IF you are someone who is trying to quit or someone who has already quit but is having trouble staying quit, here are some steps you can do to succeed in quitting:
• Identify and list the situations that urge you to smoke
Is it the stress (emotional and/or physical) that makes you light up a cigarette because smoking helps you relax? Or does being around other smokers trigger your desire to smoke? These are some questions you can ask yourself so you can determine which situations can cause you to smoke.
• Learn to cope up with the situations that urge you to smoke
Once you have identified the “triggers” that cause you to smoke (and go back to smoking), the next step is to anticipate and avoid these temptations and trigger situations. If stress is a trigger factor, learn other ways of coping up with stress like reading, swimming, playing sports, playing musical instruments, writing a diary or talking with a friend. If your reason for smoking is for maintaining your weight, try going to the gym to maintain your figure and watch your diet and eat only the right kinds of foods. If being with other smokers tempts you to smoke, avoid places where smokers are going (e.g. clubs, bars). If your friend(s) is a smoker, choose non-smoking restaurants or cafes if the two of you are hanging out. Change your lifestyle to reduce stress, improve your quality of life and reduce your exposure to smokers.
• Educate yourself with the withdrawal syndromes that you could possibly experience while going through the process of quitting
Withdrawal symptoms include negative mood, difficulty concentrating, nicotine cravings, anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety, depression, and weight gain. These withdrawal symptoms typically peak within 1-2 weeks after quitting and the intensity of the symptoms will then drop over the first month. For some persons, however, the symptoms may persist for several months. Recognizing that what you are feeling now are but withdrawal symptoms and they will soon disappear can help you cope with these symptoms. Also, taking your mind off smoking and keeping yourself busy will help you succeed in quitting.
• Remind yourself of the benefits of quitting
Constantly reminding yourself of the benefits of quitting can help you stay on track. Quitting smoking will improve your heart health and you will have better control over your blood sugar levels. When you quit, you will less likely to have heart or kidney disease, blindness, or amputations. Also, tobacco smoke contains toxic chemicals that can damage your DNA and cause cancer. Smoking also affects fertility by reducing your chance of getting pregnant and if you are pregnant, smoking will lead to pregnancy complications. In men, smoking will cause damage in the sperm DNA which results to a decrease in the fertility and lead to miscarriage or birth defects.
Save your life, save other people’s lives. Stop smoking and say goodbye to smoking once and for all!