Quit Smoking Tips: Keys to Never Lighting Up Again

Smoking is one of the strongest and most damaging addictions known to us. Every year, about 442,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases, including 50,000 who die from someone else’s smoke. Many people quit, return to smoking, and quit again. Quitting for many is a battle. Here are a few tips that can give you the upper hand so that you never light up again.

  • Write down all the reasons you want to quit. Making sure you never expose your children to cigarette smoke is a great reason. Children’s lungs are still developing and are not as strong as ours yet. There is a strong connection between children who have asthma and parents who smoke. Saving money by not buying cigarettes is another great reason.
  • Understand the things that trigger your craving for a cigarette. Different people have different triggers. It’s important to know yours so that you can avoid them. Examples of triggers include wanting to smoke:
    • After eating
    • After sex
    • While driving
    • While having a drink
    • While talking on the phone
    • When you drink coffee
    • When you’re with friends who are smokers

You’re probably not going to give up eating or having sex, so you’ll need to find new ways to respond when you have a craving to smoke after these activities. The key is doing something different so you break your pattern. If you normally sit at the table and smoke after dinner, get up from the table after you eat. Maybe take a walk, chew gum, or play with your kids. Do something that you don’t normally associate with smoking. Learn a new routine.

  • The website SmokeFree.gov  offers detailed help for quitting. One of their tips is to follow the steps in the acronym START:
    • S = Set a quit date.
    • T = Tell family, friends, and coworkers that you plan to quit.
    • A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting.
    • R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.
    • T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.
  • Spend more time around nonsmokers. This way, you’re less tempted to smoke.

Visit SmokeFree.gov and learn more tips for quitting.