Knowing your smoking habits
Quitting smoking is a very personal journey that each person experiences differently. By reflecting on your own habits, you will learn to better understand them, which, in turn will help you to modify them.
The following simple questions will allow you to gain insight into your smoking habits:
- Why do you smoke?
- When do you smoke?
- How do you smoke?
- Where and with whom do you smoke?
Personalized quit strategies
To help you deal with cravings, you will need to create a program that reflects your own habits and personality. Here are a few suggestions:
- Control your surroundings.
- Get rid of all objects that remind you of smoking: ashtrays, lighters, matches.
- Ask family members, friends and colleagues if they would mind not smoking around you.
- For a while, avoid people, places and activities that make you feel like smoking.
- Always remind yourself why you have stopped smoking.
- Avoid your triggers.
- Avoid coffee, alcohol or other beverages you associate with smoking.
- Eliminate from your morning, noon or evening routine the situations that may tempt you to smoke.
- Spend time with non-smoking friends and colleagues.
- Change your habits. When you feel like smoking, distract your thoughts immediately by doing something productive or enjoyable.
- Go for a walk.
- Use a relaxation or deep breathing technique.
- Keep your hands busy by knitting or playing with a pencil or stress ball.
- Keep your mouth busy by chewing gum or cinnamon sticks.
- After a meal, brush your teeth instead of smoking.
- Keep physically active.
- Find a quit buddy to coach you and help you get your mind off smoking when the cravings hit.
- Sign a contract with yourself, choosing the exact date on which your new smoke-free life will begin.
- Reward yourself for quitting.
- Plan something special (an activity, trip, personal or professional challenge, etc.) and think about it when you feel like having a cigarette.
Remember that a cigarette craving lasts only five minutes. By using a few of the tips provided here, you can deal with each craving, one at a time, until they disappear altogether.