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Seven Steps to Stop Smoking
  • Recognize your habit and your addiction. There are two basic reasons for smoking: nicotine addiction and pleasure. Paying more attention to when you smoke and what makes you light up can help you develop strategies for quitting.
  • Build your motivation to quit. List the pros and cons of smoking and quitting and write down your top five reasons for quitting.
  • Develop a quitting plan. Would you rather go it alone or with a group? Would quitting cold turkey be preferable to gradually reducing your nicotine intake? Do you want to use medications to boost your efforts?
  • Set a quit date.
  • Quit. Get rid of all of the cigarettes, ashtrays, matches and lighters in the house. Keep your top five quitting reasons with you and refer to them when you crave a cigarette.
  • Maintain your program for the first two weeks. The cravings will subside and you will begin to feel better in a few days, though irritability, nervousness, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating and coughing may last for a few weeks.
  • Survive the first six months. The physical addiction subsides after a week or two, but psychological cues can still give you the urge to light up.