As a smoker, you know that quitting smoking is one of the toughest habits to break. In the United States, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. Not only can smoking reduce your life expectancy by 10 years, but it also increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, lung and other types of cancer, and chronic illness such as emphysema.
Quitting smoking is a difficult process, but here are five tips to get you started on the right path:
1. Make an appointment with your doctor.
Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your quitting options. Your doctor may suggest a combination of counseling and medications. Your doctor may want to follow-up with regular visits to monitor health conditions and support you as you try to quit.
2. Talk to a professional counselor.
Most state insurance plans offer phone-based counseling and advice to help you quit. Quitline services in the U.S. are available through the National Cancer Institute,1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669). Click here for a list of quitline programs in your state.
3. Set yourself up for success.
Identify and avoid triggers or situations that may tempt you to smoke:
4. Replace smoking with activities that keep you busy.
To avoid smoking, distract yourself with other other activities such as chewing gum or squeezing a stress ball. Take up a fun new hobby such as sewing, knitting or gardening to keep your hands busy.
5. Create new healthy habits.
When you quit smoking, you may feel tired and irritable due to nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Boost your mood and energy levels with physical activity. If you are new to exercising, walk slowly around the block for ten minutes or sign up for a gentle yoga class. Before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have chronic health issues, it’s important to always consult with your doctor first.
CareZone Tip: To help you quit smoking, use the Journal in your CareZone app to record your symptoms and share them with your doctor or counselor. Learn more about the Journal feature >>