needlework. Paint. Do woodworking, gardening, or
household chores. You can also write a letter or
paint your nails.
- Enjoy having a clean tasting mouth. Brush your
teeth often and use mouthwash.
- Take a stretch when you're tempted to reach for
Set aside time for the activities that satisfy you
and mean the most to you. There are natural breaks even
during a busy day. After dinner, first thing in the
morning, or just before bed are good examples. You'll
also need plenty of rest while you get used to your
Remember the Instant Rewards of
Your body begins to heal within 20 minutes after
your last cigarette. The poison gas and nicotine start
to leave your body. Your pulse rate goes back to normal.
The oxygen in your blood rises to a normal level.
Within a few days you may notice other things:
- Your senses of taste and smell are better.
- You can breathe easier.
- Your "smoker's hack" starts to go away. (You may
keep coughing for a while, though.)
The nicotine leaves your body within three days. Your
body starts to repair itself. At first, you may feel
worse instead of better.
Withdrawal feelings can be hard. But they are a sign
that your body is healing.
Finally...the Long-term Rewards of
Tobacco use in the United States causes more than
450,000 deaths each year. Of those deaths, 170,000 are