Tips for Success
One of the best and most significant steps anyone can take on the road to better health is to quit smoking. For some it's simple and easy. Others have to plan carefully and follow through on every small step.
Here are a few tips to help you along the journey.
- Make a for-and-against list that you can always refer to through the process of quitting. In one column write down your reasons for smoking and in the other your reasons for quitting.
- Write down your plan for quitting, which can include your reasons, potential pitfalls, stages of progress, and how you'll deal with temptations.
- Think positively, especially by focusing one day at a time on each of your achievements.
- Be sure to ask for help and support from those around you. Having at least one friend you can count on and share your feelings with may improve your chances of quitting for good. If your partner smokes, see if you can encourage him or her to join you on your journey.
- Decide whether you're going to quit cold turkey or gradually, and what kind of professional support services you want to use, if any. You may want to consider counselling, group programs or nicotine replacement therapies.
- Learn about and prepare yourself for possible withdrawal symptoms.
- If you slip, don't be too hard on yourself -- keep focused on sticking to your quit plan. Look at what triggered the lapse and figure out how to handle it differently next time. A slip or two does not mean you've failed in your effort to quit.
- Don't worry about weight gain, it doesn't happen to everyone and is often insignificant when it does. Control it by sticking to the same diet you usually eat, choosing low-calorie snacks, and by increasing exercise and physical activity.
- If you experience cravings, try the four Ds: Delay, Distract, Deep Breathing and Drink Water.
- If you believe you're someone who smokes to deal with stress, look into new ways of coping; there are many.
Health Canada provides easy-to-use and helpful information on how to deal with quitting, including more details on all of the above and more.