Have you resolved to quit smoking for good in the new year? Here are some tips to help you get started from Carol Southard, RN, a tobacco treatment specialist at the Prevention Center at Rush University Medical Center.
1. The vast majority of people who smoke wish they didn’t, but have great difficulty stopping on their own. Being in a structured smoking cessation program can teach you how and greatly increase the chances of permanent success.
“All smokers have been told often by loved ones to quit smoking because it is bad for their health; however, no one really tells you how to quit,” says Carol Southard, RN, tobacco treatment specialist at Rush.
2. List at least one personal reason for quitting in addition to you health. For example: Think of all the money you are spending on cigarettes or how it makes your clothes or house smell bad.
3. Rank your cigarettes. Making a list of all the places and situations in which you smoke will help you eliminate smoking from your daily routine.
4. There is nothing wrong with using nicotine replacement products to help with withdrawal symptoms.
5. Set a quit date.
6. Understand and never forget that withdrawal symptoms are temporary.
7. When the urge to smoke hits, take deep breaths slowly and deeply. The urge to smoke only lasts a few minutes and will pass.
8. Drink lots of water and juices to help cleanse your body of nicotine.
9. Keep your hands and mind busy. Work on a crossword puzzle, knit a sweater or fix something around your house.
10. Pat yourself of the back. Be proud of yourself. You deserve it.
The Prevention Center at Rush’s comprehensive smoking cessation program starts on January 12.