This post was written by Laura Fischer, PharmD Candidate, reviewed by Jennifer Sposito, PharmD, BCPS.
Most people who smoke know the risks and dangers associated with the habit. Many have tried quitting before and been unsuccessful. The thought of quit attempts as failures can be disheartening and reduce the likelihood that the individual will try quitting again. But it’s so important to stick with it. If you are looking for encouragement to stop smoking or are unsure if you’re ready to quit, this post is for you.
Why you should quit
The benefits of quitting are innumerable. The cost of cigarettes has been rising astronomically, and even attempting to quit helps set you up for success with future quit attempts. There are many ways to quit smoking, but first, you need to assess your readiness. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to quit?” and “How confident do I feel that I could quit?” Even if you aren’t confident in your ability, attempting may be a great way to show yourself that you can do it, even if only for a day or two. Over time, your confidence will grow.
Tools and tactics for quitting
Once you’ve established that you’re ready to quit, set a quit date. Write it down and tell your friends and family. They can be your cheerleaders in the process. Keep track of the times of day you have cigarettes and reflect on how and why you wanted that cigarette. This can help you identify triggers and habits around smoking, which is helpful in your quit attempt. If you know triggers and behaviors that make you want to smoke, you can be more prepared to deny that craving once you quit or replace it with a healthier alternative.
Remember that you aren’t in this alone. There are a multitude of people behind you in your quit attempts. Parkview offers smoking cessation support. And you don’t have to quit cold turkey if that’s a concern for you. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about medications that can help.
Potential medications to help you quit include nicotine replacement therapy (through a nicotine gum, patch, or lozenge), or prescription medicines like varenicline or bupropion.
Remember that every quit attempt puts you one step closer to kicking the habit for good! Visit smokefree.gov for more information and tips to help quit.