Decision to stop smoking

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Apr 22, 2011

Many times people struggle with the decision to stop smoking.  You may feel there are a number of reasons to continue smoking. Then, on the other hand, also feel many reasons for quitting.  It is normal to feel ambivalent about stopping smoking.  However, you can put that to your advantage.  Take a pen and paper and write down the answers to four separate questions.

Make a list of:

  1. What are the “kind of good things about smoking?”
  3. What are the “not so good things about quitting?”

On a separate paper write:

3)      What are the “not so good things about smoking?”
4)      What are the “kind of good things about quitting?”

Now examine the items under question #1.  Try to think of ways you can manage or satisfy these feelings, without using a cigarette. (might be managing stress, or controlling your weight, etc.)  Think of other ways that you might serve these purposes without smoking.

Next, look at your list from question #2.  Try to think up some ways to manage the problems associated with quitting.  Perhaps the medications, exercising, or even sleep can help.

Next, take your ideas from #3 and #4, and think of specific examples that demonstrate these issues and write them on the paper (for example, I could walk up stairs without being so winded).  Some people put this on their refrigerator with a magnet.  Or, you could fold it up and put it in the place/pocket where you carried your cigarettes in the past. So you will be able to read it before acting on an urge to smoke.

This process of decision making goes on all the time in our head, but putting it on paper can make it come true!

Make sure you are doing the plan on EX to help y ou quit smoking http://www.BecomeAnEX.org


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 more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org