1. Health

Video:How to Effectively Quit Smoking

with Jonathon E. Stewart

Initially, it can be really hard to quit smoking, even if you make a resolution. See these great tips for how to quit smoking and make it stick.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Effectively Quit Smoking

Hey guys -- Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. What smells bad, pollutes the air, is addictive, causes lung cancer, emphysema, cardiovascular disease and the is attributable to the deaths of over 100 million people worldwide in the past century? That's right, smoking cigarettes. But if you're ready to quit for good, I have every faith you can do it, and never go back.

Resolving to Quit Smoking

Check it out: Before you can keep a resolution about not smoking, you've got to make one. Even if you've tried quitting before, know that you have the complete power within yourself to make it stick this time around. Make your decision to quit a rock-solid, non-negotiable one with yourself, and write out your resolution on paper. Be absolutely sure about the fact that this is what you want for you. If you're kind of fuzzy about quitting, now's the time to get clear about it. No one but you can actually go through with this quitting part. If you're on the fence, consider this: nothing in your life - eating, drinking, waking up, relaxing, socializing, or driving, will be any worse without cigarettes. In fact, all those things are only going to get better.

How to Think of Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking can be daunting because it's a behavior that seems to be tied to so many other things in your life. But here's the reality: it's not. If you're having a cup of coffee, make an active decision not to smoke a cigarette, and focus on enjoying your coffee. When you wake up in the morning, again, make a decision not to smoke, and have yourself a big lung-full of fresh air. After a big meal, or when having drinks, focus on enjoying yourself and let go of any worries about smoking. You quit, remember?

If you think about it, quitting a behavior is a lot easier than starting a new one, like exercising or improving your golf game. You don't have to join a gym or buy a new set of irons or anything - you just need to be really conscious about your unconscious decisions about smoking, especially at first.

Tips for How to Effectively Quit Smoking

Quitting at the same time as a friend or family member can be a great moral support, just be ready so that if your quitting buddy falls off the wagon, you don't, too. Some books and websites might prove to be helpful to you as well, and talking or chatting with other new non-smokers can be a great reminder that you're not alone, and that you really can do this.

Nicotine replacement therapies like the patch and chewing gum can help to stave off cravings, but in using them you're also going to remain addicted to the drug part of cigarettes, which often leads right back to smoking the second that the replacement is not available. Remember, the vast majority of the nicotine will have left your body within four days of smoking your last cigarette.

If you happen to stumble and smoke a cigarette, don't throw in the towel. Just think about why you made the decision to smoke, and resolve that the next time you're faced with the decision, you'll choose differently. And every time it comes up, keep making the decision not to smoke, even if that happens 20 times a day. With each decision, it will get easier every time.

So the big question is: when do you quit? Well, that's entirely up to you. Just remember that there will always be holidays, stressful weeks at work, parties, or other times ahead that you think you can't handle without a smoke. But guess what - you can handle anything without a smoke. So why not quit... today?

While the following are atypical, if you find that you're experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, extended headaches, or chest pains that persist for more than a few days after quitting smoking, it's a good idea to check in with your doctor. Other withdrawal symptoms like coughing, cravings, insomnia, irritability, feeling light-headed, or constipation are not uncommon, but peak around 48 hours after quitting, and eventually disappear completely.

And things like whiter teeth, healthy pink lungs, waking up without hacking up giant lugies, not smelling like an ashtray, being able to smell and taste things again, and - oh yeah - decreased risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, impotence, and cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas, are all right around the corner.

Just remember - you can do this.

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