We all know that smoking is bad for us, but it is a difficult habit to break. Many people try time and time again to quit smoking without success. You should not stop trying to give up, however. It is always possible to stop smoking if you are determined. Products designed to help you stop and alternative therapies may assist you, but there are other things to think about when you want to stop smoking. Follow these tips on how to stop smoking to improve your chances of quitting for good.

It's important to decide for yourself that you want to stop smoking. Trying to quit because someone else wants you will probably fail. You need to be self-determined in your efforts to give up smoking. Think about why you want to quit the habit. As well as the obvious health benefits, smoking is expensive and increasingly socially unacceptable. Think about the reasons to stop smoking as often as you can. Once you have a strong desire to break the habit, your chances of quitting in the long-term are better.

Take notice of when you smoke. Smoking is a habit and often we smoke at particular times, or when we are doing certain things. You may light up a cigarette when you talk on the phone, for example, or immediately after each meal. Write down a list of things that trigger your impulse to smoke. Becoming aware of when you smoke may help you realize how you can cut down and eventually quit.

Take steps to lower your stress levels. Often we smoke as a response to stress. If stress is a major factor in your smoking habit, it's important to realise this. Learning relaxation techniques and minimizing the things in your life that cause you stress can help you give up.

Cut down on your tea and coffee intake before you quit smoking. Smokers often drink lots of tea and coffee. The negative effects of these may be increasing your desire to smoke. Also you may be in the habit of lighting up a cigarette to smoke with your tea or coffee, so reducing your consumption will help in your efforts to quit.

Eat regularly and follow a healthy, basic diet. This may reduce cigarette cravings. Smokers, especially heavy ones, often go without breakfast, relying on tea or coffee and several cigarettes to start their day. It is much healthier to kick-start your metabolism with a good breakfast.

Take a multivitamin supplement, preferably one high in vitamin C (500-1000 mg per day). Heavy smokers, especially, and those with a poor diet are often deficient. The lack of vitamin C caused by smoking and bad dietary practices can lead to depression and apathy. This won't help you maintain the willpower required to quit.

Put something else in your mouth instead of a cigarette. Chewing mint flavored gum can help you give up smoking. It gives your mouth something to do and the mint flavor will reduce your desire to smoke. Choose a sugar-free product which is good for your teeth. Chewing gum will also help you avoid eating sweets and chocolate to compensate for the lack of cigarettes. Upping your intake of sugar-laden snacks will probably make you gain weight and can cause you other health problems.

Use nicotine replacement products. These can help enormously, especially to get you over the particularly difficult time when you first give up smoking.

Keep yourself occupied. We often smoke out of sheer boredom, so filling your day with mental and physical activities will help you to avoid doing this.

Stay away from access to cigarettes if you can. Try to steer clear of other smokers and places where cigarettes are easy to get hold of. Then, if you have a cigarette craving it is more likely to pass before you give in to it. Cigarette cravings quickly fade, although they may seem overwhelming at the time. Stick it out when you feel overcome by the desire to smoke and the sensation will soon pass.

Treat yourself with the money you save by giving up smoking. Put the money you would normally spend on cigarettes in a collecting jar. This can be a great incentive to help you follow through on your efforts to give up. After a few weeks the money will build up and you will be encouraged by the thought of an extra holiday each year, for example, or by the idea of buying yourself some new clothes.

Get support from family and friends. Tell people that you are quitting smoking. The encouragement they give you will help you to maintain your willpower. Many people are ex-smokers and will understand what a difficult task you have set yourself. Also, other smokers will be less likely to offer you cigarettes and smoke around you, which can make giving up much harder.

Cut down on smoking before you give up if you think this will help. Particularly if you smoke a lot, you may find it easier to lower your cigarette consumption before quitting completely. Try limiting your cigarette smoking for a few weeks first. During this time start to concentrate on improving your diet, increasing your daily exercise, taking nutritional supplements and reducing stress. This will all help when the time comes to stop smoking.

Using these tips on how to stop smoking should help with your efforts to quit. Determination, however, is the key. Think constantly about your reasons for quitting. Also, don't dismay if you have a relapse. It is easy to become discouraged, but with persistence, anyone can stop smoking if they try hard enough.





Vincent van Gogh's 'Skull with a Burning Cigarette.'
Credit: wikipedia.org