Even if you are not ready to quit…
- Understand the addiction. There’s no lack of evidence that shows the powerful addiction of tobacco. Especially if you have been using tobacco a long time, recognize that it will take additional time for your body and brain to get used to life without it.
- Write down your triggers. Is there a certain time of day where smoking is a ritual or reward? When are you both content and not using tobacco? Writing habits down helps you grasp when and where giving up tobacco may be easiest and the hardest. It is also a first step towards thinking through how living tobacco free can positively impact daily life.
- Talk to your doctor (or find a doctor if you don’t have one). Seeing a primary care physician about your tobacco use can be a surprising source of support. A doctor can help you talk through the physical symptoms of addiction you may be experiencing and provide helpful solutions.
- Consider professional support. Research says that combining medication and behavioral counseling produces the greatest success rates for becoming tobacco free. While medications can help with physical symptoms of withdrawal, talking through the process with a certified treatment specialist can help you adopt long term behavior changes.
- Understand medication options. Considering medication options can be overwhelming but it is important to consider how helpful they can be even if before being fully quit. Ask your doctor so you know what’s out there to help curb cravings. Here is a quick reference guide to medications.
- Build a support network. While it may be difficult as family and friends for support, it is important to remember that the right support can increase the likelihood of quitting successfully.
- Think about your home, work, and community settings. Who will be supportive and encouraging? Who might cause a smoking trigger or slip-up?
- Consider small changes. Think about becoming tobacco free in a gradual way. How might you delay or eliminate some of the cigarettes you smoke each day? What if you switch out one smoking break for a water break instead? Each step is also a win towards tobacco freedom.
- Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and take time out of your day to do things that bring you joy. You may find that when you start prioritizing yourself and your health, becoming tobacco free will be a process you are ready to begin.