Success for any of our goals starts with a plan. Recognizing the benefits of becoming smoke-free is the first step in the process to stop smoking. The rest of the journey is following through with all the steps in your plan. Like any other journey, if you do not plan where you are going and how you are going to get there you just might end up in the wrong place!
Many smokers put some thought into quitting or even taken a few steps such as cutting down, but they have never committed to having a plan and setting a quit date. Setting a quit date makes your goal a reality. Here are some other steps that you may want to consider on your journey to become smoke free:
- As close as possible to your quit date, clean your environment. Remove ash trays and lighters and freshen up your surroundings as much as possible (such as washing curtains, cleaning your car, etc.)
- Have quit kits or other coping skills in order. Consider things that will keep your hands and mouth busy, such as gum, mints, straws, cinnamon sticks, stress balls, etc. Be sure you have your kits available in your home, work, and car.
- Talk to your health-care provider about your plan and seek assistance on the medication that would be best for you.
- Reach for your support! Let your loved ones know when your quit date is, and begin talking about this date as a positive, significant event in your life.
- Let your smoker friends know about your plan and ask them to be supportive. Ask them to not offer you a cigarette and not smoke around you
These steps are all included as part of the EX Plan. EX can help you prepare for your quit date, so when you throw away your last pack of cigarettes, you’ll have a plan of action for staying smoke-free.
You are taking one of the most important steps in your life by making a plan to stop smoking. Good luck on your journey!
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