Learn to be a non-smoker

Learn to be a non-smoker

It is hard to quit when everything you do reminds you of cigarettes.

Here are some healthy lifestyle choices to try that will make your quitting easier:

    • Change your habits to make smoking difficult, impossible or unnecessary. Try activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, tennis, biking, skiing or skating (whatever the season allows).
    • Maintain a clean taste in your mouth by brushing your teeth frequently, using a mouthwash, or chewing a sugar-free candy or mint.
    • Drink large quantities of water and fruit juices. Try to avoid alcohol, coffee and other beverages that you associate with cigarette smoking.

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    How to Quit Smoking The Basics

    How to Quit Smoking The Basics
    How to Quit Smoking The Basics

    The Basics

    Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you will ever do. You will live a longer, healthier life.
    It will be time well spent with the people you love – your family and friends. Smoking is the most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.
    Smoking causes:

    • Lung cancer
    • 11 other types of cancer
    • Heart disease
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Pregnancy problems
    • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
    • Lung disorders
    • Gum disease
    • Vision problems

    Common complaints while quitting smoking

    SymptomPossible CauseSuggested Coping Methods
    Craving for a CigaretteWithdrawal from nicotine, a strongly addictive drug.Wait out the urge. Urges last only a few minutes. Exercise; go for a walk around the block. Practice the four D’s – Distract yourself, Deep breathing, Drink water, and Do something else.
    IrritabilityBody’s craving for nicotine.Brisk walks, hot baths & showers, relaxation techniques.
    FatigueNicotine is a stimulant.Take naps; do not push yourself.
    InsomniaNicotine affects brain wave function, influences sleep patterns; dreams about smoking are common.Avoid caffeine after 6PM. Use relaxation techniques.
    Cough,Dry Throat, Nasal DripBody getting rid of mucous which has blocked airways and restricted breathing.Drink plenty of fluids; drink cold water, fruit juice, tea; use cough drops, gum or hard candy.
    DizzinessBody is getting extra oxygen.Take extra caution; change positions slowly.
    Lack of ConcentrationBody needs time to adjust to not having constant stimulation from nicotine.Plan workload accordingly; avoid additional stress during first few weeks.
    Tightness in ChestProbably due to tension created by the body’s need for nicotine; may also be caused by sore muscles from coughing.Use relaxation techniques, especially deep breathing exercises.
    HungerCraving for cigarette can be confused with hunger pangs; Oral craving – desire for something in the mouth.Drink water or low-calorie liquids; be prepared with low-calorie snacks.
    Constipation, Gas, Stomach PainIntestinal movement decreases for a brief period.Drink plenty of fluids; add roughage to diet (i.e. fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals).
    HeadachesBrain is experiencing withdrawal symptoms due to lack of nicotine based on prior conditioning.Take a warm bath or shower; do deep breathing exercises; use a cold compress.

    Adapted from Cummings et al.Addictive Behaviors Vol. 10:373-381