zondag 2 augustus 2009

Five Steps to Help You Quit

There are a lot of different ways to give up smoking. Studies have shown that you have the best chance of quitting for good if you follow these 5 steps:

1. Get Ready
2. Get Support and Encouragement
3. Learn New Skills and Behaviors
4. Get Medication and Use It Correctly
5. Be Prepared For Difficult Situations or Setbacks

Step 2. Get Support and Encouragement

Studies have shown that you have a better chance of successfully quitting if you have help. You can get support in many ways:

• Tell your family, friends and coworkers that you are going to quit and you want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out.
• Talk to your healthcare provider (for example, doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist or smoking counselor).
• Get individual, group or telephone counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances are of quitting. Programs are given at local hospitals, health centers and other organizations.
• The use of medicine typically doubles your chances of quitting and quitting for good! Although the medicines can be costly, in the long run you will save a lot of money by giving up smoking.

Step 3: Learn New Skills and Behaviors

It is important to learn new skills and behaviors to live as a non-smoker. You can learn new ways to deal with stress, to problem solve and to lessen your chances for setbacks. Try the following:

• When you first try to quit, change your routine. Take a different way to work. Drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place.
• Do something to reduce your stress. Take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book.
• Drink a lot of water and other fluids.
• Develop a healthier lifestyle - eat healthy foods and remember to exercise at least three times a week.
• Brush your teeth frequently with a fresh tasting toothpaste (there is no rule that says you should only brush your teeth twice a day!).
• Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk or busy yourself with a task.
• Plan something enjoyable to do every day.

Step 4. Get Medicine and Use It Correctly

Medicine can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke. The use of medication can double your chances of quitting and quitting for good. Everyone who is trying to quit may benefit from using a medication. Some people benefit from using a combination of the medicines.

Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider about taking a medicine to help you quit. Let your doctor know if:

• you are pregnant;
• you are nursing a baby;
• you are smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day;
• you have a medical condition.

Learn about medicines available to help you quit.

Step 5. Be Prepared for Difficult Situations or Setbacks

Be prepared for feelings, situations or activities that make you want to smoke. Remember to use the new skills you have learned. Most setbacks occur within the first 3 months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Use this situation to learn how to avoid future temptations and get back on track! Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit.

Here are some difficult situations to watch for, and some advice on how to avoid them:

Weight Gain - Some smokers gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. This is due to a change in metabolism and an increased amount of food eaten. Women have more of a tendency to gain weight than men.

What can I do to gain as little weight as possible?

Try the following:

• Plan meals that are healthy and low calorie, low fat.
• When grocery shopping, shop from a list and avoid aisles with tempting high calorie, high fat foods.
• Have low calorie, low fat snacks available; ban junk food from your home.
• Store food out of sight.
• Drink a lot of water or low calorie beverages.
• Exercise 3-5 times per week - you will feel better. And, it'll reduce your urge to eat because you'll be away from the refrigerator!
• Some smoking cessation medicines (nicotine gum, Zyban®) may help reduce weight gain.

Limit or phase-out time with other smokers - Being around others who smoke can make you want to smoke. If your spouse smokes, encourage him/her to quit with you; or, at least, to avoid smoking in the home and cars (or other vehicles). Try to spend more time with people who don't smoke.

Think before you drink - Drinking alcohol lowers your chances of success. At least during the first few weeks of quitting, avoid drinking alcohol. Later, as you are more comfortable with your smoke-free lifestyle, try to limit the amount you drink and the frequency.

Be ready for bad moods, mood swings, or depression - There are a lot of ways to improve your mood other than smoking. Regular exercise and getting enough rest are very important, especially during the first few weeks. Smoking affects chemicals in the brain that are associated with mood and emotions. Some people smoke to elevate their mood or to help them feel better about themselves. If you tend to feel depressed , talk to your doctor about Zyban®. This medicine lowers your desire to smoke and is also an anti-depressant.

Find other ways to deal with stress or pressure - Many people use smoking to help them deal with stress or pressure. As you quit, you will need to learn to deal with stress or pressure in other ways. Try the following:

• Change what you can, let go of what you can't control.
• Try to see things in a more positive way.
• Get support from your (non-smoking) family and friends.
• Make time for yourself.
• Practice deep breathing and relaxation exercises.

Steps to Quit Smoking

Smoking is a habit that is difficult for most to quit especially on their own. There are many different ways to quit that are quite affective, but nonetheless very trying. It takes a lot of will power to be able to put down that habit and not pick it up again. One of the things that most professional suggest doing is to set a date and stick with that date. This will help give you a goal to work towards. You are less likely to quit trying if you have set limits for yourself.

Make a Plan

The best thing that you can do for yourself to keep going in the right direction is to make a simple and easy plan to follow. Do not overwhelm yourself on the first day. You are more likely to see better results if you slowly build up to the date that you have set to stop smoking. Many people that go “cold turkey” will normally not make their goal. It is a stressful process that if you don’t take into account the normal cravings, then you are very likely to cheat yourself out of your goal date. Starting an exercise program is a great way to keep your mind off of smoking.
Removing things in your home and workspace that are related to smoking will help avoid slipping from your plan. Things like ashtrays, hidden cigarettes, and lighters are all triggers that should definitely be removed. Once you have stopped, do not pick them up again, not even for a single puff. It will only do you harm in your process.

Find Support

It is recommended that you find someone or some group that will help you with your goal of being a smoke free individual. Whether you choose to have family and friends or an organized support group, you will someone that will help encourage you during the rough times. Do not get support from someone that is already struggle with the same goal. It is more likely that you will fail together instead of succeeding together.

Finding the right support is one of the best things that you can do to help stay on track. There are going to be times that you think that you cannot handle the cravings and stress that your body will go through, but that is why you have someone else to support you. They will help you work through the rough spots without hindering your progress.