A recent question on EmpowHer (How Long Does it Take Your Body to Recover from Smoking led to a EmpowHer user to say they want to quit smoking...and are in the process of gaining medication and information to make this happen!
Are you interested in joining her in quitting smoking?!
If so, please respond to this message, as I would love to help a group of women along their journey of becoming smoke-free. I have worked with individuals for the past 7+ years in providing "Preparation for Cessation" workshops, as well as one-on-one and small group smoking cessation consultations. As a Certified Health Education Specialist, I have learned some wonderful pieces of wisdom from my consultations that I would like to share with you, in order to be one piece of the puzzle to help you quit smoking all together, or help you taper down gradually.
Here are a few strategies that others found effective:
1) Pro & Con list. Seems so simple, but write down all the things you love about smoking, your "pro list". Then, write down all the things you dislike/hate about smoking, your "con list". Once your "pro list" in significantly more meaningful/ lengthier /more inspirational than your "con list" is when you know: you are ready to begin the journey to cessation. It's not "rocket science", it is demonstrating to yourself, in black & white, that you are motivated to quit for yourself.
2) Chantix works! (as long as it is recommended for you by a doctor; there are some contraindications that do not allow for this medication to be safe for everyone). People who have used Chantix to quit smoking have actually forgotten to smoke!
3) Quit buddies work! either a person you know or an online support system. Here are a few good ones:
- Quit Net
- American Cancer Society
- Most states have a "quit line". Just google "state quit line" and you will likely find an 800-number that you can call for free support.
- I am available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays if you would like to contact me, and have an ongoing personal support system. Just respond to this post with your question or comment!
4) Rewards work, too. Save up the money you would be spending on a pack of cigarettes, and place it in a clear jar. Once you have quit for a year (assuming you are a pack-a-day smoker), you will likely have saved up over $1,000.00. You can even place a label on your jar...what would you like to do for a thousand EXTRA dollars? Travel to Europe? Purchase a computer? Buy a new wardrobe? Get a professional massage or spa treatment once a month for the next year?
5) Know your triggers, and plan for them. Do you know why you smoke? I wrote an EmpowHer article, "Why I Smoke Test", where you can find out why you smoke: stimulation, handling, relaxation, craving or habit?
You have undoubtedly heard some of these "effective strategies" in the past, but not sure how they apply to you? If you would like to know how, just take the Why I Smoke Test above, and respond to this post with your "scores". I can provide some real-world ideas and problem-solving solutions for you that might give you and edge to quitting smoking.
Lastly, if you are not ready to quit or taper, I would love to speak with you regarding your love/hate relationship with tobacco. Why do you smoke, and what do you love about smoking? Conversely, what do you dislike/hate about your smoking?
If you are ready to quit/tape, what have you done in the past that was successful in quitting (even if it worked for just a day, or delayed a cigarette for a few hours?).
I look forward to speaking with you soon!
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