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Prepare to Quit: The Great American Smokeout November 16, 2017

Smokeout 2017If you’re a smoker, quitting can be the single most important step you take to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.  Quitting smoking can be hard, so a good plan can help you get past symptoms of withdrawal.  You can also increase your chances of success with help.  Getting help through counseling, medications, and building a support system can increase chances of quitting successfully.  Five ways to get ready to quit tobacco can help.

  1. Set a quit date.  Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next 2-3 weeks. The day before your planned quit day, post your heartfelt reasons for quitting where you normally reach for those tobacco products.
  2. Tell you family and friends about your plan to quit.  Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask them for their support.  A daily phone call, e-mail, or text message can help you stay on course and provide moral support.  Also, take advantage of SmokefreeTEXT or The Missouri Tobacco Quitline @ 1-800-QUIT-NOW for 24/7 support.
  3. Be prepared for challenges and reduce triggers.  The urge to smoke is short-usually only 3-5 minutes. Surprised?  Those moments can feel intense.  Even one puff can feed a craving and make it even stronger.  Before your quit day, write down the healthy ways you plan to cope.
  • Drink water.
  • Do something else – Take a walk, ride your bike, listen to a favorite song, or do anything that is healthy for the mind or body.
  • Deep Breathe – Practice slow deep breathing.  It is healthy for the lungs, mind, and for stress relief. Trade deep breathing for the habit of reaching for that tobacco product and putting it in your mouth.
  • Discuss – Call or text a friend, family member, or call the quitline.
  • Delay – Put off the habit of reaching for that cigarette, chew, or pipe.
  1. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace.  Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays.  Clean and freshen your home, car, and workplace.  Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.
  2. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, smoking or quitline coach about options.  Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medication can help with cravings.