Be Prepared to Quit
Planning is the key to a well-run job. Having the right materials and tools means the job can get done. Yet we often approach the job of quitting tobacco use with no plan and no idea of the tools that will help. November 16 is the Great American Smokeout -- a day promoted by the American Cancer Society to help people stop using tobacco. A good plan will lead to success and a life free from tobacco.
--- Decide. Nobody can convince you to quit or quit for you. You have to make the decision yourself. Why do you want to quit? Do you want better health? Are you tired of spending the money on cigarettes or chew? Are you just tired of being a nicotine addict? Once you know why you’re going to quit then you can decide to make an honest effort at it.
--- Set a quit date. Give yourself time to plan the job right and decide which tools you need. The Great American Smokeout is a good day to quit. So is your birthday or New Years Day. Make a strong personal commitment to quit on whatever day you choose.
--- Plan. There is no single way to quit tobacco. You probably have tried before and know what doesn't work for you. A good plan should include:
• telling family and friends-they can help you,
• stocking up on oral substitutes-something to reach for when that craving hits you,
• tools-are you going to use the patch, gum, Zyban or another aid?
• support—if you are going to take a class. sign up for it. Talk to your doctor. If you have a friend who quit, make arrangements for that person to be there for you.
--- Know what to expect. Be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms, know what your triggers are, and pay attention to the good things that are happening to your body.
It is not easy to become tobacco-free. There is free, confidential help at the California Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS.
Source: American Cancer Society, Guide to Quitting Smoking.