How Am I Going To Quit Smoking? (Part 2)

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You sit down in your favorite chair to watch TV...you reach for your cigarettes, light one up and take a few puffs....your young daughter walks into the room and sits on the floor next to your chair...a few minutes pass...your daughter starts coughing...you look at your cigarette and realize it's the secondhand smoke that is making her cough...you get up, put out your cigarette and throw away the pack...you have made a major decision...you are quitting smoking. However, one question remains unanswered...how am I going to quit smoking? That is a looming question for anyone that has made the decision to quit smoking. The good news is there are many strategies one could use to break the habit. What are those strategies? Some of the best strategies to quit smoking include:

Setting up a support system - One of the first things you want to do is tell your family, friends and loved ones you are quitting smoking. Explain to them why you are quitting and ask for their support while you quit. Having someone to lean on may make all the difference during your quitting process.

Avoiding individuals and/or situations that may encourage smoking - Quitting smoking is not easy. So the last thing you want to do is put yourself in a situation that can lead to smoking. Avoiding temptation is paramount in the early stages of the quitting process. The wrong situation or the wrong individual can send you on a slippery slope back to smoking. Therefore, it is important to identify non-supportive individuals and/or situations that can lead you back to smoking. Once you identify those individuals and/or situations avoid them until you are 100 percent positive they will not lead to smoking.

Exercise - Regular exercise, 30 minutes a day most days of the week, can help relieve some of the stress associated with quitting smoking as well as help your body recover from the years of smoking.

Nicotine replacement therapy - Smoking cigarettes can be both physically and emotionally addictive. In other words, the habit of holding a cigarette in your hand can be just as addictive as smoking it. Nicotine replacement therapy can be a way for you to focus in on breaking the emotional habit of smoking. Nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, lozenges and inhalers can provide you with nicotine while you concentrate on developing new habits and coping skills that don't involve holding a cigarette. Once you feel confident you have dealt with the emotional/habit portion of the addiction you can then move on to ridding your body of nicotine.

Prescription medications - Using prescription medications like (bupropion) Zyban or (varenicline) Chantix may be an option for quitting smoking. If you have tried other strategies to quit with no results it may be time to discuss prescription medications with your doctor. Prescription medications should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.

Smoking cigarettes can destroy your overall health. So making the decision to quit smoking is wise. Now it is all about finding the right strategy for you, and you can kick the habit for good.

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    Marc Macera, PharmD, RPh's picture

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