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Smoking – So easy to start, yet oh so hard to stop. Yet, you do want to stop, don’t you? You know that your habit is bad for you both physically and financially. Perhaps you’ve tried to give up before, only to slip back into the habit in a weak moment. What you need is a multi-faceted program that will allow you to work systematically towards your goal of quitting. The 10 points that follow will allow you to do just that:

(1) Be truly motivated. Have good solid reasons for wanting to quit- self esteem, concern for your health, concern for loved ones who are affected by your habit.
(2) Set a date to quit and follow it. Go cold turkey – it hurts fast but it heals fast.
(3) Take positive action to break the habit. Destroy any cigarettes you have in the house. Get all of your tobacco-smelling clothing cleaned. Throw away your ash trays.
(4) Avoid all tobacco laden atmospheres and friends who are smokers during your withdrawal period. Visit places where smoking is forbidden such as libraries and museums.
(5) Save all of the money you would have spent on tobacco and count it after a month. Buy something you really need. Alternatively use that money to buy a gift for your spouse or child. Their happiness will be an extra motivator for you to continue in your smoke free course.
(6) Keep your hands and mouth busy at those times when you would have been smoking. Try chewing gum or sucking on mints when you get the urge to have a cigarette. Instead of smoking, brush teeth after meals. Take a walk, garden, sew, write a letter, clean the car, etc.
(7) When feeling nervous or anxious, rather than reaching for a smoke, try breathing deeply and slowly. Drink plenty of water and fruit juices.
(8) Get some regular exercise. Your improving physical condition will encourage you.
(9) Cut down on alcohol consumption. Alcohol and cigarettes often go hand in hand. Alcohol can trigger the desire to smoke.
(10) Fight against bad reasoning that may tempt you to smoke. Don’t fool yourself with, “I’ll just have one today to get me through this tough time,” or “Smoking is my only vice.”

These suggestions have helped millions of people to become ex-smokers. Apply them systematically and you may well be able to count yourself among them.