Quitting is difficult but it can be made easier with the help of certain people (doctors and other medical personnel, counselors, family and friends) and there are also medications that can help you succeed in quitting.
In quitting, it is important to recognize that it is not plain and simple quitting. First, there is the nicotine that causes a smoker to be physically dependent to it and causing him/her to be addicted to it. Second, smoking becomes a part of your daily routine that it is very difficult for many to just simply abandon and forget the habit. It takes a lot of effort and behaviour modification to quit smoking. And this is where counseling and support groups come in—to help you deal with the mental and emotional aspect of smoking. In fact, counseling and support increases a smoker’s chance of succeeding in quitting.
Telephone- based counseling
Telephone-based counseling is a convenient and easier way to get support. You can access the service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are free telephone-based programs that link callers with trained counselors and these counselors can help you plan a quit method that fits each person’s unique smoking pattern. They can also help you from making many common mistakes.
Quit smoking programs and support groups
Quit smoking programs and support groups are also available to help you quit and stay quit. One type of smoking program involves peer-help where it helps you find other people who are quitting smoking and living smoke-free.
Hospitals, workplaces and wellness centers may also have smoking cessation programs, groups or classes. Some will provide information on smoking and ways to quit smoking while others involve sharing by members of the group.
Smoking cessation programs help smokers recognize the problems that come up during quitting and they also help you cope with these problems. In this way, you avoid committing common mistakes in quitting. These programs also provide support and encouragement while going through the process of quitting and in staying quit. Generally, smoking programs lasts for at least 2 weeks (or longer) and has at least 4 sessions with each session lasting for at least 15- 30 minutes. It has been found that the more intense a program is the greater are the chances of success. Therefore, look for programs that provide more frequent and more intense counseling.
Support of friends and family
Aside from smoking cessation programs, the support of family and friends is also very important during the quitting process. Tell them about your plans to quit and what they can do help you (e.g. they can help remind you or motivate you to stay quit, talk with you, take your late-night or early morning phone calls, understand the withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing).