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Secrets of Success

The following is an Editorial Resource from YourTotalHealth.

Reviewed by: Timothy Yarboro, MD

Quit Smoking SupportYou've done it! Congratulations, you have kicked one of the toughest addictions there is. The hardest part is over, but don't let down your guard yet. Temptation is lurking in every convenience store, supermarket, discount store and smoking zone. Not to mention your best friend with cigarettes to spare.

The urge to smoke may be unbearable at times. But a few precautionary steps will boost your chances of staying an ex-smoker:

Stem the stress

  • Tell loved ones and coworkers in advance what you'll be going through and ask for their patience.

  • Don't diet during this difficult time, the American Academy of Family Physicians advises. Help control your weight by staying active and stocking up on nutritious foods. If you gain weight, take it off gradually after you've conquered tobacco, by eating sensibly and increasing your involvement in physical activities you enjoy.

  • Ask your doctor or therapist about stress management techniques such as deep breathing, guided imagery, biofeedback, meditation, yoga or tai chi.

Toss off temptation

Staying a nonsmoker isn't just about willpower. It's also about your environment. This is especially true in the short term; as your smoke-free ways become a permanent part of your life, you can allow yourself to be in more tempting situations. But as you are building up that capacity, make it easier on yourself:

  • Hang out at the countless places that ban smoking.

  • Keep away from places that allow smoking. If your city or state bans smoking in restaurants and bars, you're lucky. If not, seek out the nonsmoking areas of restaurants.

  • Invent new habits. Have you always lit up right after dinner? Try pushing back from the table, getting up and taking a short stroll instead.

Play out the plan

You worked hard on your quit-smoking plan. Now carry through.

  • Keep appointments with your doctor/therapist/support group.
  • Phone your hotline or call up your Internet chatroom when you need help.
  • Take medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Practice your stress reduction exercises.
  • Reward yourself when you pass a hurdle or milestone.

Picture the prize

When the going gets tough, think about everything you have to gain from quitting. Think about:

  • Your health and your family's.
  • How much better you'll look and feel.
  • The longer, easier life you'll lead.
  • The thousands of dollars you'll save each year.
  • Your cleaner home, car and clothes.
  • Keep a written list of your goals with you for inspiration.

One day at a time

Remember that each day is a victory. Each day, the struggle becomes a little easier as your nicotine addiction eases. For the long term, you will have to remain alert to your smoking triggers and remind yourself that you can never again take even one puff. You are now an ex-smoker and plan to stay one. Welcome to your new life.

What's Next: When You 'Cheat’


Review Date: January 16, 2008


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