MAKE A PLAN TO QUIT: Great American Smokeout is November 20, 2014. Photo: Pinterest.com
MAKE A PLAN TO QUIT: Great American Smokeout is November 20, 2014. Photo: Pinterest.com

Tomorrow (Thursday, November 20, 2014) is the annual Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, a day that encourages smokers to make a plan to quit, quit smoking one day or quit smoking permanently.

Most students at American and Caribbean medical schools have the good sense not to smoke, but we all know someone who is struggling to quit. Rather than focus on all the health-related dangers of smoking, the UMHS Endeavour looks at ways to increase your chances of quitting or at the very least cut down on smoking.

Quitting Smoking Tips

Here are some smart tips from WebMD.com (http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/ss/slideshow-13-best-quit-smoking-tips-ever)

Understand Why You Want to Quit: “The reason ‘because it’s bad for you’ isn’t good enough. To get motivated, you need a powerful, personal reason to quit. Maybe you want to protect your family from secondhand smoke. Maybe the thought of lung cancer frightens you. Or maybe you’d like to look and feel younger. Choose a reason that is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up.”

Don’t Go Cold Turkey: 95% of people who simply go “cold turkey” fail to quit smoking because nicotine is so addictive.

Try Nicotine-Replacement Therapy or Medication: Nicotine gum and patches, as well as prescription medication like Wellbutrin and Chantix can help you kick the habit.

Set a Quit Date: You don’t have to quit today, but do set a quit date for the near future, and then stick to it.

Remove Smoking Triggers: Throw out ashtrays, lighters, etc. Clean your house and anything that smells of smoke so you are not reminded of it.

Understand the Reasons Why You Smoke: Is it stress? When you drink alcohol or coffee? Avoid things that make you want to smoke.

Get Support for Quitting Smoking: “Tell your friends, family, and co-workers that you’re trying to quit. Their encouragement could make the difference. You may also want to join a support group or talk to a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies. Combine behavioral therapy with nicotine replacement products and/or medication to boost your odds of success.”

For more information on the Great American Smokeout, visit http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index

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