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Quitting for good this World No Tobacco Day

Published by: LifeWorks,

The decision to quit smoking is a big one, and many former smokers who’ve kicked the habit may still struggle from time to time with the urge to light up. This World No Tobacco Day, we’ll show you techniques you can use to not just stop smoking but to stay tobacco free.

What’s World No Tobacco Day?

Every May 31, the World Health Organization observes World No Tobacco Day to highlight the health risk of using tobacco. This year, it is focusing on the link between tobacco and heart disease, which is the world’s leading cause of death.

The negative health effects of smoking on your body are well-documented. The American Lung Association has a timeline on its website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that lays out the benefits over time of quitting, including lowered risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, and different kinds of cancer.

Quitting for good

Smokers tend to associate the habit strongly with many behaviors. It is hard to fight the urge to light up when you have a cup of coffee, finish a meal, drive a car, or experience stress or excitement.

Here are some techniques to help you hold off on reaching for a cigarette:

  • Wait five minutes when you have an urge to smoke. It will likely pass
  • Consider using of nicotine gum, patches and lozenges to help you quit
  • Put up reminder signs for quitting around your home where you’ll see them
  • Keep track of your triggers and stay away from potential slip-up situations
  • Studies have found that physical activity can help with withdrawal symptoms like cravings so be sure to work exercise into your daily routine
  • Consider a call to your doctor to discuss the use of a prescription medication to treat nicotine addiction like Zyban or Chantix

After you quit

Quitting is the start, but some former smokers find it difficult make the change permanent. It is not unusual for someone who has kicked the habit to experience an occasional urge for eight to ten weeks after quitting.

One technique you could try is  after every meal—or another designated time that is easy to remember— repeating, “I want to quit. I don’t like cigarettes.” This will help you make the psychological change necessary to control cravings and keep you tobacco free.

LifeWorks users can find more tobacco cessation support by using their username and password to log onto the mobile app or login.lifeworks.com. Search for “smoking” for articles, podcasts, and more.

 

Pat Flack is a certified Health and Wellness coach. She has been in the wellness industry for over 30 years. Her area of expertise is tobacco cessation, where she has been working with major corporations such as Ford Motor Company and Blue Cross/Blue Shield to help their employees make healthy lifestyle changes. She also was a consultant through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 20 years helping to implement ordinances for tobacco-free worksites.

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