You decided to stop smoking? Great — it’s one of the best things you can do for your health. But quitting isn’t easy. Nicotine — the addictive ingredient in tobacco — is as addictive as heroin or cocaine, according to the American Cancer Society. In fact, the average person attempts to quit six times before succeeding. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success and kick the habit for good.
Set a date
Pick a day and time in the near future that you expect to be relatively stress-free so you can prepare to quit smoking. Quitting when you have a big project due at work, or even when you have something happy on your calendar like a birthday party (if you tend to light up when you are drinking or socializing), can be more challenging.
Write down your reasons
Consider why you want to stop smoking and jot the reasons down. You can refer to them once you quit when you get a craving. A few universal benefits:
- My risk of cancer, heart attacks, chronic lung disease, stroke, cataracts, and other diseases will drop.
- My blood pressure will go down.
- I’ll look better. My skin will be more hydrated and less wrinkled, my teeth will look less yellow and my fingers won’t be stained with nicotine.
- I’ll save money.
- My hair, clothes, car, and home won’t reek of smoke.
- I’ll have more energy.
- I’ll set a better example for my kids, friends, and family.
- I’ll live longer.