Helpful Tips to Quit Smoking
Every year, smoking leads to an estimated 480,000 deaths. Although tremendous strides have been made to educate people about the health risks associated with smoking, it’s still the leading cause of preventable deaths and illnesses nationally and globally. No matter how long you’ve been a smoker, it’s never too late to quit. People who stop smoking enjoy immediate health benefits as well as minimized long-term health risks. However, quitting smoking can be challenging without a plan of attack and a support system. In honor of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 18, Pegalis Law Group, LLC has provided some helpful tips for beginning a new smoke-free life below.
Make Sure You Have a Plan and Support Network First
Achieving a goal is usually accomplished through visualization and planning. Pick a specific date to quit smoking and stick to it. No matter if this is your first time quitting smoking or your fifth, maintain a positive outlook. Learn from your past mistakes and rid yourself of temptations. If you find it difficult to resist smoking while socializing, plan to stay at home more often in the beginning. Anyone who’s ever successfully quit smoking will tell you they couldn’t have done it without support. Quit with a spouse, friend, or family member, so that you can support each other during moments of weakness. You may also consider calling a smoke-free helpline or joining a local support group to get expert advice and tips.
Find Healthier Ways to Distract Yourself From Cravings
Many people try to wean themselves off tobacco rather than going cold turkey and quitting all at once. Either way you do it, be prepared for nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The good news is you won’t experience cravings 24 hours a day. Your cravings should come and go, with most lasting about five minutes. You may be more successful if you find ways to distract yourself at these times of the day. Consider exercising to keep yourself active. Even a quick five-minute walk can help clear your head. Look for new hobbies and fun or relaxing activities that don’t include smoking, such as yoga or meditation.
Try switching from drinking alcohol, coffee, and soda (which often enhance the smoking experience) to more water and juice. Changing your diet or your routine after meals can also help curve your cravings. Many people swear by the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) approach. Try drinking from a straw to keep your hands and mouth busy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved many medications to help people manage withdrawal symptoms. Many smokers also switch to e-cigarettes, patches, lozenges, and gums to help wean themselves from their nicotine cravings.
Remind Yourself Why You Quit Smoking in the First Place
The best way to stay on track is to keep reminding yourself why you quit smoking in the first place. If your goal is to stay healthy for your children and grandchildren, look at their photos whenever you feel tempted to light up a cigarette. Quitting smoking is similar to learning to ride a bike. You may slip up and have a relapse, but don’t beat yourself up about it. Pick yourself up and try again. Every time you resist a craving to smoke, you’re one step closer to being tobacco-free and accomplishing your goal.
Dedicated to Creating Proactive Patients in New York & Beyond
Focusing on personal injury and medical malpractice cases for nearly 50 years, Pegalis Law Group, LLC is a New York-based law firm that cares about educating people about the importance of being proactive about their healthcare. Please visit our website and be sure to follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional tips for leading a healthier lifestyle.