| || |
So youve made it through Quit
Day, survived Hell Week, and now its time to focus on the future.
Congratulations! For the most part, the main challenge in this phase of
quitting is using everything youve already learned. There are a few
additional strategies that can be particularly helpful in staying smoke-free.
Rewards and Positive
Be sure to reward yourself for all
your non-smoking achievements, no matter how small they might be. Celebrate
every step along the way. The members of QuitNet taught us how important this
is by creating their own celebrations and special recognitions for important
milestones. Celebrate each cigarette you pass up, and each day and week you
are smoke free! Rewards dont have to be expensive, or cost anything
at all for that matter. They just need to make you feel good about quitting.
Identify High Risk Situations
This is a skill that takes some creativity
and brainstorming. You probably have a pretty good idea of your more obvious
high risk situations
times when you know for sure that youll have
a strong urge to smoke. The challenge is to think of other times when
the urge to smoke may take you by surprise. Special occasions, anniversaries,
seasons of the year, smells, and emotions can all be powerful triggers that
you should plan for. Practice what you might do in high risk situations.
Having a number of coping strategies in mind will make it more likely that you
are able to handle tough situations successfully.
The three most common situations
when smokers relapse are:
- Negative moods (anger, stress,
frustration, sadness, boredom, loneliness)
- Positive moods (excitement, happiness,
wanting to celebrate)
- Social situations where others
are smoking and drinking
Your Guard Up
The key to staying quit long term
is to keep your guard up. Its common for newly quit smokers to feel
overconfident after making it through a few days or weeks. Some people
even purposely put themselves in potential trigger situations to test
their resolve. Dont get cocky yet; until you are without any withdrawal
symptoms and notice that your urges to smoke have become less frequent, its
a good idea to be cautious.
Keep in Touch
You have a lot of valuable information
and experience to share with other people who are either thinking about quitting
or trying to quit right now. Sharing your experience with them may make
a big difference in their decision to quit. It will also help you develop
a strong, non-smoking self-image, making it more likely youll stay a nonsmoker.
As some Q Elders have said: You cant keep it unless you give it
away! Keep visiting us here at QuitNet and let us know how youre
doing. And spread the word to other smokers that they, too, can quit!
Table of Contents
Alan S. Peters, CTTS-M
Making the Decision | Getting Ready
Hell Week & Beyond | Staying Quit
Andy Perez, MD, MBA, FACEP, February 2009
|Q: What's wrong with cigarette smoke? answer|
|Environmental tobacco smoke can cause eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.|
Laugh a lot, you're free. It is so worth it to quit.
Not quite a Doctor of Quitology, this QuitNet member has achieved ten months' worth of smoke-free life, one day at a time.