Tips On How To Quit Smoking From Former Smokers Themselves
In its new education campaign, the CDC offers tips from former smokers to inspire others to quit for good.
Tequesta resident Rebecca, 57, started smoking as a teenager. All of her family members smoked, and once she started smoking, she was hooked. At age 33, she was diagnosed with depression. She smoked frequently when she felt depressed because she thought smoking might help her cope with her feelings. The more she smoked, the harder it seemed to quit. At age 53, she finally quit after getting care for her depression and realizing that she had to take care of her own health. Six months later, she ran a 5K race to celebrate and is now bravely telling her story on national television and print advertisements as part of the CDC’s 2016 Tips campaign.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. For every smoker who dies, there are about 30 suffering from a smoking-related disease.
- Trade smoking for a healthy activity, such as running, walking or doing something physical
- Reset your boundaries on what is acceptable behavior in your life and think of cigarette smoking as an unacceptable behavior.
- Choose to be with friends who don’t smoke. The more you hang out with people who smoke, the more you will be tempted to smoke.
- Begin to respect your body and love who you are without cigarettes. Part of loving who you are is respecting your body and not smoking.
- Resist the urge to smoke. Having one or two go-to coping skills is helpful, such as taking a walk or practicing deep breathing.
- Remember that quitting is a learning process.
- Set a quit date. Pick a date within the next two weeks to quit smoking.
- Tell family and friends you plan to quit. Quitting smoking is easier when those closest to you support your journey.
- Identify your smoking triggers so you can be prepared to resist temptation.
- Even after you’ve been smoke-free, you may still be tempted to smoke. When this happens, don’t be afraid to turn to a loved one for support.
- Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home‚ car and work place. Removing things that remind you of smoking will help you to quit.
- Mood changes are common after quitting smoking and usually get better after 1 or 2 weeks.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about quit options. Most doctors and pharmacists can answer your questions, and give advice for quitting smoking.
- Remember, quitting smoking happens one day at a time. Celebrate your quit milestones—big and small—you deserve it!