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Tips to Help You Stop Smoking
- Switch to a brand you find distasteful.
- Change to a brand that is low in tar and nicotine a couple of weeks before your target quit date. This will help change your smoking behavior. However, do not smoke more cigarettes, inhale them more often or more deeply, or place your fingertips over the holes in the filters. All of these actions will increase your nicotine intake, and the idea is to get your body used to functioning without nicotine.
- Smoke only half of each cigarette.
- Each day, postpone the lighting of your first cigarette by one hour.
- Decide you'll only smoke during odd or even hours of the day.
- Decide beforehand how many cigarettes you'll smoke during the day. For each additional cigarette, give a dollar to your favorite charity.
- Change your eating habits to help you cut down. For example, drink milk, which many people consider incompatible with smoking. End meals or snacks with something that won't lead to a cigarette.
- Reach for a glass of juice instead of a cigarette for a "pick-me-up."
- Remember: Cutting down can help you quit, but it's not a substitute for quitting. If you're down to about seven cigarettes a day, it's time to set your target quit date, and get ready to stick to it.
- Smoke only those cigarettes you really want. Catch yourself before you light up a cigarette out of pure habit.
- Don't empty your ashtrays. This will remind you of how many cigarettes you've smoked each day, and the sight and the smell of stale cigarettes butts will be very unpleasant.
- Make yourself aware of each cigarette by using the opposite hand or putting cigarettes in an unfamiliar location or a different pocket to break the automatic reach.
- If you light up many times during the day without even thinking about it, try to look in a mirror each time you put a match to your cigarette. You may decide you don't need it.
- Stop buying cigarettes by the carton. Wait until one pack is empty before you buy another.
- Stop carrying cigarettes with you at home or at work. Make them difficult to get to.
- Smoke only under circumstances that aren't especially pleasurable for you. If you like to smoke with others, smoke alone. Turn your chair to an empty corner and focus only on the cigarette you are smoking and all its many negative effects.
- Collect all your cigarette butts in one large glass container as a visual reminder of the filth made by smoking.
- Practice going without cigarettes.
- Don't think of never smoking again. Think of quitting in terms of one day at a time .
- Tell yourself you won't smoke today, and then don't.
- Clean your clothes to rid them of the cigarette smell, which can linger a long time.
- Throw away all your cigarettes and matches. Hide your lighters and ashtrays.
- Visit the dentist and have your teeth cleaned to get rid of tobacco stains. Notice how nice they look and resolve to keep them that way.
- Make a list of things you'd like to buy for yourself or someone else. Estimate the cost in terms of packs of cigarettes, and put the money aside to buy these presents.
- Keep very busy on the big day. Go to the movies, exercise, take long walks, or go bike riding.
- Remind your family and friends that this is your quit date, and ask them to help you over the rough spots of the first couple of days and weeks.
- Buy yourself a treat or do something special to celebrate.
- Develop a clean, fresh, nonsmoking environment around yourself—at work and at home. Buy yourself flowers—you may be surprised how much you can enjoy their scent now.
- The first few days after you quit, spend as much free time as possible in places where smoking isn't allowed, such as libraries, museums, theaters, department stores, and churches.
- Drink large quantities of water and fruit juice (but avoid sodas that contain caffeine).
- Try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and other beverages that you associate with cigarette smoking.
- Strike up conversation instead of a match for a cigarette.
- If you miss the sensation of having a cigarette in your hand, play with something else—a pencil, a paper clip, a marble.
- If you miss having something in your mouth, try toothpicks or a fake cigarette.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention