Tips to help you quit smoking
Smoking is an addiction, and quitting isn’t easy; nevertheless, it can be done and is especially important when you and those you love may be exposed to radon.
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. When combined with exposure to radon gas, the chances of contracting lung cancer, whether by first or second-hand smoke, increase exponentially.
Of course, you should have your home or building tested for radon and take measures to mitigate any dangers from high levels, but smoking cessation can also go a very long way toward ensuring your health and that of those you love.
Here are a few tips to make it easier to become a nonsmoker.
It’s important to know your reason for quitting. If you don’t know why you want to quit, you can’t remind yourself of your reasons when the cravings hit. The more reasons you can list, the more likely you are to succeed.
Decide when you want to quit. Pick a day when you’ll have enough to do but won’t have added stress. “I’ll quit next week,” just doesn’t cut it; pick a day and stick to it.
Have a plan to help you through the first few days. Are you going to just quit, or do you plan to use patches, gum, or e-cigarettes and taper off?
Change up your routine. If, like many, you love your morning coffee and cigarette, have coffee and toast instead. Still too tempting? Go out for breakfast where you can’t smoke.
Try to avoid hanging around with smokers. That’s a lot of temptation and accessibility to cigarettes to withstand. If you can’t avoid smokers, tell them ahead of time that they should not give you a cigarette if you ask.
Do tell select friends and family about your plan to quit smoking. Ask for their support but make sure they understand their support should be non-judgmental.
Wait 10 minutes. Cravings will come suddenly and go as quickly during the first few days, gradually fading over the next few weeks. Keep telling yourself, “just 10 more minutes; then, if I really really really need to, I can reevaluate the situation.”
Local support groups can be a big help. Ask your doctor or local county health department for information. There are also several smoking cessation sources online to help you:
The American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® is an excellent resource. The program includes online support, information about group clinics, and self-help materials. The program relies on proven techniques to help smokers become nonsmokers.
Quitter’s Circle, supported by the ALA and Pfizer, connects you with other quitters with articles, tools and resources to help you create a smoking cessation plan that meets your needs.
Don’t let fear of putting on a few extra pounds worry you. Regular exercise will not only distract you from smoking but will also help keep the weight off.
It’s not easy to quit smoking, but your health is important to you, your family, and your friends. Begin to think of yourself as a non-smoker right from day one. As daunting as it seems, millions have quit smoking and so can you.
Finally, if you do smoke or someone in your home does, be sure to get your home tested for radon. Do what you can to help mitigate the risks of smoking and radon combined.