Every third Thursday in November the American Cancer Society designates it as the Great American Smokeout.
Millions of people smoke, and quitting can be incredibly difficult. But the benefits of quitting far outweigh the challenges of kicking the habit. Here are some tips to help you quit for good:
Set a Date
Pick a specific day to stop smoking. Give yourself enough time to prepare but don’t pick a date too far away. Make sure the day is not in the middle of a high stress period like the holidays. Put the date on your calendar and stick to it.
Once you have your date, start cutting back. Whenever you crave a cigarette, try waiting five or ten minutes before having one. You may get involved with something else and forget about it.
Tell your loved ones about your goal and surround yourself with supportive people. Ask them not to smoke around you. Find smoking cessation programs for additional support and tips. Here are a few:
Jacobi Medical Center
Kings County Hospital
718-245-7848; 718-245-2782 or 718-245-2783
New York, NY
For more individual, group and telephone counseling programs, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/csi/cessation-guide.pdf.
Just Say No
Your body will tell you that it needs the nicotine. Don’t listen. Learn your triggers and avoid situations that create the desire to smoke.
Don’t Punish Yourself
If you do slip up and smoke, don’t punish yourself. One slip doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Remind yourself of the reasons you decided to quit, take a deep breath and simply begin again. You’ve got this.