As anyone who has quit smoking will tell you, the first few days are the hardest.
Once you’ve told your friends and family that you’re aiming to quit, let them know you will need to lean on them for support and inspiration.
For those first few days of breaking the habit, make sure you keep busy. Check out the top 7 ways to make this effort successful for you.
- Make your mouth happy. Keep your kisser occupied to quash the cravings for a cigarette. Try keeping busy with sugar-free gum, chewing on cinnamon sticks, sucking on sugar-free lollipops, or even some fresh cucumber slices or carrot sticks.
- Get some fresh air. Spend time in places where smoking isn’t allowed, like libraries, malls, movie theaters, or museums.
- Distract yourself with exercise. Take some long walks, or go for a bike ride. Join a gym. Spend time playing at the park with your family. Keep your body moving!
- Stay hydrated. In keeping your mouth busy, drink lots of water or sugar-free drinks. Enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee, so long as that ritual doesn’t stimulate you to want a smoke.
- Keep your hands busy. Do you miss having a cigarette in your hand? Put something else in your palm to distract yourself. Fiddle with a paperclip, palm a pencil, or finally make use of that stress ball you have had sitting on your desk for months.
- Try a support program. If you decided to use a support program, use it fully. Attend the sessions and keep in touch with other members via the internet. Call your telephone quit-line. Take advantage of the resources your program offers!
- Mind your meds. Are you using medication to help you quit? If so, it’s important to follow the directions as prescribed. Follow your doctor’s advice.
In addition to your own resolve, there is nicotine replacement therapy, which is available in patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler, and nasal spray form.
Prescription oral medications are also available.
The two main medications on the market that may help you quit smoking are Zyban (bupropion) and Chantix (varenicline).
Zyban can be used alone or with nicotine replacement therapy and a generic is available.
A generic for Chantix however, is not yet available. Neither drug contains nicotine and both have been proven effective with a success rate as high as 60% after one year for some users.
Some of these products are over-the-counter aids; others must be prescribed by your doctor.
But no matter what you decide to try, people with diabetes should be careful using any medication as it could affect your blood glucose level or interfere with medications you are already taking.
Be sure to consult your doctor and pharmacist before using any smoking cessation product.
Updated by dLife Editors 11/18.
1. National Cancer Institute. “Clearing the Air: Quit Smoking Today.” Retrieved: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/clearing-the-air