8 Steps to Follow When Making an Action Plan to Quit Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in planning, quit smoking

Dr. Howell

One of the keys to quit smoking success is preparation. If you’re thinking about ditching the habit, you may benefit from creating an action plan. A quit plan keeps you more focused on your goal and helps you deal with the challenges that come your way. It also improves your chances of quitting smoking for good.

So how do you create a quit plan? Businessman-with-binoculars-sp-44303560Here are the steps to follow:

Pick a quit date.

Many smokers choose within two weeks to quit smoking. This is long enough to prepare for the big day. Avoid choosing the date when you will be busy, stressed or tempted to smoke (for example, a social gathering with friends). Using a marker, encircle your quit date on your calendar and place it somewhere where you will see every day.

Let your loved ones know you are quitting.

Quitting smoking is much easier when you are supported by the people around you, especially your family and friends. Tell your smoking buddies as well so they won’t light up or encourage you to smoke anymore.


List down your reasons for quitting.

Everyone has their own reasons for quitting smoking. You probably want to quit so you can reduce your health risks, save money, or improve your physical appearance. Post your list on your bedroom door and other areas where you can always see them and remind yourself. At times when you feel the urge to smoke, just read your list allowed. It really helps!

Know your enemies.

DID YOU KNOW?
Quitting smoking is much easier when you are supported by the people around you, especially your family and friends.


Certain activities and emotions (such as stress and anxiety) can trigger you to smoke. Know what they are so you can find ways to avoid them.

Learn some coping strategies.

Among the most effective are deep breathing, relaxation and meditation. Keeping your stress levels low can greatly help you ward off nicotine cravings.

Consider using a quit method.

There are prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter medications that can counter the effects of nicotine withdrawal in your body. Remember that the symptoms of smoking cessation will get weaker every day that you are smoke-free.

Find quit smoking resources.

Quitting smoking is hardest during the first two weeks. Learn about the support programs available in your area, or probably online. You will find plenty of them. They include quit smoking hotlines, support groups, counseling centers, and more.


Don’t forget to reward yourself.

You deserve it! Celebrate milestones, such as one day of smoke-free, two weeks of smoke-free, and one month of smoke-free. Pamper yourself by shopping for new clothes, going to the salon for a new hairstyle or to the spa for a relaxing massage and body treatments.  You should be proud of being able to ditch the habit. Not everyone who attempts to quit succeed. If you fail, don’t give up. Try again. List down the reasons why you fail and develop another action plan, with focus on dealing with your quit issues.


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