What should I be doing to prepare myself for quitting, for good?
Welcome! Educating yourself about nicotine addiction and having quit plan made it doable for me this time. My EX Plan | BecomeAnEX Knowing what to expect on this journey and being prepared to deal with a new way of life without smoking will contribute to your success. Read as much as you can on this site and on the internet about quitting.
Decide if you're going to go cold turkey, use NRT, or medication. Support from other quitters has been so helpful. So stay close to the site and reach out when you have questions, need support , or to post your experiences. We're here for you .
Welcome to the community!
Glad you asked! I can help with your preparation!
The important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This easy and entertaining read provided a world of good information about nicotine addiction, most of which I was not aware. I credit it in large part with my success at quitting. You can search for it online or at your local library.
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. Here is a video to inform you further about nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be.
After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort after you have tried to delay and distract. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. You need to start out with a plan to reduce use of them over time - which the patch does by decreasing the dose contained in them.. For the gum, you can start by cutting each piece in half, then in quarters, then sub regular gum of the same flavor in between, adding more and more regular gum. For the lozenge, you need to start subbing a mint in between to begin, increasing the number of them over time. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for four reasons: 1) the vapor has been compared to the polluted air in Bejing on a bad day, 2) they just provide another nicotine delivery system while continuing the hand to mouth smoking motion, 3) it maintains the addiction to nicotine, and 4) they are proving to be unsafe.
It will be informative if you do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. As you track each cigarette smoked, note its importance, and what you might do instead. Put each one off just a little to prove that you don't NEED a cigarette just because you think you do.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T. You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smoke
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
Prepare yourself to quit one day at a time--not forever in advance. Take it just for today.
Write a list of all the things that you are willing to do other than smoke, keep it handy and refer to it often.
Accept that early on you will have an urge or crave at times and that this is no cause for alarm--quitters stay quit by ignoring these early craves--they don't last long.
Get exercise, drink water, have reasonably healthy food choices on tap, stay busy, check in with Ex. Now you have a quit family--and we're here for one another 365.
Learn everything you can about nicotine addiction.
Add to your support list: cessation meetings at your local hospital? in your community?
Get ready to succeed, because you can and will on your say so.
Never give up.
Remember quitting is a journey, not an event.
You have gotten great advice above, please pay attention, do the reading, stay close to this site, remember that this is a one day at a time journey and that we have all been where you are. Preparation is great...make a plan, know that you are not alone
Welcome to EX,
Hi and Welcome to sparrowgirl
You have some great advice above me...do the work and get quitting...You can do this, we are all here for YOU...~ Colleen 423 DOF
Good morning, sparrowgirl!
What a great question to ask at the begining of your quit! Good job.
I have discovered that a written quit plan has made a difference for me
Writting out your quit plan makes you think about why you smoke and why you want to quit and (most importantly) HOW you intend to do it. Think about your triggers and what you can do to avoid them. Think about about areas of your health you would like to see improve, or your bank account. Write down all the little rewards you can give yourself (my quit plan included pictures of these items).
And plan on hanging out here. A LOT.
Keep the quit
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