Freedom From Smoking Series
For information on smoking cessation classes, call (818)
You Can Break the Smoking Habit
If you've decided to stop smoking, congratulations are in order.
You are on your way to joining millions of others who have quit
the smoking habit. If they can do it, so can you!
There are two important steps to making yourself smoke-free. You
have to first break your dependence on nicotine, a highly
addictive drug. Your next key step is to stop the smoking habit.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you have been unsuccessful at
quitting in the past. The average person makes two to four
attempts at quitting before he or she is able to remain
smoke-free. The key is to not give up.
Smoking: A Risky Habit
A great way to help yourself quit smoking is to look at the grim
facts about the habit. The American Lung Association reports that
smoking is responsible for one in five deaths in the United
States. Recent research indicates that women are increasingly at
risk for lung cancer. As a smoker, women and men are at high risk
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Decreased blood flow
- Pregnancy complications
- Sexual dysfunction (in men)
- Causing illness and death in their children and loved ones
from second-hand smoke
- More medical expenses to treat these diseases
- Other financial costs, including cleaning bills and the
replacement costs for clothing and furniture, as well as higher
premiums on health, life and auto insurance
If you're ready to start down the path of smoke-free living, here
is a list of reasons to quit smoking to help you along your way:
- To get rid of my smoker's cough and bad breath
- To lower my risk of lung cancer and other lung diseases
- To have more energy and stamina for physical activities
- To increase my immunity against flu, colds and related health
- To rid the smell of smoke from my clothes and body
- To have a healthier heart and blood vessels
- To set an example for my children and/or others
- To protect the health of my baby during pregnancy
- To lessen the wrinkly appearance of my skin
- To improve my sense of taste and smell
- To save money by not buying cigarettes and qualifying for
lower insurance premiums
Prepare for "Quit Day"
Set a date within the next two weeks to quit. Write "Quit Day" in
big letters on this date in your calendar. Start preparing for
"Quit Day" as one of the most important days in your life.
Let family members and/or friends know when your "Quit Day" is so
they can be prepared to support you. Ask those who smoke not to
do so around you.
Identify potential obstacles to your success in quitting, such as
a co-worker who encourages you to smoke or an upcoming stressful
event that might set you back. Make a plan now to deal with these
obstacles when they arise.
- Practice going without a cigarette for several hours at a
- Get your teeth cleaned, and wash or dry-clean all your
- Prepare a "survival kit" with sugarless gum, healthy snacks
and something to keep your hands and mind occupied when the
nicotine urge hits.
- Begin keeping a log of when and why you smoke.
- The night before "Quit Day", throw away ALL of your
cigarettes, lighters, matches, ash trays and anything else that
you associate with smoking.
Look into various self-help programs, such as those at Glendale
Adventist Medical Center. You may want to talk with your doctor
to plan a quitting strategy, which may include classes,
medications and/or other measures.
Tips for Quitting
- Be aware that low tar/nicotine cigarettes, smokeless
(chewing) tobacco, pipes and cigars are also unsafe and are not
good alternatives to a cigarette.
- If you feel anxious or irritable, try relaxing with a
massage, a warm bath, soothing music and/or meditation.
- Be aware that, at times, you may also feel sleepy and/or
lightheaded, or you may crave sweets. Each person reacts
differently to quitting.
- Exercise and other physical activity can distract you from
your urge to smoke, relieve some symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
and help you avoid the weight gain that sometimes results when
- Be sure to eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water and get
good sleep. Snack on sugarless gum and mints, fruit, raw
vegetables, plain popcorn and other healthy snacks to reduce your
chances of gaining weight.
- Don't beat yourself up if you have a setback and smoke a
cigarette. Instead, stop smoking immediately and get rid of any
other cigarettes you have. Then try to figure out what caused you
to smoke and how you can avoid that situation in the future.
- Reward your decision. Celebrate "Quit Day" by buying yourself
a new book or a new piece of clothing (that will remain
smoke-free!), or go to a movie or out for dinner. Look forward to
monthly and yearly anniversaries, when you can continue to
Click here to download our Health Connections brochure entitled,
"You Can Break the Smoking Habit".
For our Spanish version click here. For our Armenian version click here.