If you have been thinking about quitting smoking, now is the best time to do it. That is because smokers are at a higher risk to be affected by COVID-19. However, deciding to quit is only half the battle. The actual struggle starts from day one of withdrawal and onwards. Most smokers are aware of the diseases that arise from smoking, yet, tobacco use continues to be one of the major causes of deaths all around the world.
Quitting smoking is a journey rather than a single-day event. It requires not only managing your behavior and coping with withdrawal symptoms but also coming up with ways that divert your focus from the urge to smoke.
While the rest of the days certainly require more will and dedication, we are going to share here five steps to help you manage your first day of quitting.
There’s No Going Back
When it comes to your first day of quitting smoking, remind yourself that this is a commitment you made with yourself. When you feel an urge to smoke, remember that it may be intense but it will only last for 5-10 minutes. With each step of your resisting smoking, you are one step closer to stop using it for good.
You can consider trying a nicotine replacement therapy after consulting your doctor. Your options may include OTC nicotine patches, gums, prescription nicotine in an inhaler or a nasal spray, or prescription non-nicotine stop-smoking medications such as varenicline and bupropion.
Get Support When Quitting Smoking
When quitting smoking, willpower is not the only thing you need to rely on. Especially on your first smoke-free day. We highly recommend talking to your family, friends, and coworkers to enlist their support. You can also join an online support program or read a quitter’s blog that will help you familiarize yourself with their journey of going smoke-free. Learn how others managed their tobacco cravings.
Keep Yourself Busy
Keep yourself busy and have loads of activities planned on your first smoke-free day. This will help you stay distracted from the cravings and help you prevent giving in to the temptation of having “just one.” Indulge yourself in physical activity such as working out, going out for a walk, going to a movie, spending time with non-smoking friends, or going to get dinner at your favorite restaurant.
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When quitting smoking you need to be aware of what your triggers are. Smoking triggers can be places, people, activities, or things that give rise to the urge to smoke. Identify your triggers and on your quit day, either avoid them altogether or try finding something else to distract you.
Other common triggers include smoking while feeling stressed, after you eat. or while being at a party. Start eating healthy and get good sleep. Throw away your cigarettes, ashtray, and lighter. Modify your routine and skip activities that could trigger your smoking urge. Visit places where smoking is not allowed.
Another important tip when quitting smoking is to stay positive. Keep reminding yourself of all the benefits you are going to enjoy once you have fully quit the habit. Take it one day at a time. Your first day might not be perfect but you can help yourself by reminding yourself of the long-term benefits. You will be healthier and saving yourself money. You will also be sparing your loved ones from the dangers of secondhand smoke.