Do you feel the time has come for you to quit smoking for good? Congratulations! Increase your chances of success by adopting the best strategy.
Overcoming tobacco addiction
Quitting smoking is not easy to do. A person who smokes 10 cigarettes a day will bring a cigarette to their mouth about a hundred times a day (if they draw on a cigarette 10 times). Therefore, it is a difficult habit and addiction to break. Difficult, but not impossible. To succeed, you will need to develop a comprehensive strategy that includes several measures. Here are a few of them.
Boost your motivation
Take the time to make a list of all the reasons you want to quit smoking. There may be many, like saving more money, being in better shape to travel, not smelling like smoke, and having fewer wrinkles, etc. All of your reasons are good reasons! If you need help, you can read this article: “Smoking cessation : find your reasons, find your motivation!”.
Write down your most significant motivations and keep them in a place that is easily accessible (purse, wallet, refrigerator door, smartphone, etc.). You can then reread them regularly, especially when you feel your motivation waning. Think of a strategic place that will help to remind you regularly why quitting smoking is important to you.
Then, use these reasons to sustain your motivation. For instance, if you want to save money by quitting smoking, you could put aside the money you usually spend each week on tobacco products in a separate bank account. That way, you can spoil yourself in a way that you wouldn’t be able to if you continued to smoke. You can use the following calculation tool to set your goal.
If you’d like to improve your physical fitness to play with your children or grandchildren, make sure you do some physical activity on a regular basis during the smoke cessation process. Additionally, set progressive goals, like walking or cycling a set distance. This way, each successful challenge will be a victory, and you will be able to measure the benefits of quitting.
Seek the support you need
Most people need help to kick the smoking habit. You can convince your loved ones to quit along with you (if they are smokers) or ask them for support and encouragement. Including those around you in your quitting process will help build your confidence and overcome your cravings.
Remember that a craving lasts about five minutes. Go for a walk, play cards, have a cool lemonade... Many healthy activities can help you turn your attention away from smoking. Also, try to avoid situations that may put you at greater risk of getting sidetracked from your goal, such as drinking alcohol or spending your break with fellow smokers.
Certain supervised programs have proven their worth and will help you break this habit more easily. Consult quit smoking centres, the I QUIT NOW helpline, and the QUIT TO WIN challenge. If you feel you need advice or support, you can ask your pharmacist or doctor about the resources available to you. Your pharmacist is a smoking cessation expert and can help you in many ways. For additional information, read the following article: “Your pharmacist’s role in smoking cessation”.
Get support for smoking cessation
Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT)
These therapies replace the nicotine you inhale when you smoke. There are different formats available, and it is often possible to combine more than one (patch, chewing gum, lozenges, inhaler and spray). Most are covered by insurance programs. They are prescribed in gradual decreasing doses to make it easier to quit completely while reducing the effects of withdrawal.
If you haven’t been able to quit smoking with NRTs or are less satisfied with this option, there are prescription medications that can increase your chances of quitting. In addition to helping reduce the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting, these medications help reduce cravings. They can be prescribed by a pharmacist or a doctor.
If you have made the choice to quit smoking, or if you are thinking about it more and more seriously, remember that you are not alone! There's strength in numbers... especially when it comes to a landmark victory!