Posts for the ‘Tobacco Cessation’ Category

Tobacco Cessation Tips

8 Strategies for Quitting

By Kat Van Fossen, Take Control Health Coach

Quitting tobacco use is one of the most difficult lifestyle changes a person can attempt. It’s a complicated process, involving physical, mental, and emotional ties. Each person is unique in how and why they use tobacco products, and the Take Control program is unique because we work with each person individually to address his or her ties to tobacco use. Over the course of time, we’ve identified eight strategies that have worked well for our clients. No one strategy works perfect for every person. One or more of the following strategies may resonate with you. Those are the ones to try.

  1. Manage Stress

One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you’ll need another way to cope with stress. Some relaxation techniques include deep breathing, massage, meditation, Tai chi, Yoga, biofeedback, music and art therapy, aromatherapy, and hydrotherapy. Read more about relaxation techniques at Mayoclinic.org.

  1. Build Support – Tell Others

Tell your friends, family, and co-workers that you’re trying to quit. A support team is important for staying on track. Their encouragement could make the difference. You may also want to join a support group or talk to a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies. Combine behavioral therapy with nicotine replacement products and/or medication to boost your odds of success.

  1. Try and Try Again

Perseverance. As they say in Montana, get right back on the horse.

  1. Avoid Alcohol and Other Triggers

Certain activities may boost your urge to smoke. Alcohol is one of the most common triggers, so if you drink try to drink less when you first quit. If coffee is a trigger, switch to tea for a few weeks. And if you usually smoke after meals, find something else to do instead, like brushing your teeth or chewing gum.

  1. Get Moving

Physical activity can help reduce nicotine cravings and ease some withdrawal symptoms. Substitute a smoke break for a walk.

  1. Take It Hour by Hour

Don’t get overwhelmed, think about just making it through small pieces of time. Soon, all those small pieces add up to days and weeks.

  1. Think About The Savings

An average pack of cigarettes in Montana is $5.99, with 2% tax = $6.12. If you smoke a pack a day that would add up to $43.00 per week, $186.00 per month, or $2,228.00 per year. What else would you like to buy with that money?

  1. Use A Phone App

One of our members had great success using a phone app called “Smoke Free” to quit. The phone app sends you encouraging notifications, and tells you how much money you are saving. It uses humor and science, and practically makes quitting fun. More about the Smoke Free app.

Benefits

What happens when you quit smoking? Would you be surprised to learn that your body begins to heal within 20 minutes, and continues to see benefits for the next 20 years? For more details about how the body heals over time, read our source: The Mind Unleashed.

Mindset

People can feel very shameful of their habit. But keep in mind, the body can heal, and the mind will follow. Operating out of shame and guilt is not a healthy place. Examples of shame/guilt mindset:  “I feel like I’m weak and smoking has a great hold on me;” or “I think people don’t like me because I smoke.” It’s the smoking they don’t like, not the person. In order to quit, it’s important to figure out why the payoff of smoking is greater than the desire and fortitude to quit.

Let us know in the comments below if you have a strategy that we haven’t listed.

Smoke Free App

One of our members had great success quitting smoking by using a phone app, so we wanted to tell you about it. It’s called “Smoke Free,” it’s free, and it’s available on iPhone and Android platforms.

smoke_free_icon

The Smoke Free app asks you to enter:

  • Your age
  • How many years you have been smoking
  • Your gender
  • The cost of your cigarettes or tobacco
  • The quantity in the packet
  • How many cigarettes you smoke each day
  • If you are using any other aids (electronic cigarette, patches, gum, perscriptions, etc.)
  • Your quit date

Once you enter the details, it will ask you to allow it to send you notifications. The notifications will tell you the benefits of quitting. Then the Dashboard appears, and it shows rotating and continuously updated information of the amount of money you’ll save in one year, life regained (minutes and days you’ve been smoke free), cigarettes not smoked, money saved, minutes smoke-free, and cravings resisted.

dashboard

 

The app includes a diary that lets you enter if you’ve smoked since your last entry, how much you’ve spent on smoking cessation aids, how strong your cravings are, how many cravings you’ve had, and comments. This data is used to motivate you when it sends notifications; as well as for an optional feature that lets you participate in the app creator’s smoking cessation research for his PhD.

The Progress screen has reports for time, money, health, and cravings. The time report shows the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years that you’ve been smoke-free. The money report shows your total money saved per minute, and your daily savings. It tells you to “buy yourself something nice” and allows you to set a goal to save money for something want, using the money you saved by not smoking. The Health report shows how soon your pulse rate, oxygen level, and carbon monoxide level return to normal after you stop smoking; what percent of nicotine has been expelled from your body; how soon your taste and smell, breathing level, and energy level should have returned to normal; how soon your circulation and coughs and wheezing will improve; and when your risk of heart attack and lung cancer will be reduced. the Cravings report uses your diary entries to monitor your progress with reducing cravings.

The Missions screen allows you to double your chance of quitting by doing assigned tasks such as reading their note, answering a question, writing down reasons, or making a plan for how you’ll deal with triggers. Once you complete a mission there are different funny animated .gifs that play. It definitely makes you smile.

Having a support system is one of the factors that affects success in tobacco cessation. If this phone app can become part of your support network, it will truly help you in your effort to quit smoking or tobacco.

Take Control is also part of your support system, so don’t hesitate to talk to your health coach if you either want to quit, or are having trouble quitting.

Let us know if you try this app, and what you like or don’t like about it.

For more information and links to install the app, visit the Smoke Free App web site.