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Butt Out: 5 Tips to Quit Smoking

Kick the nicotine habit

BHM Edit Staff | 11/13/2013, 6 a.m.
Kick butts!

Are you ready to kick the tobacco habit for good? Try these tips. Keep in mind that what worked for your sister may not work for you, so you’ll need to adapt these strategies to your smoking personality. And if you don’t succeed the first time, don’t give up; most people who quit try many times before they stop for good.

Set a date. Choose a time when you know your motivation is high and there will few distractions. You may need to adjust your lifestyle. If, for instance, sitting at a bar during happy hour makes you crave a cigarette, skip the bar scene and go somewhere that doesn’t allow smoking, such as a movie theater or a restaurant. Spend time with non-smokers.

Seek help. Get all of the support you can. Boost your chances for success with medication, nicotine replacement therapy, support groups or behavioral counseling. Call help lines (800-QUIT-NOW, 877-44U-QUIT; 877-YES-QUIT).

Find a distraction. If having a cigarette is all you can think about in the early days of trying to quit, take up a new hobby, like gardening or building something. The time you spend learning new skills will distract you.

Swap habits. Identify the situations or moods that make you smoke. Replace those triggers with activities that help you avoid cigarettes. If you smoke when you’re stressed, try exercising or playing an instrument instead to relieve stress. Like the sensation of a cigarette in your mouth? Reach for sugar-free gum or seltzer water instead.

Give yourself a reward. Set milestones and reward yourself when you meet them. A week without smoking? Treat yourself to a fancy dinner. Tobacco free for a month? Splurge on a massage.