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Steps For Smoking Cessation

We’ve come a long way, baby, from “You’ve Come Along Way, Baby.” The Virginia Slims ad, introduced in 1968, advertised the cigarette for women as a sign of the times, featuring liberated models in designer fashions happily dragging on their “own” cigarettes. Women were not the only ones who were targeted. The Marlboro Man was the essence of virility and masculinity, the modern day cowboy, blue- jeaned and mustachioed braving the western frontier, armed with a horse and omnipresent cigarette. Nowadays, we are more likely to see cigarettes ads of a much less glamorous variety.

For quite some time, it has been no secret that cigarettes are harmful to your health, and for the most part, lawmakers and health advocates have done a pretty good job in making that known. According to data released by the CDC, the number of adult smokers in in the US has fallen to the lowest rate in years. However, if you’re among the number that is still struggling, here are some tips that may be helpful.

Woman quitting smoking

Get a Reason to Quit
You already know its bad for you, you need to find a personal motivation for quitting. Maybe its to protect your family from second- hand smoke or to model a good example for your children. Maybe you want to stay healthy or look better. Whatever the reason, make it matter.

Don’t Think You Can Go Cold Turkey
Nicotine is an addiction and, if you give it up, you need to be prepared for withdrawal. if you are serious, ask your doctor about support methods. There are apps, medications, and counseling all designed for those trying to quit the cigarette habit.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Withdrawal is usually not fun and can sap your energy and cause irritability. Nicotine replacement, like gum, patches, and lozenges can help ease you through hard times without taking that dreaded puff.

Prescription Pills
When you are trying to quit smoking, there is a plethora of medications designed to aid you. Some can curb carvings, making smoking less appealing, while others can help lessen symptoms of withdrawal.

Avoid Alcohol
Drinking and smoking often of hand and hand, so try to cut down on alcohol when you first try to quit. Also, recognize and avoid other triggers. If you accompany your nightly cup of coffee with a cigarette, try switching to tea for a while. If you smoke after meals, try texting a friend instead.

Reward Yourself
One undisputed benefit of giving up cigarettes is the amount of money you will save. Take advantage of it by spending it on something for yourself.

Woman eating veggies

Eat Fruits and Veggies
Dieting while giving up cigarettes may be hard to handle. Try to eat vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins that are good for you. You can focus on cutting calories after you cut out cigarettes.

Lean on Friends
Make sure that you tell everyone close to you that you are trying to quit. Friends and loved ones can supply encouragement and support. You may also want to seek “behavioral therapy” to help you find and stick to strategies to help you quit.

Get Rid of Reminders
When you’re finished with smoking, it is a good idea to get rid of the paraphernalia that accompanies it. Toss out lighters and ashtrays and wash clothes, draperies, and carpets that smell like smoke.

Don’t Give Up
If at first you don’t succeed… A lot of the time quitting takes more than one try. If you relapse, think about what brought it on. Were there emotions that were hard to deal with? Use your failure as an opportunity to do better next time. Set a new quit date within the month and try and stick to it.

If you’re dealing with quitting, or have dealt with it, tell us your strategy. We want to know your secrets. They may help someone else!