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Kicking the Habit:Tips to Help Quit Smoking

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

What trends are hip today may very well be taboo tomorrow, and many times it is too late for us to change our minds about what we did yesterday. Maybe you don't love that little tattoo anymore. That bellybutton piercing isn't all that attractive anymore.

What about that smoking habit? Did you start at 14 because it was the cool thing to do (like many of us did)? Are you still having trouble ditching that taboo trend?

Well, you are far from alone. Every media outlet today warns of the dangers of smoking; commercials air on TV and radio, grotesque new warning labels have been applied to all of the new cigarette cartons. Everywhere you turn, smoking is being looked down upon; smoking areas are disappearing or being moved further away. Most municipalities won't even allow smoking in parks, beaches, and public property anymore.

Some smokers, in this anti-smoking revolution, stand up for their rights; declaring that smoking is their right and prerogative. Other smokers agree that smoking is bad, but figure "oh well" and just follow the new rules. Many smokers, however, do want to quit smoking, and are taking this current revolution as a major incentive to change their ways and quit the habit.

Quitting is much easier said than done, though. Nicotine is highly addictive; so even if you don't mentally want to smoke, your body will crave it causing you to cave in. When prepared, though, no matter how hard it may be, anyone who wants to quit smoking can do so successfully.
Here are a couple proven tips to help you quit the fad for life.

-Commit to quitting 110%. If you only half-heartedly want to quit smoking, or are only a little convinced that you want to, you are starting off on the very wrong foot. Quitting smoking is so difficult that the majority of successful quitters failed their first time around. (Sometimes their second and third times, too!) When you commit to quitting, though, a big part of the battle is already won. You no longer consciously want to smoke.

-Make a plan of action. Waking up one morning and saying "I'm quitting smoking right now!" isn't necessarily the best plan. Set up goals for yourself, a reward system, and have a firm support system behind you. Non-smoking family members and friends don't always understand what you're going through: have a backup system that does! Find forums of fellow quitters or ex-smoker friends who you can talk to and lean on for support.

-Don't allow a single puff. During the first two weeks of quitting (or hell weeks 1 and 2) your mind and body will urge you do give into temptation. Your psyche will even start rationalizing with you; how much can it hurt, just one cigarette, just one PUFF even! Don't give into these urges, because it can hurt. One puff leads to a second, followed by a whole cigarette. Stand true to your commitment and you will make it through.

-When the urge hits you, stall. Instead of feeding the addition, feed you; snack on your favorite healthy treat; call a friend, go for a walk, or drink some water. Do whatever you need to do to distract yourself and remove yourself from that urge to smoke.

-Use any means necessary. Although you may want to go cold turkey, many times smokers can't quit without additional aides. Use the patch or gum if they are going to help. There are even many programs out there that will supply them for you for free just as an added incentive.

-If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. We all wander away from our paths, and we all make mistakes and fall. If you do end up giving in today, don't see it as a failure and give up. If today was a bad day, start again tomorrow; because you KNOW that you can succeed because you are worth it.

-Put on that happy face. Stay positive and know that you are capable of whatever you try to do! It sounds corny, but one of the most necessary tools in quitting is being your own cheerleader. When you walk onto the field, knowing that you're going to win, you will succeed. By telling yourself daily that you are going to quit smoking because you are strong and will.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Kicking the Habit:Tips to Help Quit Smoking

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