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Stop Smoking Tips: You Can Do It

If you’ve got a smoking or tobacco addiction, you probably already know that giving up nicotine is one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your health -- both immediately and over the long term. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most difficult things to do. The addictive nature of nicotine makes giving up cigarettes and chewing tobacco seem impossible. But not all hope is lost for those who want to quit smoking. If you’re ready to give quitting a try, take a moment and check out the following stop-smoking tips.

Abandoning your tobacco addiction might seem like an impossible goal, but it can be done. Here are a few tips to get you started.

First, start by making a personal list of all of the reasons that you should quit. For instance, do you have a spouse and/or young children in the house and you’re worried about the effect your secondhand smoke will have on their health? Are you having trouble breathing normally or sleeping through the night? Do you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or any other health condition that can be made worse by your bad habit? Write down anything and everything that applies to you, and keep this list with you to look at when you’re tempted to give in to your cravings.

Other tips to try:

Keep the date. Write in a day on the calendar that you’ll officially stop smoking and keep the appointment. Research has shown that quitting cold turkey is better than trying to step down gradually. In fact, subjects who tried to smoke fewer cigarettes only ended up smoking more of each cigarette and wound up taking in the same levels of nicotine that they did when they smoked more cigarettes.

Be prepared for withdrawal. You’re likely to experience one or several of the following symptoms when you quit: headaches, nausea, anxiety, cravings, irritability, and depression. These are normal reactions as you wean your body off of the toxins contained in tobacco products, but they can be difficult to deal with and lead you to go back to the habit you’re trying to break. The worst symptoms are usually within the first 24 hours, and generally wear off over two to four weeks.

Reach out for support. Your friends and family should be more than happy to support your efforts. Tell them about situations and places when you’re likely to light up -- after dinner, for example, or mid-morning during a coffee break -- so they can discourage you from doing so. Ask them to toss out any old or hidden nicotine products that you may have in your home, car, or purse, and get rid of ashtrays, cigarette lighters, and anything else that might trigger the desire to smoke. Ask your family to keep juices, water, and healthy snacks on hand so you won’t be tempted to fill your mouth with unhealthy food when you can no longer smoke or chew.

It’s not an easy task, but you can overcome your tobacco addiction. And, by doing so, you just might add years to your life . . . and more enjoyable years at that!

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