You say you want to feel better, live longer, and even have a little extra cash on hand? Easy. Just quit smoking.
Step 1: Ready yourself Ready yourself. Make a particular day your quit day. Don’t deviate from this plan.
TIP: Psych yourself up by making a list of all the reasons to quit—you’ll be healthier, develop fewer wrinkles, have nicer breath, save money, and you won’t be subjecting people to second-hand smoke.
Step 2: Write down smoking triggers Write down your smoking triggers. When you drink? After dinner? With coffee? Knowing what prompts you to smoke can help you quit.
Step 3: List health risks List all the health risks associated with smoking—such as stroke, heart disease, several types of cancer, ulcers, diabetes, eye diseases, and osteoporosis.
TIP: Remind yourself that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, some of which are used in insect and rat poisons!
Step 4: Tell friends & family Tell your friends and family about your decision. They can encourage you, plus you’re less likely to back out if others know your goal.
Step 5: Call stop smoking line Call your state’s stop smoking line for free advice, nicotine substitutes, and a plan.
Step 6: Buy gum or lollipops Buy lots of gum or lollipops. When you have a craving for a cigarette, suck on a lollipop or chew some gum.
Step 7: Keep busy Keep busy so your mind doesn’t start craving a cigarette. Begin a project or new hobby.
TIP: If you experience severe withdrawal—with symptoms such as intense cravings, tension, irritability, headaches, drowsiness, or trouble sleeping—consult your physician about the possibility of using a nicotine patch.
Step 8: Mark achievements Keep going. Mark your achievements on a calendar: one day smoke-free, one week, one month, and so on. Use your calendar as motivation.
Step 9: Prepare for relapses Be prepared for difficult situations or even relapses. If you relapse, start the process over.
Step 10: Try prescription drug If willpower isn’t working for you, ask your doctor if you might be a good candidate for a prescription drug that may help you quit – like Zyban, also known as the antidepressant Wellbutrin.
TIP: Some people swear by hypnosis; that’s how Courteney Cox, Billy Joel, and Drew Barrymore kicked the habit.
Step 11: Enjoy healthier life Enjoy a healthier, happier and better-smelling life.
FACT: More than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are caused by smoking-related illnesses.