6 Steps to Quit Smoking
In case you haven’t heard, smoking is bad for you…and you should quit!
Aside from the myriad of oral & overall health maladies all smokers will eventually deal with, we now live in a time when there are so many helpful resources available to those who currently smoke and want to quit.
Get a jump on yours, or someone you love’s New Years Resolution – share this info to finally kick those butts to the curb once and for all.
6 Steps to Quit Smoking
Nobody said quitting smoking was going to be easy, but there are few things in life worth doing that are easy.
Well, maybe that’s not true.
Sure, eating fast food isn’t good for us either but some of us think it tastes good and can certainly go for a Big Mac® every now and again.
Getting a Big Mac® is pretty easy…but quitting smoking isn’t, no matter who you are.
There’s a reason it’s called an addiction, so let’s examine those six steps laid out by the ADA without any further delay.
Step 1: Have a Plan to Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking isn’t something to venture into without a plan, because once the first craving hits – or any of the possible triggers – you’ll most likely cave and go reaching for the coffin nails.
One of the most important things to do when deciding to quit smoking is to make up your mind to do so, then set a date.
Having a plan in place is essential, and since we now have all of these helpful resources at our fingertips there should be no reason to NOT go at quitting smoking without a plan.
There are a boatload of free tools available online at smokefree.gov and a toll-free number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, to help you succeed.
You can even download an app to track your progress.
Step 2: Enlist Friends & Family in the Fight to Quit Smoking
We all need someone to lean on, and that’s not just a hokey lyric from a song this current millennial generation probably never heard of anyway.
But the fact remains, it will be far easier to quit smoking if you have support from friends & family.
Once you’ve decided to quite, share your desire to kick the butts to the curb with your friends and family.
Let them know you’ve decided to quit smoking, then ask for their support, and be sure to tell them specifically what they can do to help.
If you have any friends or family who have quit smoking, talk to them and ask for advice.
Step 3: Keep Your Body & Mouth Busy to Quit Smoking
One of the best ways to make up the void of something you’ve relied on for so long is to replace your smoking habit with a healthy habit like exercise.
Trade the bad habit for a good habit.
And when you do feel the need to stick something in your mouth, choose sugarless chewing gum instead — it keeps your mouth busy and helps prevent cavities.
Step 4: Stay Away From the Triggers to Quit Smoking
We don’t mean Roy Rogers’ horse – there’s another historical reference most people reading this won’t understand – we mean the people, places and things which tempt you to light up a smoke.
Stay away from those people, those places and those things that have always driven you to smoke.
Some of the most common triggers include stress, alcohol, coffee, and hanging around other people who smoke.
You need to stay away from these triggers to be successful in your effort to quit smoking. And be sure to toss any remaining cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays right where they belong – in the trash.
Step 5: Quit Smoking Don’t Just Trade Vices
Despite popular belief in one of the newest trends, e-cigarettes won’t help you quit smoking.
According to this study, smokers who used e-cigarettes to help them quit were 59% less likely to stop than those who didn’t.
With e-cigarettes there are also no regulations on how many contaminants they can contain, and more studies are needed to see how they affect your dental and overall health.
Hookahs are also hazardous – both to your health and to your effort to quit smoking.
According to the ADA, a single Hookah session is the same as smoking 100 cigarettes.
That’s certainly no help!
Step 6: Pat Yourself on the Back to Quit Smoking for Good
Quitting smoking is difficult, some might even say it’s worse than kicking a heroin addition if you can believe that.
But every hour of every day that you go without a cigarette is an achievement – and you deserve a reward for it!
Take it day by day, and even hour by hour when you need to, but also be sure to reward yourself for the small successes.
And just think, with all the money you save on cigarettes, you can treat yourself to a stress-relieving massage or a pedicure!
Or with the price of cigarettes in places like NYC, you could probably finance a new car or even take a vacation with all the money you save form quitting smoking.
And that’s no joke!
Need something to help you quit smoking? Talk to your dentist or doctor about safe and effective options.
Don’t make your effort to quit smoking another New Year’s Resolution that falls by the wayside.
Wayne NJ Dentist: Wayne Dental Arts by Frank V. Maldonado, D.D.S.
Dr. Frank Maldonado provides all phases general & cosmetic dentistry with expertise ranging from porcelain veneers to dental implants, crowns and bridges. Dr. Maldonado promises to provide you with the highest level of comfort and care possible.
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This post originally appeared on the dental health blog of Manjula Alapati, D.D.S., and has been republished here with permission.