Turning Smokers Into Quitters

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Approximately 70% of smokers report that they want to quit. Developing effective strategies to stop and maintain abstinence from smoking is the primary goal of every quit smoking program.

Five Keys for Quitting

?According to the Clinical Practice Guidelines of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the five keys for quitting are:

1) Get ready.
- Set a quit date and stick to it ? don't indulge in even a single puff.
- Get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car or workplace.
- Think about past quit attempts. What worked and what didn?t?

2) Get support and encouragement.

- Tell your family, friends and coworkers you are quitting.
- Talk to your doctor or other health care provider.
- Get group, individual or telephone counseling.

3) Stay in non-smoking areas.
- Learn new skills and behaviors.
- When you first try to quit, change your routine.
- Reduce stress.
- Distract yourself from urges to smoke.
- Plan something enjoyable to do every day.
- Drink a lot of water and other fluids.
- Breathe in deeply when you feel the urge to smoke.
- Reward yourself often.

4) Get medication and use it correctly.
- Talk with your health care provider about which medication will work best for you: Bupropion SR (available by prescription); nicotine gum (available over-the-counter); nicotine inhaler (available by prescription); nicotine nasal spray (available by prescription); or nicotine patch (available over-the-counter).

5) Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Be careful around other smokers.
- Improve your mood in ways other than smoking.
- Eat a healthy diet and stay physically active.
- Keep busy.