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Quitting Starts Today: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Smoking Cessation

Quitting Starts Today: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Smoking Cessation

Jun 13, 2022

Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, regardless of your age or how long you’ve been using tobacco products. Having a personalized plan can help you stay strong when things get tough. Follow these steps to break the habit and improve your quality of life. 

Step 1: Set a date

Start by deciding when you want to quit and mark the date on your calendar. Although it’s tempting to start immediately, choose a date one to two weeks in the future to give yourself time to prepare. 

Step 2: Calculate your savings

Quitting saves you money. A pack-a-day smoker saves over $2,200 per year when they stop smoking. Calculate your savings to determine how much money you’ll save when you decide to kick the habit. 

Step 3: Know your why

“Nicotine is an addictive substance, and quitting is not easy,” said Donald Noblett, Cancer Grants Manager at Inspira Health. “Knowing why you want to quit smoking can help you stay motivated, especially when things get challenging.” Your reasons may include: 

  • The desire for a healthier lifestyle 
  • Increased life expectancy 
  • Financial savings 
  • Minimizing secondhand smoke exposure 
  • Setting a good example for your family
  • Pregnancy or wanting to become pregnant 

Step 4: Recognize your triggers

Consider what gives you the urge to smoke. Understanding what precipitates your smoking can help you develop a plan for when these occasions arise. 

  • Routine-based triggers include waking up in the morning, driving, talking on the phone, taking a break, drinking coffee or finishing a meal. 
  • Social triggers include being around smokers, getting offered a cigarette, smelling cigarette smoke, drinking alcohol, social events, holidays and celebrations. 
  • Emotional triggers include feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, loneliness, boredom, happiness and excitement. 

Step 5: Fight your cravings

“Make a plan for when you feel the urge to smoke,” said Noblett. “It may take some time to figure out how to fight your cravings, but keep trying until you find what works best.” Some strategies to distract your mind from smoking are:  

  • Drinking a glass of water
  • Taking 10 deep breaths
  • Going outside for fresh air or getting some exercise
  • Calling a family member or friend 

Step 6: Be proactive

Take additional steps to set yourself up for success. “Ask your doctor about medications that can help you quit smoking,” said Noblett. “Throw away all cigarettes, lighters, matches, ashtrays and vape pens.” It can also be helpful to reach out to trusted friends or family members for support. 

When you’re ready, the Inspira Quit Center is here to help and can more than double your chances of successfully quitting. Our six-week quit groups with certified tobacco treatment specialists are free of charge. We offer one-on-one counseling, group support and individualized quit plans. We also provide nicotine replacement therapy, lung cancer screening and follow-up sessions after program completion. 

Contact us today to schedule an initial assessment, select a quit date and begin your personalized plan. 

Inspira Health is a high reliability organization (HRO), which means safety is the top priority for patients and staff. To make an appointment, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Topics: Health and Wellness, Lung Cancer