Quit Smoking: 7 Tips to make quitting easier

One BIG reason why it’s hard to kick the habit

People start smoking for lots of reasons. But it’s nicotine addiction that can make it so hard to quit. Almost immediately, you feel a rush as the nicotine takes hold. But soon after, you feel down and tired, causing you to crave that rush again. It becomes a vicious cycle.

The good news is that many people quit every day – and you have it in you to quit too. So read on about the many ways you can become a non-smoker.

Tip # 1- Make a list

List all the reasons why you want to quit and then keep the list close by for whn you’re thinking about lighting up.

Think of things like: Family and friends, Health, Self-image, Social life, Money

Tip # 2- Find healthier substitutes for smoking

Once you figure out why you smoke, you’ll be better able to recognize trigger situations and opt for something other than a cigarette.

Tip # 3- Change your environment and routine

Making a few little changes around the house and in your day can make it easier to quit.

Here are just a few of the things you can do:

Drink tea instead of coffee

Eat breakfast in a different place

Get rid of all cigarettes and ash trays in your home, car and workplace

Don’t let people smoke in your home

Tip # 4- Talk with someone

By telling others close to you that you are quitting smoking, you not only deepen your commitment, you also give them an opportunity to help you.

Tip # 5- Learn from the past

If you’ve tried to quit before and couldn’t, use that experience to make your next attempt a success. Did you go back to smoking last time because:

You couldn’t handle the cravings

You constantly found yourself in situations that triggered smoking

You were with people who smoked

You felt you gained weight

Look at your answers and ask yourself what you can do differently this time to make it.

Tip # 6- Set a quit date

Now it’s time to pick your quit date! Any less-stressful day in the next three weeks will do. Be sure to mark it on your calendar. You’re much more likely to start on your quit day if it’s written down.

Tip # 7- Motivate yourself with positive thoughts

Congratulations! You stopped smoking! Now battle any negative thoughts you have with constructive ideas, like “I’m looking forward to being free of these cigarettes, lighters and matches” and “I really don’t need a cigarette to have a good time at a party.”

Quitting is good for better health

Within 20 minutes, your blood pressure drops and your pulse return to normal. The temperature of your hands and feet stabilizes.

After 8 hours, The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops.

After 24 hours, your chance to having a heart attack decreases.

After 48 hours, your ability to smell and taste improves.

After 72 hours, lung capacity increases. Breathing can become easier.

After 2 weeks to 3 months, your circulation improves, Walking becomes easier. Lung functioning may increase by up to 20%.

After 1- 9 months, coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath may decrease. Your cilia- those microscopic hairs that line your lungs- may even begin to re-grow and that can help clean the lungs and reduce your chance of infection.

After 1 year or just after 12 months down the road and you’ve cut your risk of heart disease in half. Congratulations!

Smoking myths busted!

Myth: Light cigarettes are better for me.

Fact: Light cigarettes have filters that change how you smoke. So you may drag deeper or more often on a “light” cigarette to get your nicotine hit, but you’re still inhaling the same amount of deadly toxins that regular cigarettes have. Because of this, “light” cigarettes are just as deadly as regular ones.

Myth: If I quit smoking, I’ll gain weight.

Fact: 1 in 5 quitters won’t gain any weight at all- and for those that do, the average is 5-7 pounds. It’s important t remember that weight gain is in your control: drinking water, healthy eating, chewing sugar-free gum and exercising are all good ways to combat your cravings and keep your weight down.

Myth: Cigarettes put me in a good mood.

Fact: While smokers feel an immediate “hit”, that rush is soon followed by depression and fatigue as your body craves more nicotine. In other words, your good mood is quickly replaced by a bad one.

Myth: Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) isn’t safe if I have heart disease.

Fact: NRT has been shown to be safe for most people who suffer from heart disease. But be sure to consult with your doctor before using NRT.

If you smoke a pack a day, that’s how much you’d save in one year if you kicked the habit. And if you deposit that money in Saving account or bond annually, 20 years down the road you could have a nice chunk of money.

You can cope when you quit

As you know by now, nicotine is very addictive. So when you quit, you may feel some withdrawal symptoms. Most last 7-10 days and can be managed.

Most people who quit smoking share similar experiences. If you know what to expect, you can better prepare yourself to have a successful quit.

If you find that you are moody (irritable, anxious, angry, frustrated), this may be because your body has become used to the temporary “high” that nicotine gave you. Try relaxation exercises. NRT may also help reduce the physical effects.

You may experience trouble sleeping. Your body does not break down caffeine as effectively without nicotine. So try cutting back on your caffeine consumption by at least half. You may not feel as jittery either.

Because nicotine stimulates the intestines, in the short term, you may experience constipation. Try to eat more fibrous fruit and vegetables until this, uh, passes.

As your lungs clear themselves and become healthier, you may cough more than usual. Cough drops and drinking water can soothe your throat.

Most people experience oral cravings. Have some healthy substitutes on hand just in case: sugar-free gum, or carrot sticks are great. But watch out with the candy or other sweets! Drinking water does help as well, or even deep breathing.

Another way to deal with your craving for a smoke is to do something else- like go for a walk or brush your teeth. In many cases, the urge will pass in a few minutes.

Remember- all of these symptoms are temporary and are signs of recovery. They will be replaced by better health for you and those around you!

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