You may have heard the expression “New Year, new me”. The start of a New Year is an opportune time to reflect on our health and determine what steps we could take today to improve it for years to come. Quitting smoking remains one of the top resolutions people commit to every year. Yet, for many, making this important change to their lifestyle can prove challenging. Starting with the right mindset can be helpful.
It is well known that smoking can have serious impacts on your health, including your MSK health. If you’re thinking about quitting smoking in 2019, we have a few tips to help you.
Try these 4 tips to get started1:
Being in the right mindset is the first step. Start with getting organized so you are ready to succeed. Here are some pointers:
- Set a quit date.
- Change your environment where possible, and remove any triggers that may lead to a relapse.
- Reflect on your past attempts to quit. Think about what went well and what did not.
- Once you manage to stop, avoid temptations. Even one puff can be too much.
Studies have shown that you have a better chance of being successful if you have help. You can get support in many ways:
- Tell your family, friends, and co-workers about wanting to quit and ask for their support. That could include not smoking around you or hiding cigarettes away from sight.
- Talk to your healthcare provider (e.g., chiropractor) about strategies to try.
- Investigate the opportunities for individual, group, or telephone counseling. Interestingly, counseling doubles your chances of success.
- Call your local health department for information about programs available in your area.
- Free telephone counseling is also available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Change Your Routine
Changing your routine is a great way to shift your attention from old habits towards developing new ones. Below are a few healthy habits you can try:
- Manage your stress. Take action to reduce your stress by introducing new coping strategies in your routine. These could include taking a warm bath, exercising, or reading.
- Plan something enjoyable to do every day.
- Drink plenty of water.
Be Prepared for a Challenge
It is not uncommon for people to struggle when trying to quit smoking, and even start again after a certain period. Most relapses occur within the first 3 months after quitting. Don’t be discouraged. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. Certain situations can act as triggers, and should be noted. For example, presence of alcohol or other smokers, low mood or increased stress can augment your likelihood of relapse. Being aware of these can help you manage the situation and find strategies to avoid temptation.If you are having problems with any of these situations, seek support. For more information on quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.smokefree.gov
References: 1https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/you_can_quit/five_keys/ 2Stead, L. F., Buitrago, D., Preciado, N., Sanchez, G., Hartmann-Boyce, J., & Lancaster, T. (2013). Physician advice for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 5(5).Stead, L. F., & Lancaster, T. (2012). Combined pharmacotherapy and behavioural interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 10(10). 3Civljak, M., Stead, L. F., Hartmann-Boyce, J., Sheikh, A., & Car, J. (2013). Internet-based interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 7.