So your health provider told you that you needed to quit. Wait…there is hope. As a tobacco cessation coach for six years, I have worked with hundreds of individuals who heard these four little words that changed their lives forever.
With heart racing you ask yourself, “How do you start?” First, you need to identify why YOU are quitting? Health, kids, family…. What many soon to be smoke free individuals told me is, “I don’t know if I am ready.” “What if I fail?” I say, any time you quit and start again, it is just an opportunity to practice quitting. We all know practice make perfect.
The act of smoking is often ritualistic. Favorite lighter, same brand, cup of coffee or soda, go to favorite place, smoke # of cigarettes…a small mini vacation. Often time these rituals or habits are hard to change. Small changes can make a huge difference on your road to becoming smoke free. Below are some ideas to step into becoming smoke free:
- If you smoke
- Change where you smoke…smoke outside and not in your car;
- First thing in the morning……brush your teeth first or get dressed first;
- At lunch, move time earlier or later…take a walk.
- Start reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke
- Smoke half of what you normally do;
- Leave cigarettes in office or locker to delay;
- Put your cigarettes in the trunk;
- When you are ready to stop
- Make a plan with the help of family or friends;
- Talk to your health provider for cessation support;
- Contact the Oregon Quit Line (800) 784-8669 or quitnow.net/oregon;
- Try not to replace your hand to mouth smoking habit to hand to mouth food habit;
Yours in Health,
DeAnna Pearl, M.A.T., B.S.
Certified Prevention Specialist
DeAnna Pearl has been in prevention for almost 15 years. She was born and raised on the Oregon Coast and is happy to back home. She and her daughter are asthmatic and appreciate when smokers are conscientious about smoking away from doorways.
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