Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
How can you stay motivated? Start by thinking about the mixed feelings you may have about smoking. Then make a list of your reasons for stopping smoking.
Stopping smoking is a positive change for many reasons. Think of short-term benefits, such as breathing easier, saving money and having better smelling clothes. Long-term benefits include a lower risk of disease, increased chances for a longer life and a healthier environment for your family. Use these reasons to build your motivation. Look at your list often, especially when you feel your motivation is lagging.
To stay smoke-free over the long haul, consider these tips:
- Identify your major smoking triggers and challenges. This will help you solve problems and have a plan to deal with high-risk situations.
- Seek support. Social support is key to achieving a stable and solid, smoke-free life. Ask your family, friends and co-workers for support and encouragement. Don't expect them to guess what you need. Be direct, and let them know what specifically helps you most.
- Practice positive self-talk. Think of one or two phrases to use repeatedly for encouragement, such as "I am grateful to be smoke-free."
- Set smoke-free boundaries. If there's another smoker in your household, set boundaries by making your home and car smoke-free. Ask smoking co-workers not to offer you a smoke or invite your outside for a smoke break.
- Regularly review the benefits you're getting from quitting. Look at your list again. Add up how much money you've saved. Ask your family members for their observations.
- Avoid alcohol. Drinking is a high-risk situation. Avoid drinking situations until you are confident you can remain smoke-free.
- Reward yourself. Buy a magazine, go to the park, meet a friend for lunch, take a class.
- Nicotine. NIDA for Teens. http://www.teens.drugabuse.gov/drnida/drnida_nic1.asp. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Questions about smoking, tobacco and health. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/QuestionsaboutSmokingTobaccoandHealth/questions-about-smoking-tobacco-and-health-intro-and-background. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Rigotti NA, et al. Patterns of tobacco use and benefits of smoking cessation. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Cigarettes and other tobacco products. NIDA. http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/tobacco.html. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Renard SI, et al. Management of smoking cessation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Sackey JA. Smoking cessation counseling strategies in primary care. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Smoking and how to quit. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/quit-smoking/parents/. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Leone FT, et al. Behavioral interventions in tobacco dependence. Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice. 2009;36:489.
- Hatsukami DK, et al. Tobacco addiction. The Lancet. 2008;371:2027.
- Parents who quit smoking when their kids are young may have a big influence on whether their offspring will quit smoking in young adulthood. The Society for the Study of Addiction. http://www.addictionjournal.org/viewpressrelease.asp?pr=26. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Nicotine dependence. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Sept. 15, 2010.
- Hurt RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 12, 2010.
- Hurt RD, et al. Treating Tobacco Dependence in a Medical Setting. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2009;59:314.