– If quitting smoking is on the top of your New Year’s resolution list, you’re not alone. Sixty-three per cent of daily smokers in Canada – 1.7 million people – say they are considering quitting in the next six months, according to the latest Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey. With a detailed plan, your resolution to quit smoking can become a reality.
“One of the best ways you can set yourself up for success when quitting smoking is to carefully plan how you will achieve your goal,” says medical health officer Dr. Helena Swinkels. “Take the time to envision your path to quitting smoking one step – and one day – at a time.”
If you or someone you care about is considering quitting smoking, here are a few tips to assist you in going smoke-free:
Be ready to make a change: Take the time to imagine yourself as a non-smoker. How will your life change? What will you do with the money you save and the energy you gain?
Be realistic: Quitting smoking is a goal best achieved by breaking it down into manageable steps. Set milestones to measure your progress and don’t expect to go smoke-free overnight.
Have a plan: Sit down and make a plan to quit. Set a date for quitting and stick with it. To make a successful plan, you need to think about why you smoke in the first place and what you can do alternatively to meet this need.
Get support from friends and family: Share your intentions to quit smoking with family, friends and your health care provider. While this may seem scary, you will create a strong network of people who want to see you succeed.
Get support from professionals and tools: Nicotine patches, gum, inhalers and lozenges are available free through the B.C. Smoking Cessation Program. Speak with your health care provider or visit your pharmacy for more information. There are also several apps and websites such as QuitNow that can assist you in reaching your goal (see infographic below).
Be kind to yourself: Quitting smoking is a journey. Take the opportunity to reflect on your progress and celebrate the small successes along the way.
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