Now that Christmas and the New Year are out of the way it's a great time to start really thinking about quitting smoking.
We believe in the 5 P theory.
Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance.
And quitting the fags shouldn't be any different. Quit plans are a really useful way for you to plan for successfully quitting cigarettes. We may as well get started!
Step 1) Pick a quit date.
Aim for a day where you'll be reasonably relaxed, and stress is low. So a day you know will be busy at work or home is probably not a good idea, and if you've got a night on the lash planned that's not the best time either. The important thing here is that you write the date down, so circle it on your calender or put an alarm on your phone when you've figured out when you've got the date sorted. Sooner is better than later so within the next two weeks (or 1st of Stoptober!)
Step 2) Let people know
Tell you family and friends when you planning to quit. You might be surprised about the reaction you get. It might give them the motivation to quit themselves. TOAM can offer you support too.
Step 3) Get rid of reminders about smoking.
Smoking is really trigger sensitive, so getting rid of some of the obvious reminders can really help. On the evening before your quit day go round the house and get rid of ash trays, lighters, that half pack of fags you've got stashed in case of emergency, that pack in the car…
Step 4) Figure out why you want to quitting
There are more reasons to quit than there are reasons to smoke.
Figuring out why you to quit will help you stick to your goal. It can be as simple as “I don't want to spend money on tobacco” or “I want to be here for my grand kids”. Here's some more reasons if you need some help. You can even write it on the bathroom mirror so you're reminded each morning why you're on this journey.
Step 5) Identify your smoking triggers
With any habit, figuring when and why you smoke will help under understand when your urge to smoke is going to beat you over the head. Most smokers say that when they are out at parties or having a drink with friends are big triggers, some smoke when they are on the phone to friends.
Try making a list or mental note of when you smoke and plan ways of dealing with the urge. Try and make sure you have gum and lozenges on hand to help you deal with the “high risk” times too.
Step 6) Coping with quitting.
Now you've got an idea of when you smoke, you need to figure out what you'll do to reduce the stress.
Nicotine, the drug that keeps you hooked on smoking, is hugely addictive and your body has a hard time adjusting to not having it any more. Withdrawal symptoms like being grumpy, headaches and so one can be helped with patches and gum.
CookStPharmacy supply you with starter packs of patches and gum too. At no cost to you!
Some people worry about just replacing one addiction with another. Although patches and gum still give you nicotine, you don't get the muck that goes with smoking. It's also much easier to reduce the nicotine addiction using patches and gum, than reducing the number of cigarettes you have a day.
Foam stress balls are also useful if you find you “need something for your hands to do” if you smoke while doing other things like talking on the phone, or having a cup of coffee.
Step 7) Get support ready before you need it
At CookStPharmacy we can help you take the first steps, and link up with support before your quit date. Just call in and talk to one of our Pharmacists.
Step 8) Reward yourself
We're funny animals in so many ways, particularly when it comes to rewarding behaviour. Smoking works on our brain to trigger good feelings, but we're really bad at recognising the effort we make in giving up the fags. So why not reward yourself.
If your smoking a 20 pack a day you'll save around $140.00 a week (working on a pack of cigarettes costing $20.00)
What will your reward be?
9) Remember: Quitting smoking is hard work, and you owe it to yourself to recognise the good work you've done.
Smaller, more frequent rewards work better than bigger less frequent ones. Think of it as achieving a person best. Sports people don't try and run a world beating time on their first day of training, doing a little bit better every day is a much better way.
10) Keep trying!
Most people who want to quit have several attempts at it, and every smoke you don't have is a small victory.