Celebrate the Great American Smokeout: 10 Ideas to Help You Quit Smoking

There’s no reason to sugar coat it, quitting smoking is hard. But if you’re going to pick a day to start, there’s no better day than today! November 15 is the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout,” and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate.

Quitting takes motivation and a dedicated approach. To get in the spirit of the Great American Smokeout, we wanted to provide 10 things you can do that will help you kick the habit.  

1) Set a date to quit. It helps to set two dates, one to start the process, and one to be completely smoke free. Be strategic when you pick your dates, and try to avoid times of year when stress is higher.

2) Write down all of reasons why you want to quit. Whether you’re quitting for your family, to improve your health, to save money, or just because you’re tired of being controlled by tobacco, document everything. When cravings hit, that list is a great reminder of why you’re taking on the challenge.

3) Have something ready to take the place of smoking. When you get a craving, have something ready to take the place of a cigarette. Chew gum (Bubble Tape is stellar choice), munch on a small snack food like nuts or sunflower seeds, or chew on a toothpick. Whatever you can do to take your mind off of smoking, do it!

4) Tell people you’re quitting. You’re going to need support as you go through the process. Tell your family, co-workers, and friends that you’re quitting. That will allow you to “vent” when things get tough, and when you reach milestones, they’ll be happy to celebrate with you.

5) Switch up your routine. Pay attention to when you usually smoke, and try to switch up your routine to avoid needing a cigarette during those times.

6) Track how much you’ve saved. Money is a giant motivator. Keep a visual reminder of how much money you’ve saved by quitting. Put cash in a jar or open a savings account that lets you track how much you’ve saved by not buying tobacco. And, once you’ve finally quit for good, spend that money on something you’ve always wanted.

7) Cut down on the caffeine. The combination of quitting smoking and excessive caffeine can make you pretty jittery. In the beginning, keep the caffeine to a minimum.

8) Exercise. One of the best motivators for quitting is to watch your health improve. The combination of exercise and no smoking will quickly transform your overall health, and you’ll feel the results. Plus, exercise is a great distraction from smoking.

9) Quit buying cartons. If your plan is to slowly wean yourself off of cigarettes, a good start is to buy one pack at a time. If you can make it harder for yourself to get to a cigarette, the better your chances of avoiding a craving. Having lots of cigarettes around just makes smoking easier.

10) Utilize your resources. Ask your health plan or healthcare provider what resources are available to help you quit. When you quit smoking, the healthcare system benefits. So many offer cheap (or free) resources to get you over the hump.

For more resources for quitting, and to learn about the Great American Smokeout, check out the American Cancer Society’s website. And, if you’ve kicked tobacco and have an idea that can help somebody quit, please share it here!

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