Smoking is the cause of about 90 percent of lung cancer cases.
If you smoke, leaving tobacco behind is the single best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer, increase your lifespan and improve your overall well-being.
Quitting isn’t easy, but with the right help, it is possible. Take some of the following steps as you start on your quest to stop smoking – and stay smoke-free for good.
- Start the Conversation: Tell your doctor that you’re ready to stop smoking. Your healthcare provider will be able to discuss resources, medications, treatment options and strategies for quitting with you.
- Connect with a Counselor: The free, confidential Maine Tobacco HelpLine will pair you up with a trained Tobacco Treatment Specialist to offer advice and support through your quitting process. Reach them at 1-800-207-1230 or enroll online.
- Take the Initiative: Make a list of the reasons you want to stop smoking. Things like your health, the health of your family, or the financial savings you’ll see as a nonsmoker, are all powerful motivators.
- Identify Your Triggers: Alcohol, caffeine, stress, boredom, spending time with smokers or just smelling tobacco smoke are all linked to tobacco cravings.
- Modify Your Behaviors: For the first few weeks, you might want to avoid alcohol, cut back on caffeine or stay away from social situation where smoking might occur. Remember: it’s not forever. As these situations become less connected to your smoking habit, you can carefully reintroduce them into your life.
- Find Alternatives: To cope with cravings, create new routines, practice old hobbies or do household chores to keep your hands and mind busy. You may even try a new activity, like gentle stretching or keep breathing to promote your health and well-being. These rewarding life changes will help keep you focused on your final goal: a new smoke-free you.