Once a person has decided to quit, it’s time to pick the all-important Quit Date. Make sure it’s pretty soon – like maybe in the next month. Choosing one too far in the future will make it easier to rationalize a way out of it. But there also needs to be enough time to get prepared; then it’s time to come up with a solid plan. Here are some steps to help smokers get prepared.
- Pick the date and mark it on a calendar (in plain sight!)
- Tell friends and family about the quit date and ask for their support.
- Stock up on sugarless gum, cinnamon sticks, carrot sticks and hard candy.
- Decide on a plan. What options does UALR offer for cessation? Are there community resources or on-line support services that best match your personal needs? You can call the toll-free national QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW to receive telephone support and advice to prepare to quit and throughout the quit process.
- Is nicotine replacement therapy (i.e., the patch or gum) or other medications the way to go? Medications have been proven to increase the success of quitting. Investigate your options and decide what will work best for you. If you decide on medication, you may need to start using it before your quit date.
- Attending a smoking cessation class or calling a quit line also can help you to stay smoke-free.
- Practice saying, “No, thank you. I don’t smoke.”
- Set up a support system. Tell others of your plan and ask for their support. Ask a friend to quit with you. You can also join Nicotine Anonymous or talk with a friend who has successfully quit and is willing to help.
- Get rid of all cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, etc.
- Identify your triggers, the things that tempt you to smoke. Think about the times or rituals during the day when you normally smoke, such as with a cup of coffee in the morning, between classes, while studying or at the bar. Figure out what you will do instead of smoking, such as skipping the coffee, going for a walk, chomping on carrot sticks or lollipops and even avoiding the bar. These temptations will become less and less strong the longer you are smoke-free.
- If weight gain is a concern, know that exercise can decrease your chances of gaining weight while you quit and can make quitting easier.
Be smoke-free! Sign-up for the email listserv today or call Health Promotion, Programs, and Education (an office within Health Services) at 501-569-8302 for more information.