The Great American Smokeout is taking place nationwide on Thursday, Nov. 15 and resources to assist smokers with tobacco cessation will be available at Cabrini College. Use this event as the catalyst for quitting all tobacco products and take the first step towards a healthier, new you!
To resolve mixed feelings about quitting, identify positives and negatives about smoking, along with alternatives to smoking. List on an index card and carry with you at all times. Focus on the reasons you would like to quit.
Develop a contract with your health care provider to quit smoking. Consider using quit medications (patch, gum, medications, etc.) that can multiply your success rate of becoming smoke-free.
Set your quit date as soon as you are motivated to do so. Mobilize your resources and be fully prepared prior to the quit date.
Remove all cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters and other smoking items from your home, office, car, etc. You want absolutely no triggers within your reach once you quit.
Make a “smoking diary” to determine when, why, and how much you smoke. List other healthy ways to get the results you like from smoking. For example, if you smoke to relax, try meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga. Also document what you’ll do when you stop smoking and keep a “non-smoking diary” after quitting.
When cravings hit, breathe deeply and remember they pass within a few minutes. Take a brief walk if possible. Sugar-free gum or candy will also help with cravings.
Change your routines associated with smoking. For example, if you smoked with your morning coffee in the kitchen, change your routine by drinking an alternate beverage, going to a different location and/or reading the paper to distract yourself. If you smoked while driving, keep a water bottle in the car to occupy your free hand. The habit of smoking is often more difficult to break than the experience of going through nicotine withdrawal.
Make lists of the following: Non-smoking friends to spend time with and who will support you in your goal to quit. Call or visit them when you have the urge to smoke. Activities you would enjoy that don’t involve smoking, such as going to a non-smoking restaurant or exercising. Adding physical activity is a great strategy for dealing with cravings and improving your health. Triggers for smoking and how you will modify or avoid them. Stay away from environments you associate with smoking for a while until you feel stronger about quitting tobacco. It is best to be prepared and set yourself up for success!
Think positively and stay focused on your goal to live smoke-free. Even though it sometimes takes a few attempts, remember you CAN do it!
Some free Main Line Health Community Smoking Cessation Programs include: SmokeFREE, a behavior self-management adult group program with six total sessions. Upon completion of SmokeFREE, nine out of 10 participants quit smoking!
Tobacco Intervention Program, a program for highly addicted persons having multiple medical conditions.
Caring Families, an educational information packet providing family members and loved ones of smokers with the knowledge and skills to support the smoker prior to and during the smoking cessation process.
Not On Tobacco, an eight session program designed to help teens quit or reduce smoking.
To register or learn of other Main Line Health programs, call (866) CALL-MLH or (610) 526-8343.
For more information on the Great American Smokeout or tobacco cessation, contact the Office of Health and Wellness Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Health Nut” is sponsored by the Offices of Health Services, Counseling Services, the Fitness Center and Health and Wellness Education.