When At First You Don?t Succeed? Quit Smoking Again

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Here are eight tips to get you going on your quest for?better health and a smoke-free future.

1)?Remember that failure to quit right away is perfectly normal. It is rare?to find someone who was able to quit cold turkey one time, and never?light u again. In fact, it usually takes people at least two or three?attempts (and in several cases, many times more) before they are able to?successfully quit smoking.

2) If you are a 'serial quitter,' you?come to the battle better prepared than before. One of the greatest?advantages to quitting smoking a second (or third, or fourth) time is?that you have a better idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are.?You are better prepared to quit if you learn to identify what kind of?triggers impel you to reach for your cigarettes.

3) Prepare for?your quitting date as if it were a major event (which it is!). Choose a?"quit date"?the first day in which you will begin your life as a?non-smoker. Place a calendar in a prominent location and mark the date.?Prepare your home, office, car, and other areas of your environment for?the big date. Clear these areas of smoking paraphernalia, or anything?that may remind you of smoking.

4) Set up your own personal?support network. Call friends and family to tell them that you are?quitting. As friends or family members who smoke to please refrain from?smoking around you. Write down the number to your local smoking?cessation hotline and have it handy.

5) Consciously strive to?change your behaviors. A popular and successful technique used to quit?smoking is to change your daily habits and behaviors. Change your?everyday routine. For instance, if you're accustomed having dinner at?6:00 pm each day, try to eat at 5:30 pm instead.

6) Reward?yourself with a special treat each day. Congratulate yourself for each?day you go without smoking. That is quite an achievement! Many people?reward themselves with food. While this is OK, it should be done?sparingly to avoid gaining weight. If you want to avoid overspending,?think of easy things you can do at home.

7) Take it easy for the?first two weeks. The first two weeks after your quit date will probably?be the hardest. Your body is experiencing withdrawal from the nicotine,?and you are likely to feel both sluggish and jittery. Give yourself?permission to take it easy. Remind yourself that quitting smoking is a?major lifestyle change.

8) Be prepared for a relapse. Avoid?all-or-nothing thinking. Remind yourself that if you succumb to your?cravings, you can always start again tomorrow. Of course, this is no?excuse to light up, but you should strive to stay relaxed yet focused on?your goal.