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Our Quitting Smoking Experts

Dr. Bankole Johnson

Dr. Bankole Johnson

Physician, psychiatrist and addiction researcher

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Damian O’Hara

Damian O’Hara

President of Allen Carr North America

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Dr. Cheryl Healton

Dr. Cheryl Healton

President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation

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Top 5 Things to Do

Quitting smoking is one of the most important changes you can ever make for your health, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated or overwhelming process. Do these five things and you’ll be on your way to success.

1. Adjust your routines.

Smoking is part of your daily schedule at varying points throughout your day. In order to quit smoking you need to break your daily routines. Rather than light up after breakfast, chew some gum. Instead of smoking while you’re on the phone, keep your hands busy by sketching or doodling. Don’t forget that you may need to change some of your social environment as well. Find non-smokers to hang out with as you begin your smoke-free life.

2. Find a new way to cope.

Most smokers say they can’t quit smoking, because they believe it helps them cope with stress. At some point before you became a smoker, you likely had other coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and frustration, such as a hobby or activity you enjoy. Take some time to think about old strategies and new ones, such as meditation or yoga, and incorporate them into your new quitting-smoking routine. Don’t forget to stay active and busy, so you won’t have time to dwell on feelings of temptation to smoke.

3. Choose a quit method.

While there is no single method that works for everyone, fortunately there are many methods to help. Nicotine-replacement therapy, such as the patch or gum, can help ease your physical dependence on nicotine while you learn new behaviors and break old associations with smoking. There are numerous medications to assist you, which can reduce the urge to smoke. And, cognitive therapy can help you retrain your thoughts, reducing your desire to smoke. You can use most of these methods in combination with each other.

4. Get support.

Quitting smoking is much easier when you aren’t going it alone. Be sure to gather the most supportive people around you as you’re trying to quit, and let them know what you need from them. Often those closest to you, such as a spouse or family member, may not be the most supportive individual when you’re quitting smoking, as they may have a vested interest in your continuation of the habit. If you and your spouse both smoke, quitting together can make it easier. Another good option is to seek out support groups specifically for quitting smoking.

5. Focus on the positive.

If a feeling of deprivation or misery is the enemy to successfully quitting smoking, keeping a positive attitude and maintaining confidence in your own ability to quit are the antidotes. Stay focused on the end results of quitting, such as improved health or better relationships with non-smoking friends and family. Write down your reasons for quitting and post them in a prominent place in your home or carry them with you as a reminder that you are capable, strong and determined to make this a lasting change in your life.

Posted: 2/12/08

This is Day One for me and I'm sort of scared I can't do this, but I'm using the gum and positive affirmations, prayer and meditation and quit coaches and this site's help. I really have everything to gain and nothing to lose! I'm going to try to keep an "attitude of gratitude" because I have almost died several times from lung problems in the past and still gone back to smoking and really need to take advantage of this chance for life that God has given me.