- Write down the reasons you want to quit and keep your list nearby
- The most effective way to quit is to combine behavioral strategies with medication
- Celebrate small victories with healthy gifts to yourself
Don’t worry if quitting smoking has been hard in the past
Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health - no matter how old you are or how long you have smoked. We know that you may have tried to quit before without success. You are not alone. Many smokers may need to try 30 or more times before they reach their goal. Don’t give up!
What is the best method to help quit smoking?
You may know someone who has quit “cold turkey,” which is admirable but hard to do. Combining medication with a variety of behavioral supports is the most effective way to quit smoking. The most effective medications are either varenicline (Chantix) or using a combination of nicotine replacement products like a nicotine patch with either nicotine gum, lozenge, or inhaler.Using both of these methods together is even more effective but you may experience more side effects like nausea or problems sleeping. Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is another oral medication that is also used to help people quit smoking, and some people use the nicotine patches without another form of nicotine replacement. While these both may work for some, they are not as effective as other methods.
Here are some effective strategies to consider as you create your “quit plan”
- Know your reasons for quitting. Do you want live a healthier life? Spend that cigarette money on other things? Make a list of the reasons that are most important to you.
- Decide to quit. Set a quit date that works for you and we’ll help you plan ahead for that.
- Be prepared for a few days to a week of nicotine withdrawal. You might have difficulty sleeping, feelings of sadness or irritability, and cigarette cravings. This is not dangerous but can be uncomfortable. We are here to help you through that with medications and support!
- Tell your family and friends that you plan to quit and ask for their support.
- Identify your smoking triggers. Make a list of everything that makes you feel like smoking. Now, write down one way you can deal with or avoid each item on your list. These may include things like:
- Socializing only in smoke-free places
- Changing your routine to avoid certain triggers
- Keeping your mouth busy by chewing gum
- Sucking a cinnamon stick or toothpick
- Drinking a glass of water
- Going up and down stairs a couple of times when the craving hits
- Keep this list nearby during your quit.
- Remove smoking reminders from your home , work, and car. These are things like lighters, ashtrays and cigarettes. Do not save one pack “just in case”!
- Consider medications. They can make quitting less painful, they help you get through the tough times, and they are much safer than smoking. There are many FDA-approved medications and most have nicotine as the active ingredient. These medications come in a variety of dosage forms: lozenge, gum, patch, nasal spray, inhaler and oral tablets. We will help you figure out which is best for you. It is helpful to start any of these medicines 1 to 2 weeks before your quit date. Since cost and insurance coverage can be an issue, we can help you navigate that or talk with the smoking counselors at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
- When you do have a craving, use strategies such as distraction, talking back to the craving, or “riding the waves.” We can help you with all of these.
What you need to know
Congratulations again on thinking about living smoke-free. This is your opportunity to live healthier and enjoy a better quality of life. We at Marley Medical are here to support you, both with medication and behavioral support. Call us and let’s do it!
- Barua RS, Rigotti NA, Benowitz NL, et al. 2018 ACC expert consensus decision pathway on tobacco cessation treatment: A report of the American college of cardiology task force on clinical expert consensus documents. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109718388594?via%3Dihub. Published December 5, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2022.
- Chaiton M, Diemert L, Cohen JE, et al. Estimating the number of quit attempts it takes to quit smoking successfully in a longitudinal cohort of smokers. BMJ open. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908897/#:~:text=The Centers for Disease Control,11 attempts before quitting permanently.&text. Published June 9, 2016. Accessed August 28, 2022.
- Tips For Quitting | Quit Smoking | Tips From Former Smokers | CDC. www.cdc.gov. Published January 11, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/quit-smoking-medications/tips-for-quitting/index.html