Making sure you are well prepared for your quit date is one part of a solid plan to stop smoking. Plans for a quit date can look really different for different people, so the important thing to do is make it personal – this is all about you!
Here are some ideas to get you started (take the ones that look good to you – leave the rest):
• Clean and fresh: clean out your car, air out your house, dry clean your jacket and your favorite sweater.
• Don’t go it alone: find someone to confide in for support – ask a friend, a family member, or join a group on becomeanex.org! Do something fun with someone who has a positive outlook on your quit date like: go to a movie, go for a bike ride, visit the library, try a new recipe, or take a class.
• Make plans: get going on a project or activity – either something new, or maybe something you used to love but stopped doing because of your smoking.
- Arts and crafts, painting or drawing, keep a journal, write poetry, do crossword puzzles, try a new sport, learn how to garden or meditate.
• Dispose of all tobacco: Let’s face it – if you have a cigarette in the pocket of your winter coat in the back of the closet, it will call to you. Get rid of it! Do not try to be a hero!
• Throw away all ashtrays and lighters: strengthen your resolve – don’t just put this stuff away – throw it out! You are never going back. Try to arrange your environment to reflect your commitment to quit smoking.
• Make an appointment: see your dentist to get your teeth cleaned so you can start out fresh.
• See your health care provider, or arrange to see a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. This can be motivating, and a next step toward a healthier, happier you!
• Use medications: the medical community now understands the nature of tobacco dependence like never before, and the verdict is in: using at least one approved medication when you try to stop smoking can double your chances of quitting for good. Get the medicine you choose, or is recommended by your doctor, well in advance of your quit date, and read up about how it works and how to use it.
• Reward yourself: this is hard work, and you deserve all the credit! In the days and weeks to come, be easy on yourself when you can.
- Take a nap, spoil yourself with a small purchase here and there with the money you are saving by not buying tobacco, take time for yourself to do things that you enjoy.
Share your plan and get more ideas from others at becomeanex.org! You can do this.
Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org