Five Keys to Quitting
1. Get ready
- Call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine. The HelpLine can help you determine if you are ready to quit, help tailor a plan for you to quit, and lend confidential support along the way.
- Start readying yourself to quit. Make a list of reasons for quitting to remind yourself of why you are quitting. Then, tell friends and family about your plan to quit so they can support your efforts.
- Pay attention to when and why you smoke. Are there routines you want to change? Triggers that have thwarted your efforts in the past? Start working on methods that will help you through those difficult times.
- Call your doctor, and check with your insurance provider about coverage for counseling and medication.
- Set a quit date you can stick to. Find a good time to quit – once you set a date, there should be no ifs, ands or buts about it. Then, make some changes such as getting rid of lighters, ashtrays, washing smoky clothes and upholstery, and getting rid of the lighter in your car, and setting rules about smoking in the house.
2. Get help
- You will have a better chance of quitting successfully if you have help and support from your doctor, family, friends, and coworkers.
- Get support from the Maine Tobacco HelpLine.
- Enlist the help of friends or ex-smokers that you know, and tell them to check in with you.
- If you live with someone who smokes, get them to quit too, or tell them how they can support you, such as not smoking in the house or around you.
- Join a support group for people quitting smoking, or attend a smoking cessation program to help you learn to recognize and cope with situations that tempt you to smoke. Children and teens can also find help from community and school programs. In addition to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine, your doctor or mental health provider can help you tailor an approach to meet your needs.
3. Learn new skills and behaviors
What are your smoking habits and rituals? Identifying your smoking triggers can help you avoid them and plan for ways to keep you out of risky situations. Start by:
- changing your daily routine, such as how you get to work or where you eat.
- cutting down on stress and finding ways to manage stress when it occurs.
- hanging around nonsmokers.
4. Get and use medication
You will double your chances of quitting even if medication is the only treatment you use to quit. Your odds get even better when you combine medication and other quit strategies.
There are FDA-approved medications that have been proven effective in helping smokers quit, as well as nicotine replacement therapies such as patches, gums, sprays and inhalers. Nicotine replacement products supply relief from symptoms of withdrawal and can help you in your efforts to stay quit. Your doctor will help you decide if you should take medicines including nicotine replacement therapy to help you quit, and help you take medications correctly so they are most effective.
Find information about Nicotine Replacement Therapy from the American Lung Association.
5. Be prepared for relapse
Most people are not successful the first few times they try to quit smoking. Don’t beat yourself up. Use the experience to gain knowledge about what worked and what didn’t, and how to avoid a relapse next time. Most importantly, keep trying.
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