Thursday, November 21, 2013

Great American Smokeout is Today

Have you been thinking of quitting smoking? Consider starting today.

The Great American Smokeout has been celebrated since 1976. It's goal is to encourage smokers to use the date  to quit smoking.

Quitting is hard. But with determination, it can be done. So don't give up. Here are some tips to get you through the day:
  1. Get rid of your cigarettes and ashtrays. Don't let yourself be tempted to smoke by keeping them around.
  2. Stay away from smoke/smokers. Don't go to public places where smoking is allowed like bars and bowling alleys. If others in your home smoke, try to get them to stop smoking (or at least have them smoke outside and away from you).
  3. Do you usually go for smoke breaks on lunch or during breaks? Have to have a cigarette right before bed? Plan to do something else during those times-like go for a walk, journal, read, phone a friend, take a bubble bath, etc.
  4. Cravings can be bad. They usually only last for a couple minutes but they can feel like so much longer than that. The way to get through a craving is to distract yourself. Some activities to consider: exercise, walk, journal, call a friend, listen to music, chew on gum, hard candy, carrot sticks, or celery sticks.
  5. Tell others you plan to quit.  Irritability and cravings are common complaints for the first couple of days. Having a support system will help you get through it.

Would you like to quit, but not ready today? That's ok. Use the day to make a plan. Talk to your doctor about tools and medications that will make quitting easier. Cold turkey is not the only way, so don't be afraid to ask for help. For more information and tips, check out the American Cancer Society website.

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