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Smoking Cessation Health Center

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The First 30 Days: Quit Smoking!

3 questions for Ariane continued...

Q: 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.

Q: Which will help me succeed: managing single cravings or focusing on the big picture?

A: Keep telling yourself, I am a nonsmoker, and your mind will start believing you; that’s when the cravings subside. But also reward yourself for feats along the way — like not smoking for five days — by, say, getting a manicure. This tells your brain that good things come when you resist the urge to light up.

Change guru Ariane de Bonvoisin is the author of the new book The First 30 Days, a guide to embracing life's curveballs and finding the positive in any new situation.

Originally published on May 29, 2008

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