The Quitter’s Journey (Part 3): How to leave tobacco behind for good

Part 3 of a 3-part Series

Grandfather walking outdoors with grandson in autumnQuitting tobacco is a process with somewhat distinct phases. We recently provided some tips for both the “Before” stage  and the tough “During” stage . Today, we look at what comes after that.

When you quit tobacco, whether you smoke, chew, or vape, you’re not just giving up a habit–you’re embracing a new, healthier lifestyle. After the nicotine leaves your system, you may still find it challenging to face certain social, mental, and emotional situations without relying on tobacco.

After – staying tobacco free

The key to staying tobacco free forever is regular recommitment and forming new, healthy habits. Some things to try:

  • One day at a time: set a goal each morning to not smoke just that day. This strategy used by 12-step addiction programs works by keeping you from feeling overwhelmed.
  • Find new activities and places to take the place of your old smoking-centered ones. Bonus – you’re likely to make some new nonsmoking friends in the process!
  • Break the links. If you have a mental association between smoking and having a cup of coffee, try switching to tea, juice, or water. The change can help lessen the urge.
  • And if you slip or relapse? Well, it happens. Quitting tobacco is difficult and often requires several attempts before it “sticks.” It can help to go back to your original motivation – remember that list or reasons you made? Get more support or try something different, but don’t quit quitting!

Ready to quit now? Learn about the Quit For Life program.

We’d like to hear from you! If you’ve successfully quit tobacco, what new activities or health habits have you formed that helped you? What other tips do you have for those who may be struggling to stay tobacco-free? Pease tell us in the comments below.

Sources

Cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking

Smokefree.gov/

                                                                                                                                                             

About the author: Kelly Eastlund, a member of PacificSource’s Marketing Communications team, gave up cigarettes more than 25 years ago after three quit attempts. She lists a family history of heart disease as one of her top reasons.

 

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