The First 30 Days: Quit Smoking!
By Nicole Yorio
5 ways to get started.
1. Plan ahead.
Choose a date to stop smoking, giving yourself enough time to create a plan
and to elicit advice from other people who’ve quit. Then, write in a journal
how often you smoke and under what circumstances — once you’re aware of your
triggers, you can come up with strategies to overcome them.
2. Pick your method.
No single approach works for everyone, and you may need to try a few
strategies at once to attack the problem from different angles. Make sure you
address both your physical dependence on nicotine as well as your emotional
triggers (stress, anger, boredom). Log on to smokefree.gov to research your
3. Create new routines.
Since smoking is a part of your day, you’ll need to form new habits. Chew
gum instead of taking a drag after lunch, or play a computer game in place of
your cigarette break. Avoid situations associated with lighting up — go to
smoke-free restaurants, and if you puff away in your car, have it detailed to
get rid of the smell.
4. Get support.
You are the only one who can make yourself stop smoking, but surrounding
yourself with friends, family, and fellow quitters can help you get through
tough days. Pick someone who really wants you to kick the habit and make him or
her your go-to person when a craving hits. Or call 800-QUIT-NOW to talk to a
quit coach in your area.
5. Think positive.
Know that each day you get through without smoking is an accomplishment.
Keep yourself inspired to stick with it by reminding yourself that your reasons
for quitting (more on that below) are bigger than your cravings — and that
you’re capable and strong enough to make this a lasting life change.
3 questions for Ariane
I already know the health risks of smoking. So why is it still
so hard for me to quit?
A: Your personal reason for stopping has to be stronger than your
desire to light up. Saying, “I want to be around for my 5-year-old for 50 more
years” is more powerful than “Smoking is bad for me.” So look inside and find
your motivation for quitting, then write down those reasons and carry them with
What are common mistakes people make when quitting — and how
can I avoid them?
A: Even smokers forget that smoking satisfies an emotional need — and
that they must find another way to tend to that need. When people smoke,
they’re taking time for themselves. So when a craving strikes, think, What do I
want — a smoke or relaxation? Then, find another way to unwind — whether that’s
listening to music or taking a walk.