Now that you've decided when to quit, you have to decide how you're going to do it.
Fortunately, there are many ways for potential non-smokers to break the habit.
- Cold turkey. Some people can stop smoking without any help at all – cold turkey. This means picking a time to quit and just stop lighting up, period. While this works for some, fighting an addiction is hard, and this smoking cessation technique isn't for everyone.
- Weaning. It's sometimes easier to quit smoking if you stop gradually. So if you usually smoke two cigarettes after meals, try to smoke only one; if you smoke every hour, try to stretch the time to every two or three hours. People who have successfully weaned themselves often advise using little tricks. For instance, instead of having a lighter, they switch to matches, which might be less convenient. Or, rather than keeping cigarettes handy in a pocket or purse, they may leave them in a cupboard, which means making a special trip to get the cigarettes. They also might smoke half a cigarette instead of a whole one. Whatever trick you use, if it helps cut down on cigarettes, then you're already on your way to being an ex-smoker.
- Therapy and support groups. For that added boost, you might try seeing a therapist who specializes in smoking cessation. Some people find that support groups or even hypnotists have helped them break the habit. If you think one of these tactics might give you an edge on nicotine, go for it!
- Medical treatment. Several products are on the market now, most of which involve nicotine replacement to cope with the withdrawal symptoms that can accompany stopping smoking. Most also have support materials and programs in place to help you stick to the treatment. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which options are best for you.
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