Don’t Lose your Resolve to Quit Smoking and Live Healthier - Nicotine Free in 2020!

MCH Jan 2020

Sticking to New Year’s resolutions can be really tough, especially if it’s a major lifestyle change like quitting smoking. Many times we start out strong then lose steam after a couple of weeks. Try these tips to help keep you on track.

  • Start with small steps toward smoking cessation immediately. Build up a strong case for a need to change by reading all the health and financial benefits, create detailed achievable goals. Then break down the goals into smaller action plans. Reward yourself for any accomplishments. Don’t punish yourself for any setbacks because they are a normal part of a change process and they do not indicate failure.
  • Learn as much as you can from others who have successfully quit. They may have some helpful hints but also keep in mind that what works for one may or may not be what works for you.
  • Create a good support network including friends, loved ones, health professionals, and hotlines. The Missouri Tobacco Quitline has a 24 hour number 1-800-784-8669. Ste. Genevieve County Health Department’s smoking cessation nurse can also be reached @ 573-883-7411. Research shows that announcing plans to quit increases the likelihood that you will stick with the plan.
  • Not everyone can go cold turkey. There are smoking cessation aids available such as nicotine replacement therapy (patches or gum), inhaling devices, nasal sprays.
  • It may be a good idea to talk to your doctor on what medications are currently available to help with quitting. There are temporary medications that can increase your odds of getting off nicotine so you don’t get that crash when you first stop smoking.
  • Remember that some withdrawal or recovery symptoms occur within 24 hours of stopping but most of the worst symptoms usually only last 3-4 days; milder symptoms last 3-4 weeks. This is your body’s sign that it is recovering! The urge to light up may last longer so you should clean the surroundings of any signs of cigarettes and cigarette smoke if possible.
  • Keep in mind the important 4 “Ds” to help stop urges…
  1. Do something to take your mind off smoking - pick activities that fit your daily routine or your lifestyle.
  2. Drink water
  3. Deep breath - for stress and relaxation
  4. Delay any desire to smoke, even if it is just for a while when your cessation plan is just starting.

Good Luck and Have a Wonderful and Healthy 2020!