Quit Smoking Timeline – Benefits & Advice

Improve your Health and Wallet

How to Quit Smoking

Unfortunately, there is no magical solution for quitting smoking. Smoking is a physical and psychological addiction, and quitting involves a lot of willpower, support from loved ones, as well as friends, and plenty of strategies.

If you finally want to quit the habit of smoking, once and for all, you must get a good game plan going and stick to it. Here are our top strategies for finally saying good-bye to cigarettes and the health consequences that go along with them:

  1. Before you put your cigarettes down, make yourself a list of reasons why you want to quit. Although everyone’s list will look differently, your list may include such reasons as: I want to have more energy, or I want to quit for my children. Your reasons for quitting are likely deeply personal, so take the time and make a list that clearly reflects your feelings and sentiments. This list will become your go-to tool when you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer thought of quitting, or if you’ve had a setback and need a little encouragement. Carry your list around with you everywhere; in your pocket or your purse, and refer to it whenever you need a push to keep going.
  2. Identify your smoking habits. Do you always have a cigarette after each meal? Do you have cigarettes when you are out in certain social situations? The key to quitting smoking is to replace your unhealthy habits with healthy ones. So if you always have a cigarette after dinner, for example, enlist the help of your spouse, and take a walk around the neighborhood after dinner each night.
  3. Talk to your doctor about your plans. Your doctor will likely be able to assess your health and your cigarette habit and suggest products or devices that may help making the process of quitting smoking an easier one.
  4. Set a quit date. For most smokers, setting a date and letting friends and family know is one of the best ways to reach your goal of not smoking. Make the date a big deal, and give yourself plenty of time to prepare for it. Mark it on the calendar and, in the meantime, remove all tobacco products from your home, car and workplace.
  5. Keep yourself busy. One of the easiest ways to find yourself crawling back to cigarettes is to give yourself idle time. Instead of sitting in front of the television, wishing you had a cigarette, paint that room you’ve been putting off; start a fitness or walking program with friends; or take up a new hobby. Putting your mind and your fingers to work is the best way to manage those cravings.
  6. Satisfy your oral cravings. Cigarettes are just as much an oral addiction as they are a physical addiction. Instead of using food to satisfy your cravings, consider sugar-free gum or hard candy. Anything that will keep your mouth busy, but not pack on pounds while you are trying to quit smoking, is always a good idea.
  7. Keep a journal and write in it every day about your cravings, your successes and your setbacks. Frequently review your journal entries so you can identify triggers or sources of stress and make changes to keep you going.
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