Commit to Quit
Are You a Smoker? Commit to Quit!
If you’re one of the 70 percent of smokers who want to quit, the KMA and Kentucky
Foundation for Medical Care recommend in a new campaign that you talk with your physician to help you quit. The Association of American Medical Colleges in 2007 reported that patients -with their physician’s active support- increased their long-term abstinence rates to 30 percent, versus a 7 percent success rate for those attempting to quit on their own.
The campaign – Commit to Quit – offers three key ingredients for successfully quitting smoking:
- Talk to your doctor
- Use all available resources
- Stick to the plan
Use All Available Resources
Smoking cessation is a process; it won’t happen overnight. But with the right resources, attitude and support system, you can reach success and a drastically healthier lifestyle.
Here are some things to remember as you begin your journey to quit:
- Set a date to quit, and develop a plan to make it happen.
- Talk to your doctor about how he or she can help.
- Find a smoking cessation treatment or over-the-counter medication that fits your lifestyle.
- Tell your family and friends that you plan to quit smoking, and explain how they can help.
- Find a family member or friend who can quit with you.
- Remove all cigarettes and tobacco products from your home, office and vehicle.
- Be realistic about the challenges and discomfort you’ll have to overcome when you quit smoking.
- Set some initial goals. These could be anything from reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day to quitting completely by the end of the calendar year.
- Identify your “smoking triggers,” and think about the changes you’ll need to make to avoid them.
- Stock up on healthy snacks and sugar-free gum, which will help control cravings.
- Take things one day a time, and stay positive!
Stick to the Plan
Smoking cessation does get easier with time, but getting there will likely require some serious lifestyle changes. Keep your doctor updated on your progress, the challenges you encounter and the best ways to handle them.
Here are a few tips to help keep you on track in the days, weeks, months and even years after you commit to quit:
- Surround yourself with people who can help hold you accountable.
- Connect with others who have successfully quit smoking or are also trying to quit.
- Stay busy and active to keep your mind occupied.
- Identify a few go-to coping mechanisms to help you get through strong urges to smoke, like going for a walk or calling a friend.
- Remember all the benefits of smoking cessation – reduced risk of cancer, better overall health, higher energy and more money in your wallet.
- Avoid places where you know people will be smoking.
- Eat at least 3 daily meals. This will help keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady throughout the day and curb your urge to smoke.
- Certain foods like sugar-free gum, fresh vegetables and fruit can help control your cravings.
- Cut down on alcohol and caffeine, which can trigger urges to smoke.
- Continue setting goals, and reward yourself when you reach them.
- Adopt a lifestyle that incorporates healthy choices beyond quitting smoking, such as exercising and eating healthier.
- If you do relapse, stay positive and don’t give up on quitting. Talk with your doctor about new methods to keep you on track.