It’s finally time to move on to your Get This Thing Done Plan.
1. The First Step is deciding that you want to quit. This is the bottom line:
Do you WANT to quit?
WHY do you want to quit?
Hang on to that why. The reason you quit is the one thing that will carry you through those rough times when the urge to smoke becomes intense or you watch your friends smoking.
➡ If you skip this step, you will not quit. You will not even start your get this thing done plan. We each have our “whys” for the choices we make. If you don’t identify it from the start, you will not succeed.
3. Immediately after finding your “why?” you must pick the one or several friends/family member who will be your primary support…your “go to” person(s).
Calling this toll-free number will connect you directly to your state quitline. All states have quitlines in place with trained coaches who provide information and help with quitting.
➡ Support can also come from the use of one or more of the medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for smoking cessation.
3. A key step in Your Get This Thing Done Plan is to prepare for challenges.
➡ Make a list of high-risk places you’ll want to avoid when you start your quit-smoking plan.
➡ Review the suggestions in Part 1 of this series: Plan for what you’ll do to address the urge to smoke when it comes. Because it will.
Think about what you’ll be sparing yourself, your family, your friends:
This is not easy, but your success lies in your willingness to try things that are designed to help you instead of just ‘toughing it out’.
➡ Think about how nice it will be for you, your family and friends, to live smoke-free.
➡ Living smoke-free is your opportunity to live a healthier and longer life.
➡ Living smoke-free can also mean a better quality of life — with more stamina and a better ability to appreciate tastes and smells.
➡ But living smoke-free doesn’t mean living stress-free. In fact, smokers often cite stress as a reason for relapsing.
Instead of using nicotine to help cope with stress, you’ll need to learn new ways to cope.
➡ You can find out more about stress management online at the library or on this website (click on the links at the bottom of the page). For more help, speak with your doctor or a mental health provider.
➡ Be aware that although it’s not very common, some people seem to cough more than usual soon after they stop smoking.
A cough is usually temporary and might actually be a sign that your body is starting to heal (review this information from Part 5 here).
As also mentioned in Part 5, tobacco smoke lines your lungs. When you stop smoking, the cilia become active again.
➡ As the cilia recover and the mucus is cleared from your lungs, you might cough more than usual — perhaps for several weeks.
➡ In addition to reduced cough, most other respiratory symptoms, such as phlegm (mucus) production and shortness of breath, continue to improve for up to a year after stopping cigarette smoking.
In the meantime, you can speed the process by staying well-hydrated.
➡ You might also increase the humidity in the air with a humidifier or vaporizer.
➡ Consult your doctor if the coughing lasts more than a month or you cough blood.
So…start working on a plan that will work for YOU. This giant decision is all about YOU.
Coming up in Part 8: We’ll discuss alternative measures to help you quit for good.