In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and offer support for those who are trying to quit, the World Health Organization established May 31 as World No Tobacco Day. If you or someone you love is looking to quit smoking, vaping or chewing, this is your month! To support you in this excellent endeavor, our Lewisville pain and wellness team (locations also in Bedford and Benbrook) put together a list of tips, strategies and resources for quitting. Read on to learn more.
Be Proactive & Have a Plan
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” He may not have been talking specifically about smoking cessation, but it certainly applies here. Being proactive about quitting smoking offers you flexibility, support and resources to increase your chances of success. We recommend starting with one or two of the following suggestions:
- Create an itinerary for the first 30 days of your quitting program that maps out a schedule to keep you productive and happily distracted from your cravings.
- Join a local gym so you have a place to go to replace your unhealthy habit with healthier ones.
- Decide ahead of time which quitting method is best for you (cold turkey, with medicine, decreasing the number of nicotine uses each week, etc.) and purchase any support tools recommend for increasing your chances of success within that method.
- Mentally prepare to be challenged; be ready to experience vulnerability and discomfort. Begin listening to and storing up supportive podcasts and books in a queue so that you are mentally and emotionally recharging constantly.
Ask For Help
Statistics show that, while over 50% of smokers want to quit, the success rates are closer to 10% or less. This may very well be the toughest thing you attempt to do this year. Don’t do it alone. Surround yourself with a team of supporters and cheerleaders who are invested in helping you quit.
Share your quit date with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and your family doctor. Ask them to hold you accountable and give them a list of ways they can be supportive. Find one or two people in your neighborhood who would be willing to go on walks with you at the spur of the moment if a craving hits. Book a counseling appointment or two to help you process this life change. Get in touch with Your Family Medical if you don’t currently have a doctor to support you in this journey – we currently have Lewisville doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook and Bedford).
Remember Your WHY
A big part of quitting vaping, chew or cigarettes is having a deep connection to the reason you are quitting. We call that your WHY. Your “why” will help you push through the moments when you would normally break down and give in to your cravings. It is essential that this “why” has significant personal meaning to you. For example:
- You want to live a longer, healthier life
- You want to set a good example for your spouse, your children and your grandchildren
- You’ve lost a loved one to cancer and you want to quit in his/her honor
Give this some serious thought and get input from those who know you best. It may even be helpful to talk with someone who has already successfully quit to hear what their “why” was. And it doesn’t have to be just one reason – the more, the better!
Another top tip is to access the support technology offers through internet communities, digital chat lines and specialized apps. Each person’s journey to quitting is unique so don’t be afraid to try more than one avenue with resources. The following are some top-rated resources we recommend to patients:
- The Truth Initiative: National non-profit dedicated to completely eradicating all types of tobacco use. They offer research, tips, scholarships and expert quitting tools
- Freedom From Smoking: Created by the National Lung Association, this program offers local clinic groups, a support line staffed by respiratory therapists and certified tobacco treatment specialists as well as an an online community.
- SmokeFree: An app that offers 24/7 science-driven support including quitting guides, a live online chat staffed by trained counselors and customized tools based upon your specific triggers, lifestyle and needs.
Whether it’s quitting tobacco or looking for a healthcare professional to help you achieve other health goals, Your Family Medical is here for you. We offer a wide range of services, including family medicine, internal medicine, chronic care management, geriatric medicine and more. Get in touch today to schedule an appointment or learn more about what we can do for you.