Top-five tips to quit smoking
An on-and-off again smoker for more than 10 years, Vanessa Yancey decided 2011 was the year to kick the habit for good. “I was always able to stop smoking for long periods of time, but never permanently,” she says.
As it turns out, the third time truly is a charm.
After two previous attempts to quit for good, Vanessa, a medical coding specialist with The Christ Hospital, was finally successful. She shares her top-five most helpful tips to quit smoking:
- Find your motivation to quit. Whether it’s protecting your children from secondhand smoke, saving money, or winning a bet with a co-worker, find a reason to extinguish the habit. Stick notes or photos in visible areas as a reminder to keep you motivated. “All of the other times when I tried to quit, I don’t think I was really ready,” Yancey says. “This time, I wanted to be around and be healthy for my son.”
- Seek help from others. Attend a class, call your local Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUITNOW) or talk to a friend to help you through the process of quitting. Vanessa took part in The Christ Hospital’s tobacco cessation class – a 5-week class that meets one hour per week. The class consists of informal group sessions, relaxation techniques and other urge-control tips people can use at home.
- Keep track of your urges. Identifying what triggers your urges to smoke can help you track and manage the urge. “Keep a written log of your urges to smoke,” Yancey says. “Write down what you were doing, the time of day, how you felt and what you did to move past the urge.”
- Use nicotine patches. Most people can’t quit cold turkey. Nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, prescription medication) doubles your chances of success. “I use nicotine patches when I know I’m going to be in a stressful situation or around people who smoke,” Yancey says. “They gave me a little extra willpower.”
- Lose the guilt for craving – or even smoking – a cigarette. “The cessation class reminds you that you may stumble from time to time,” Yancey says. “But that doesn’t meanyou have to fall back into the same old pattern.” Stick with your plan to quit, even if you have a setback.
Inspired by Vanessa’s story? Find information to register for The Christ Hospital’s tobacco cessation class today by calling 513-585-2425 or visit www.TheChristHospital.com.