How to Quit Smoking: Beyond the First Month
You’ve gone more than one month without a cigarette - that is awesome Stretch your arm back around as far as you can and give yourself a really big pat on the back. In fact, go find someone else who can give you a pat on the back. It’s good to share your success with others and feel the positive energy they send your way once they hear about your achievement.
This week we will cover a few more ideas about how to stay smoke-free as you move into your second month without a cigarette.
Surviving the "crazies": Are you feeling a little crazy lately? That’s not unusual. You are going to be on edge for a while, especially if you quit cold turkey (most successful quitters quit by going cold turkey). You’ll find that even though the nicotine soon leaves your system, the urge to smoke lingers. It’s not a physical urge as much as a mental and emotional one. You’ll need to find new ways to calm yourself when stressed. Try breathing deeply and reciting an affirmative message to yourself, such as "I’m feeling great as a nonsmoker and I’ve very proud and happy about what I’ve accomplished."
Quitting with others: Research has shown that when smokers quit smoking, they influence other smokers they know to also quit. Your success serves as a wonderful example for family members, friends, and coworkers. Be sure to tell everyone you know that you have quit smoking. Some of them may soon join you and together you can form a support network.
Planning for July 4th: All too often, people who have recently quit smoking overestimate their abilities to resist temptation at parties. Be aware that other smokers are very risky for you to be around, at least for a while. And alcohol is a dangerous substance to ingest when you are a new nonsmoker. It doesn’t take much for you to lose your resolve, so be careful and limit your drinking and your exposure to other smokers. For more ideas on how to handle holidays, see Staying Quit Over the Holidays.
Clean teeth: Have you gotten your teeth cleaned yet? By quitting smoking, you have removed a major cause of yellow teeth. If you haven’t gone to a dentist since you quit smoking, make an appointment to go soon. Having clean white teeth is a nice way to enhance your appearance and it also serves as a reminder of how clean your lungs are becoming.
End of the week: You’ve made it into your second month - congratulations! If you’ve been following along on these regular posts, you’ve learned a lot of tips that will help you remain smoke-free for life. You may want to jot down the tips that seemed most helpful and keep them handy.
And if you relapsed, you’re not alone - most people go through many quit attempts before they finally succeed - just start again tomorrow!
See these related posts to help you become better prepared to be a successful nonsmoker.
Preparing to Quit Smoking
How to Quit Smoking: Week 1
How to Quit Smoking: Week 2
How to Quit Smoking: Week 3
How to Quit Smoking: Week 4
For information about the health benefits of quitting smoking, see Better Health After Quitting.
For inspirational stories that will help you quit, consider Give It Up! Stop Smoking for Life.
Anne wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for COPD.