If you’re a smoker, quitting can be the single most important step you take to protect your health and the health of your loved ones. Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, and it threatens your future with increased risks for cancer, heart attack, lung disease, and early death. Many people have probably urged you to quit smoking already, but we all know that quitting can be hard. Just as every journey begins with a single step, so, too, does quitting.
Kansas Tobacco Quitline Coaches at www.KSquit.org or 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) are ready to help Kansans quit tobacco. Free phone counseling and self-help materials are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day (except on major holidays) from a Quit Coach who specializes in helping people quit using tobacco. The Quitline’s online program is also available, which includes a Web Coach and a private online community where participants can watch videos, complete activities and join in discussions with others in the program.
When you quit smoking, you’re taking an important step towards a healthier life.
Five Ways to Get Ready to Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking can be hard, so a good plan can help you get past symptoms of withdrawal. Five steps can help.
- Set a quit date. Choose a date within the next 4 weeks when your stress level will be minimal.
- Tell your family and friends about your quit plan. Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask for support. Additionally, the Quitline’s Text2Quit services allows individuals to connect with their Quit Coaches, use the Web Coach services and keep on track with their quit plan from their cell phones.
- Be prepared for challenges. The urge to smoke is short—usually only 3 to 5 minutes. Surprised? Those moments can feel intense. Even one puff can feed a craving and make it stronger. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope.
- Drink water.
- Take a walk or ride your bike.
- Listen to a favorite song or play a game.
- Call or text a friend.
- Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace. Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Clean and freshen your car, home, and workplace. Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.
- Talk to your pharmacist, doctor, or quitline coach about quit options. Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medication can help with cravings.