What You Can Do
Make A List Of Reasons To Stop Smoking
Quitting smoking is personal. Finding your reasons to quit can inspire you to get started and help you stay motivated, even when quitting feels hard.
My reasons to quit:
Health (ex: I will breathe easier and cough less)
Family (ex: I will watch grandkids grow up)
Financial (ex: I will have more money to spend)
Lifestyle (ex: My clothes will smell better)
Time (ex: I won’t have to worry about when I can get my next cigarette)
Know Your Triggers
When a person smokes in a regular or routine way, smoking becomes linked with almost everything they do. This is what we often call the “habit” part of smoking like, smoking with coffee or smoking when stressed or bored, Quitting is about recognizing, avoiding and changing the behaviors that trigger your cravings when you can. But you can’t avoid everything, so quitting is also about knowing your triggers so you can anticipate cravings and make a plan to get through it. Get more information, or receive help with quitting. Read more.
Some common triggers you might consider are:
- Being around other people who smoke or smelling tobacco smoke
- Coffee or mealtimes
- Stress or boredom
- Drinking alcohol
Plan for Triggers
Now that you’ve identified your triggers, you can start planning ahead for situations that might spark your craving.
Ask friends and family to not smoke around you.i
Make it clear to your friends and family that you’re serious about quitting, and that their continued support will help you through the process.
Avoid smoking situations for the first few weeks.i
It may be hard to avoid gatherings and parties entirely, but the more you can, the easier it becomes. When it can’t be avoided, think in advance about who will be there and plan to hang out with people who don’t smoke.
Avoid alcohol for the first few weeks.i
Most people don’t need to give up alcohol forever, but many find that staying away for a short time at the beginning is extremely helpful.
Limit caffeinated beverages and coffee.i
Tobacco smoke reduces the effectives of caffeine by about half. So when you quit smoking, it is a good idea to reduce your caffeine intake. Caffeine adds to feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping, which can all lead to tobacco cravings. With coffee, try reducing your total intake or mix in some decaf with every cup you drink.
Cope with Withdrawal and Cravings
Smoking affects both the mental and physical parts of the body, so when you quit, withdrawal and cravings are a normal experience. The good news is that we have strategies that can help.
Nicotine replacement medications like patch, gum, or lozenge as well as non-nicotine medications like Chantix can help with withdrawal and craving.
You can also cope with cravings by creating new routines or by using old hobbies or even chores to keep you busy. You may even find that creating new hobbies that promote your health and well-being can be helpful during quitting. Free programs like the Maine Tobacco HelpLine can help you make an individualized coping plan that works for you and keep you focused on your final goal: a new smoke-free you.
- Learn new skills that will keep your hands and mind busy.
- Explore new methods to cope with stressful situations without tobacco.
- Create new routines, like how and when you wake up.
- Find ways to reward yourself with your newfound financial saving.