How to Stay Smoke-Free After Quitting
If you’ve recently quit smoking, congratulations! While the experience is different for everyone, this road to better health is often a tough one. Of course, quitting is a process – sometimes a long one – but you deserve to feel great about how far you’ve come to date. Staying tobacco-free for good is your final and most important step, and you’ll need to take that step one day at a time.
Sometimes, you might feel like you’ve taken one step forward, then two steps back. This feeling is very common among former smokers in the days after quitting. If you slip up and find yourself smoking again, don’t feel bad. Instead, try to learn from your experience and get back to the strategies that helped you quit in the first place. By staying positive and thinking of yourself as a nonsmoker, you may find it easier to adopt a smoke-free lifestyle.
Here are some tips on how to stay smoke-free after quitting:
- Take good care of yourself – If you develop and maintain other healthy habits, such as exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water, you might find that smoking no longer fits into your lifestyle.
- Avoid common triggers – Drinking alcohol and being around smokers can often spark a craving for a cigarette. In time, you will probably find that you can enjoy a drink without thinking about smoking.
- Distract yourself – Make a list of simple activities that you can turn to when you experience a craving, such as listening to your favorite music, eating some crunchy veggies, brushing your teeth, thinking about your next vacation, or calling a friend.
- Ask for help if you need it – Whether you are enrolled in a formal smoking cessation program or you have friends and family members rallying around you, remember that your supporters are there for you.
- Use a physical reminder that you are now a nonsmoker – It could be a special pen that you keep with you or a new piece of jewelry, such as a ring, bracelet, or watch; when you feel a craving coming on, focus on your reminder and remember how far you’ve come.
- Regularly celebrate your success – In the beginning, do something simple for yourself at the same time every day. You might enjoy a great cup of coffee, take a short walk outside, or chat with a good friend. On your yearly “anniversary,” use some of the money you’ve saved by quitting to buy something special for yourself.
- Never think that you can have “just one” – If you allow yourself one, you can use the same rationale to allow yourself another…and another…and another…
Keep in mind that quitting tobacco takes tremendous discipline, and sometimes, practice. Whether this is your first or tenth attempt, know that you are capable of succeeding and remaining smoke-free for good.
If you have questions about smoking cessation or other health-related topics, please contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. Our walk-in clinic is conveniently located on South Howard Avenue in Tampa, FL, and no appointments are necessary.