Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How To Prepare Yourself To Quit Smoking!

I got this in my inbox yesterday and thought it is pretty useful information for you. Hope that it can help you or any of your family or friends who might be thinking of quitting smoking.

Quitting smoking isn't easy but millions of people have quit over the past several years. Many more are seriously thinking of quitting due to the fact that they are more aware of the dangers of smoking. Public opinion has also had an impact, as has second hand smoke issues. Check out these tips. They will surely prepare you in your quest to becoming smoke-free!

- List all the reasons you want to stop. Every night before going to bed, repeat one of the reasons 10 times.

- Decide positively that you want to stop. Try to avoid negative thoughts about how difficult it might be.

- Develop strong personal reasons to stop in addition to your health and obligations to others. For example, think of all the time you waste taking cigarette breaks, rushing out to buy a pack, hunting for a light etc., or of all the money you'll save.

- Begin to condition yourself physically: start a modest exercise program; drink more fluids; get plenty of rest; avoid fatigue.

- Have realistic expectations -- stopping isn't easy, but it's not impossible either. More than 3 million Americans stop smoking every year.

- Understand that withdrawal symptoms are temporary and are healthy signs that the body is repairing itself from its long exposure to nicotine. Within 24 hours of abrupt smoking cessation, withdrawal symptoms may appear as the body begins its healing process.

- Relapses occur in the first week or two after stopping, when withdrawal symptoms are strongest and your body is still using all your personal resources. Willpower, family, friends, and any tips that work for you will help you get through this critical period successfully.

- Bet a friend you can stop on your target date. Put your cigarette money aside every day, and forfeit it if you smoke. (But if you do smoke, don't give up; simply strengthen your resolve and try again.

- Ask your partner or friend to stop with you.

- Tell your family and friends that you're stopping and when. They can be an important source of support both before and after you stop.

Tips To Use Just Before Stopping...

- Practice going without cigarettes.

- Think of stopping in terms of one day at a time.

- Stop carrying cigarettes.

- Don't empty your ashtrays. This will remind you of how many cigarettes you've smoked each day, and the sight and smell of stale butts will be very unpleasant.

- Collect all your cigarette butts in one large glass container as a visual reminder of the mess smoking represents.

Tips For The Day You Stop Smoking...

- Throw away all your cigarettes and matches. Hide lighters and ashtrays.

- Clean your clothes to rid them of the cigarette smell.

- Develop a clean, fresh, nonsmoking environment around yourself. Buy yourself flowers -- you may be surprised how much you can enjoy their scent now.

- Make a list of things you'd like to buy for yourself or someone else. Estimate the cost in terms of packs of cigarettes and put the money aside to buy these presents.

- Keep busy on the big day.

- Buy yourself a treat or do something special to celebrate.

- Stay away from other smokers if they could weaken your resolve.

- Remember that one cigarette could ruin a successful attempt.

- Remember that alcohol or other drugs will weaken willpower.

Tips To Help You Cope With The Urge To Smoke...

First, remind yourself that you've stopped and you're a non-smoker. Then, look closely at your urge to smoke and ask yourself:

- Where was I when I got the urge?

- What was I doing at the time?

- Who was I with?

- What was I thinking?

Think about why you've stopped. Repeat to yourself (aloud if you are alone) your three main reasons for stopping. Write down your three main reasons for stopping. Anticipate triggers and prepare to avoid them:

- Keep your hands busy -- doodle, knit, type a letter.

- Avoid people who smoke -- spend more time with non-smoking friends.

- Find activities that make smoking difficult (gardening, exercise, washing the car, taking a shower).

- Put something other than a cigarette into your mouth. Keep oral substitutes handy -- try carrots, sunflower seeds, apples, celery, raisins, or sugarless gum.

- Cut a drinking straw into cigarette-sized pieces. Inhale air.

- Use a mouthwash.

- Change your surroundings when an urge hits; get up and move about, or do something else.

- Avoid places where smoking is permitted.

- Look at your watch whenever an urge to smoke hits you. You'll find the urge will only last a few minutes.

- Wear a rubber band around your wrist. When you really feel like you want a cigarette, snap the rubber band a few times and in your mind say STOP. While you do this, picture in your mind a red stop sign. You might try this at home aloud a few times and then do it silently when in public.

- Be prepared for the "first times" as a non-smoker: your first vacation, first time home alone, first long car ride, first period of boredom.

- If you know you will be in a high-risk situation, plan how you will get through it without smoking.

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