- Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
- How does smoking affect your health?
- Why quit smoking now?
- When smokers quit – what are the benefits over time?
- What are the immediate rewards of quitting smoking?
- Getting help with the mental part of addiction
- Getting help with the physical part of addiction
- Nicotine replacement therapy
- What are the types of nicotine replacement therapy?
- Choosing and using nicotine replacement therapy
- Prescription drugs to help you quit smoking
- Other methods of quitting smoking
- A word about success rates for quitting smoking
- Steps for long-term success
- Making the decision to quit smoking
- Setting a quit smoking date and making a plan
- Dealing with smoking withdrawal
- Staying smoke-free
- Special concerns after quitting smoking
- To learn more
Remember the Mark Twain quote? Maybe you, too, have quit many times before. If so, you know that staying quit is the final, longest, and most important stage of the process. You can use the same methods as you did to help you through withdrawal. Think ahead to those times when you may be tempted to smoke, and plan on how you’ll use other ways to cope with those situations.
More dangerous, perhaps, are the unexpected strong desires to smoke that can sometimes happen months or even years after you’ve quit. Rationalizations can show up then, too. To get through these without relapse, try these:
- Remember your reasons for quitting and think of all the benefits to your health, your finances, and your family.
- Remind yourself that there is no such thing as just one cigarette – or even just one puff.
- Ride out the desire to smoke. It will go away, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you can have just one.
- Avoid alcohol. Drinking lowers your chance of success.
- If you’re worried about weight gain, put some energy into planning a healthy diet and finding ways to exercise and stay active.
Recovering from slips
What if you do smoke? Here’s the difference between a slip and a relapse: a slip is a one-time mistake that’s quickly corrected. A relapse is going back to smoking. You can use the slip as an excuse to go back to smoking, or you can look at what went wrong and renew your commitment to staying away from smoking for good.
Last Medical Review: 02/06/2014
Last Revised: 02/06/2014