5 Keys to Success
Start readying yourself to quit. Make a list of reasons for quitting to remind yourself of why you are quitting. Tell friends and family about your plan to quit so they can support your efforts. Pay attention to when and why you smoke. Are there routines you may need to change or triggers that have made it hard to quit in the past? Start working on methods that will help you through those difficult times. See Know Your Triggers. Call your doctor, and check with your insurance provider about coverage for counseling and medication. Call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine. The HelpLine can help you determine if you are ready to quit, help tailor a plan for you to quit, and lend confidential support along the way.
2. Surround yourself with support
You will have a better chance of quitting successfully if you have help and support from your doctor, family, friends, and coworkers. Enlist the help of friends or ex-smokers that you know, and ask them to check in with you frequently. Friend The QuitLink on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive free advice and support from others who are just like you. If you live with someone who smokes, try quitting together. If they are not ready, tell them how they can support you, such as not smoking in the house or around you. See Do’s and Don’ts for Family and Friends. Join a support group for people quitting smoking or attend a smoking cessation program. Find quitting resources in your area.
3. Educate yourself about available medications
By using medications, you will double your chances of quitting, even if medication is the only treatment you use to quit. Your odds increase when you combine medication with other quit strategies. Work with your doctor if you should take medicines including nicotine replacement therapy to help you quit, and help you take medications correctly so they are most effective. You may qualify for free medications through the Maine Tobacco HelpLine’s Medication Voucher Program. When you are ready to quit, just call and ask.
4. Learn new skills and behaviors
Before you quit, make yourself aware of your smoking habits and rituals. Identifying your smoking triggers can help you avoid them and plan for ways to keep you out of risky situations. If you need to, change your daily routine to avoid the trigger situations. Cut down on stress and find new ways to manage stress when it occurs. Identify people in your life that are nonsmokers and begin spending more time with them.
5. Be prepared for relapse and know what to do when you slip
It can take several attempts to quit smoking. If you have tried and failed in the past, don’t be afraid to try again. Don’t beat yourself up. Use the experience to gain knowledge about what worked and what didn’t, and how to avoid a relapse next time. Most importantly, keep trying.