How to Make a Smoking Cessation Plan
The decision to quit smoking can be a daunting one; it takes a great deal of commitment and determination to begin the necessary steps towards a smoke-free life, and maintain it after the initial process has began. After the decision to quit has been made, it is beneficial to have a plan set out to help define the methods in which an individual plans to do so. Smoking cessation plans should begin with deciding on a quit day, followed by identifying triggers and developing healthy coping strategies, building a support system and rewarding progress.
Picking a Quit Day
The American Cancer Society describes a quit day as a very important step in the cessation process. It is suggested that the quit day be selected for no more than a month in the future, though should not be rushed, either. The reason for this is because waiting too long may allow a person to convince him or herself that quitting is not necessary, whereas quitting too suddenly does not allow for the opportunity to prepare. Noting the chosen date on a calendar and making a strong personal commitment to stick to the date is valuable for success.
During the days preceding the quit date, it is important to use the time to devise a personalized plan. During this time, the reasons for quitting should be identified, says Smokefree.gov. These reasons will vary between people, and can be written down and consistently reviewed as a reminder during challenging periods. It is also important to remove the items that are reminiscent of smoking. Aside from the smoking materials (cigarettes, cigars, tobacco leaves, etc.), this may include: ashtrays, lighters, matches, pipes and anything else that may have a role in the smoking experience. Eliminating these items lessens the chance of temptation and relapse.
Identifying Triggers and Developing Coping Strategies
When learning how to stop smoking, it is crucial that people recognize the situational factors that provoke the consumption of tobacco products. According to Smokefree.gov, those who smoke learn to associate the behavior with different facets of their life, including activities and emotions. When trying to quit, it is likely that these situations will be encountered and may trigger the desire to smoke. In order to deal with this urge in a healthy manner, individuals must be able to identify and anticipate situations in which urges may occur, and develop coping strategies to deal with their cravings. There exists a broad range of methods for healthy coping, including exercise and healthy eating, avoidance of triggering situations, changes in daily routine, support from trusted acquaintances, chewing gum, and reviewing the initial reasons for quitting.
Having support from the central people in an individual’s life plays a critical role in ensuring the success of the quitting process. When quitting, people may experience a host of different physical and psychological issues, and having support will act as a mitigating factor to ease the difficulty. Aside from family and friends, Smokefree.gov suggests the use of support groups, behavioral therapy, quitting hotlines, mobile applications that track progress, and medications. Counseling and medication have both proven useful in the treatment of smoking dependency, and have been reported to be even more useful when used in combination with each other, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Smokefree.gov believes that acknowledging ones own successful improvement is a useful tool in ensuring its continuation. Celebrating personal milestones with healthy rewards is a way to give recognition to the hard work and dedication that was necessary to reach each stage. Individuals should be proud of their progress, whether they have been smoke-free for a single day or an entire year.
The benefits of choosing to be smoke-free are endless when compared to the detrimental consequences that may arise if smoking continues. The transition may be difficult when an individual is learning how to stop smoking, but the integration of a personalized smoking cessation plan that includes choosing a quit day, identifying triggers and developing coping strategies, securing a support system and recognizing one’s own accomplishments can make the process easier and more successful.
As part of making a successful smoking cessation plan, it also helps to research possible clinical trials that can aid in the process of stopping smoking. Los Angeles clinical trials for smoking cessation provide participants with the latest treatments to help stop smoking, as well as doctor care and compensation.
To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for smoking cessation, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.