to Quit Smoking
often say, "Don't tell me why to quit, tell me how."
There is no one right way to quit, but there are some key
elements in quitting smoking successfully. These 4 factors
* Making the decision to quit
* Setting a quit date and choosing a quit
* Dealing with withdrawal
* Maintenance or staying quit
the Decision to Quit
The decision to quit smoking is one that only you can make.
Others may want you to quit, but the real commitment must
come from you.
Researchers have looked into how and why people stop smoking.
They have some ideas, or models, of how this happens.
The Health Belief Model says that you will be more likely
to stop smoking if you:
* Believe that you could get a smoking-related
disease and this worries you
* Believe that you can make an honest attempt
at quitting smoking
* Believe that the benefits of quitting
outweigh the benefits of continuing to smoke
* Know of someone who has had health problems
as a result of their smoking
any of these apply to you?
The Stages of Change Model identifies the stages that a
person goes through in making a change in behaviour. Here
are the stages as they apply to quitting smoking:
* Pre-contemplator - This is the smoker
who is not thinking seriously about quitting right now.
* Contemplator - This is the smoker who
is actively thinking about quitting but is not quite ready
to make a serious attempt yet. This person may say, "Yes,
I'm ready to quit, but the stress at work is too much, or
I don't want to gain weight, or I'm not sure if I can do
* Preparation - Smokers in the preparation
stage seriously intend to quit in the next month and often
have tried to quit in the past 12 months. They usually have
* Action - This is the first 6 months when
the smoker is actively quitting.
* Maintenance - This is the period of 6
months to 5 years after quitting when the ex-smoker is aware
of the danger of relapse and take steps to avoid it.
Where do you fit in this model - If you are thinking about
quitting, setting a date and deciding on a plan will move
you into the preparation stage, the best place to start.
Remember the quotation by Mark Twain? Maybe you, too, have
quit many times before. So you know that staying quit is
the final, and most important, stage of the process. You
can use the same methods to stay quit as you did to help
you through withdrawal. Think ahead to those times when
you may be tempted to smoke, and plan on how you will use
alternatives and activities to cope with these situations.
More dangerous, perhaps, are the unexpected strong desires
to smoke that occur, sometimes months (or even years) after
you've quit. To get through these without relapse, try the
* Review your reasons for quitting and
think of all the benefits to your health, your finances
and your family.
Remind yourself that there is no such thing as just one
cigarette? or even one puff.
* Ride out the desire to smoke. It will
go away, but do not fool yourself into thinking you can
have just one.
* What if you do smoke? The difference
between a slip and a relapse is within your control. You
can use the slip as an excuse to go back to smoking, or
you can look at what went wrong and renew your commitment
to staying off smoking for good.
the Body Heals Over Time
Within 20 minutes of smoking that last cigarette, your body
begins a series of healthful changes that continue for years.
This deep healing is mostly invisible to the person experiencing
it except for the gradual loss of a smoker's cough, an increase
in energy, and the like.
article was first published in YahooHealth.