6 Steps to Stop Smoking
Take control of your lungs and your life with these tips.
- Set a goal. If you are ready to quit, establish a good reason why. Whether for your health or for that of a friend or family member, know why you want to stop smoking.
- Save the date. Decide on a concrete quit date. For many people, it’s a New Year’s resolution or a birthday goal.
- See your physician. If you have decided to quit, your physician can be your No. 1 ally in providing resources and support, such as nicotine replacements and medications to decrease cravings.
- Share your intentions. Let your family members and close friends know you want to stop smoking. Your support system can encourage you when you want to light up, and you may motivate a loved one to quit with you.
- Stop before you start. Think about what kinds of things trigger your smoking. If you smoke at a certain time, such as right after eating or first thing in the morning, try substituting a different behavior such as eating sugar-free candy. Also, acknowledge stressors that can trigger smoking.
- Never, never, never give up. It will probably take more than one attempt to quit. Nicotine is highly addictive. Don’t let one failure discourage you from trying again.
3 Reasons to Quit
Thinking about what’s in it for you to stop smoking? Wonder no more.
- Smoking is expensive. The average one-pack-per-day smoker spends about $3,000 annually on cigarettes. The United States spends more than $300 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Quitters avoid chronic disease and disability. Smoking cessation leads to reduced risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, as well as respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Quitting can add years to your life. Even older smokers can extend their lives when they stop smoking—those who quit after age 65 can gain as many as three years of life, according to the American Lung Association.
Ask your physician about resources to help you quit. To find a physician with Mountainside Medical Group, call 973.259.3417.