Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It will help prevent diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and emphysema and will reduce your risk of lung cancer.
Avoiding triggers that make you want to smoke is very important in the early days of quitting. Look for ways to change the places, people and situations that remind you of smoking, such as hanging out with friends or family who still smoke or going to places where you’re not allowed to smoke (like movies, malls or libraries).
Cravings are common after you quit. These are temporary and not a sign that you are relapsed, so resist the urge to smoke until they pass.
When a craving does arise, distract yourself by chewing sugarless gum or hard candy, eating raw carrots, nuts and sunflower seeds, drinking a glass of water or taking a walk. Doing something different helps your mind focus on your reasons for quitting instead of the nicotine.
Stress is also a factor in tobacco cravings. So try to find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises.
Relapses are common when you first start to stop smoking, so don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Rather, analyze what triggered the relapse and create a new stop-smoking plan that eliminates those triggers.
Talk to a counselor, friend or support group if you feel like you need extra help with your stop-smoking efforts. They can offer tips on how to stay strong and help you identify your best quit-smoking strategies.