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Stop Smoking in Five Simple Steps
Are you ready to give up the habit? There’s no better time than right now to quit smoking or using tobacco products.
Jerry Deming, RN, a tobacco cessation specialist at Norman Regional Health System, says quitting can be achieved through five, simple steps.
- Make a firm commitment to stop using all tobacco products.
- Ask family and friends to support you. They shouldn’t nag or police you, but should instead offer rewards and praise when needed. Their support is crucial, Deming said.
- Think of the reasons you would like to stop using tobacco. Make these specific reasons. For example, “I want to save the $30 a week I spend on cigarettes to buy something for myself” or “I’m tired of my grandchildren telling me I smell bad.”
- Talk to your physician and consider the resources that are available to assist you with quitting. Some resources available include help-lines such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), tobacco cessation classes and online resources. Also consider prescription medications to help you quit smoking. “While each person is different, using medication will at least double a person’s chances of a successful quit,” Deming said. “If a medication has worked before, it may work again. Be sure you are using the medication correctly.”
- Be persistent. Prepare for relapses and slips by having a plan for times you know you will be tempted. “For some people, it’s helpful to carry nicotine lozenges with them for a year, or for as long as they like, to use in situations they are tempted to slip or relapse,” Deming said. “Nicotine replacement products are safe to use, cigarettes are not.”
There is no one right way to stop using tobacco, Deming said. You will be free of tobacco if you keep revising your quit plan until you find one that works for you. Deming also recommends congratulating yourself for each day you remain tobacco free.
Take Action Now
Norman Regional Health System can help you quit smoking with QuitSmart, a four-session program. The program is $45 to the public, but only $10 if you have a doctor’s referral. It is free to Norman Regional Health System patients and their family members. Please call (405) 440-8802 to enroll or for more information.
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