Tips for Completing a Smoking Cessation Program

Have you ever tried to quit smoking by starting a cessation program? Don't feel alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nicotine addiction is the most common type of chemical dependency in the United States. Current studies demonstrate that cigarette smoking is just as addictive as heroin, cocaine, and alcohol

Why Quitting Smoking Is Difficult

Deciding to quit smoking is a difficult decision, in large part, because of the withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine:1

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased appetite

Those who are addicted to smoking say it is the most difficult chemical to stop. Smoking cessation is often accompanied by multiple, failed attempts to quit and therefore requires repeated intervention.


Smoking Cessation Tips

Are you someone who has a strong desire to quit smoking? If so, the following 10 quit smoking tips may help as you embark upon your stop smoking journey:

  1. Don't smoke any number or any kind of cigarette. Even a few cigarettes a day can be harmful. If you simply try to cut down, you will soon be back to smoking the same amount. The best option is to quit altogether.
  2. Don't switch to low-tar, low-nicotine brands. These will only cause you to puff harder and longer, in a subconscious effort to get more nicotine, and perhaps even smoke more.
  3. Keep a journal about why you want to quit. Is it to look better or feel better? Do you want to improve your health or be a good role model for your children? Maybe you want to protect your family from the ill-health effects of secondhand smoke. Whatever the reason, those who are highly motivated to quit will have a better success rate. Find your motivation and run with it.
  4. Don't associate with people who smoke. If you have ever heard the old saying, "If you hang around the barbershop, you are going to eventually get a haircut," it should remind you to be aware that putting yourself in harm's way when it comes to cigarettes will only cause you to fail. If you don't want to smoke, stay away from cigarettes and anybody who lights up.
  5. Know that it will take a conscious effort and won't be easy. With this in mind, do whatever it takes to succeed, including exploring the use of nicotine replacement therapy, adjunct medications (such as Clonidine and Wellbutrin), stop smoking support groups and educational materials.
  6. Be aware that half of all adult smokers have quit...and so can you. Millions before you have tried and been successful. Take comfort in knowing this and enlist the help of someone who has been successful at it.
  7. Recognize that you can't do it alone. Talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them for help in quitting. Tell your family and friends about your efforts, so that they can keep temptations away and support you in your goal.
  8. Exercise. Daily exercise can help you decrease cravings, improve your mood and give you a sense of wellbeing. Walking is a great exercise for people with COPD because it is low impact and easy to do. Make it a point to check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program to make sure that you are healthy enough.
  9. Eat a balanced diet. When you quit smoking, your body is working overtime trying to repair the damage done by smoking. A balanced diet from the main five food groups includes fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meats (especially chicken and fish), and grains. Avoid junk food and empty calories.
  10. Drink plenty of water. Again, to help your body repair, water is a must. It's recommended that you drink eight glasses a day for optimal health and hydration.

Try a Combination of Quit Smoking Methods

These include quit smoking aidssmoking cessation support groups and individualized or group counseling. Studies have shown that combination quit therapy works best.1


For further information about learning how to quit smoking, including free coaching, quit smoking success plans and educational materials, contact 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). And visit smoking cessation websites dedicated to helping you kick the habit