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A Hard Habit to Break

Wednesday, October  10,  2018

Smoking is an addiction and as most smokers know, quitting isn’t easy. Quitting smoking is a journey, not a single
event. You might hit some bumps in the road during your journey to quit smoking. Having a plan to meet these
challenges is an important part of quitting for good.

✓ Controlling Weight Gain – weight gain is common when quitting smoking, but the average amount is only
about 7-10 pounds. Even with this limited weight gain, you are much better off than if you continue to smoke.
Balancing the right amount of foods with physical activity is the best way to control the weight gain.

✓ Overcoming Urges to Smoke – one important technique when quitting smoking is to plan how you’ll cope with
smoking urges. The urge to smoke will pass in three to five minutes—whether you smoke or not. Figure out
the situations where you might feel a craving to smoke, then plan some simple things to do instead when that
urge arises.

✓ Coping with Withdrawal Symptoms – many tobacco users experience withdrawal symptoms during the first
few weeks after they quit. Some common symptoms:
o Trouble sleeping
o Difficulty concentrating
o Feeling anxious or restless
o You may also be grouchy, irritable, nervous or pushy. These symptoms will go away as your body rids itself of nicotine and using a quit-smoking medication can help. A week or two may seem like a long time when you feel poorly, but it will get better.

✓ Be Patient with Yourself – be kind to yourself during your quit smoking journey. You are trying to break an
addiction that probably goes back years or even decades—that’s no small feat! Take time to celebrate even
small milestones during your journey to quit smoking. Set small and then larger goals for milestones like a day
smokefree, a week smokefree and so on then reward yourself when you achieve them. Some ideas for
rewards include downloading new music, an afternoon at the movies, a new book and a night out on the
town. Celebrating your progress helps you stay on track and keeps you looking forward to your next
milestone.

 

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