Tips for quitting smoking
How to quit smoking. Photo: Shutterstock

The following plan is based on a quit date three weeks away. If the date you choose is sooner or later, you can adapt the program to suit your own time frame.

Week 1

Take a look at your smoking habits. Start a smoking diary. Each day, every time you smoke, briefly record: 

• the time  
• what you’re doing  
• why you’re using tobacco this time 
• how you feel afterwards. 

At the end of each day, review your smoking patterns. What triggers your tobacco use? Is it boredom, anger, fatigue, nervousness or certain social situations? Look for other ways to cope with these feelings or circumstances.

Week 2

Change some habits. Tell your friends, family and workmates your quit date. Ask them to help. Review your reasons for quitting at least once a day. Change your routines so it’s less convenient to smoke:

• Buy cigarettes by the packet, not the carton.
• Skip the afternoon coffee break (when you would normally smoke) and go for a walk or drink a glass of juice instead.
• If you normally smoke in the car, carry chewing gum or boiled lollies and reach for them instead.
• Stay away from smoky environments.
• Delay your first smoke of the day. Try to push it an hour later every three or four days.

Aim to get your smoking down to less than a packet a day before your quit date. Your doctor might prescribe the antidepressant bupropion to help you accomplish this more easily.

Week 3

Start the countdown! When your quit date is approaching, remind everyone around you that the big day is nearly here. Continue to put off your first smoke of the day. Also:

• Try going smoke free for one day.
• Remove the lighter from your car.
• Confine your smoking to one room.
• Hold your cigarette in the other hand.

The night before your quit date, soak your remaining cigarettes in water and throw them in the bin. Get rid of all ashtrays, lighters and matches. Have your nicotine-replacement products or other aids ready. Before bedtime, review your reasons for quitting. Visualise yourself victorious over tobacco, smoke-free and healthy.



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