Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and various other cancers. Smoking is more than a simple habit, it’s an addiction to nicotine, the toxic chemical found in tobacco. Breaking away from the addiction is a difficult task. Your good health is worth the work it takes to quit. Changing the behaviors that support the addiction will help in the struggle.

BE AWARE OF TRIGGERS

Ask yourself when during the day do you find yourself smoking. Make a smoking diary to pinpoint trigger times. Once you can recognize the triggers, try substituting alternative behaviors.

LOOK FOR AND ACCEPT SUPPORT

Tell the people in your life that you want to quit. Set a quit date and ask them to support you in your decision. You will be on edge at first and their understanding of your irritability is important. Make a pact to quit with a friend. Some people benefit from organizations and support groups. Call a friend who has already quit for support during rough moments.

WHEN THE URGE HITS

The urge to smoke will pass, whether you light up or not. As time goes on, the urge to smoke will become less intense and easier to manage. When you feel an urge coming on, take three deep breaths, brush your teeth, walk around the block or drink some water.

HELP YOUR SYSTEM RID ITSELF OF THE NICOTINE

Frequent bathing and drinking lots of water will help flush the nicotine out of your system. Also pay close attention to your diet. Eating healthy, well-balanced meals will help your body cleanse the toxins out of your system. Exercise can also curb the cravings.

KEEP YOUR HANDS BUSY

Find substitutes for the hand movement of smoking. Start a new hobby that involves your hands, such as sewing, woodworking or drawing.

SEE YOUR DOCTOR

Your doctor can offer you support and a prescription for the nicotine patch if you need it. He or she can also refer you to a quit-smoking program or group in your area.

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