Booting the Butts

Smok­ing is respon­si­ble over 440,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Cig­a­rette smok­ing affects every organ in the body and can lead to can­cer, heart, and lung dis­ease, among oth­ers. It’s a nasty, expen­sive habit, so it makes sense that you might want to quit.

If you’re look­ing to quit smok­ing, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Com­mit fully – If you want to quit, you have to be all-in. Your com­mit­ment level will deter­mine whether you suc­ceed or fail.
  • Know why you want to quit – Find a pow­er­ful, per­sonal rea­son that you want to kick the habit. “Because it’s bad for you” prob­a­bly won’t cut it.
  • Make a plan – Plan out some rewards for achiev­ing mile­stones. Find some­one to call if you find your­self in trou­ble. Fig­ure out what you’ll do when you get urges. Like the old cliché says, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
  • Don’t go it alone – If you try to quit smok­ing on your own, you’re prob­a­bly not going to suc­ceed. Find some­one to be account­able to. Tell your spouse, your kids, your friends. Include peo­ple who care about whether you suc­ceed or not and you’re much more likely to quit for good.
  • Don’t go cold turkey – Quit­ting all at once is extremely dif­fi­cult, and there’s a chance you may be crushed under the weight of your urges. If you step it down grad­u­ally, you’ll be bet­ter able to man­age your urges.
  • Get med­i­c­i­nal help if needed – If you’re hav­ing trou­ble sti­fling urges, try nico­tine replace­ment patches or gum. If you’re suf­fer­ing from with­drawal symp­toms, try pre­scrip­tion drugs to man­age them.
  • Find a replace­ment – One rea­son some smok­ers fail to quit is that they don’t find any­thing to replace cig­a­rettes in their lives. Try chew­ing gum. If you smoke after meals, try eat­ing some fruit.
  • Reward your­self – You’re going to save your­self some cash by giv­ing up cig­a­rettes, so take some of the money and reward your­self for your suc­cesses. Keep track of your progress and reward your­self for achiev­ing mile­stones. That’ll help you grow con­fi­dence and keep you motivated.
  • Don’t give up – Relapses hap­pen, and they will likely hap­pen to you. If you slip up, don’t beat your­self down about it. Pick your­self up, dust your­self off, and start again. If you keep try­ing, even­tu­ally you’ll win out!