Not picking a day for your last puff. Big mistake, says the American Cancer Society. Setting a date helps focus your mind on what will almost certainly be a very difficult task. You might pick a special date, like your birthday or anniversary. Don't pick a date too far in the future, or you might change your mind. And don't pick a date that's too soon, or you might not have time to get your plan in place.
Cold turkey is certainly an option. Many smokers quit all at once - without cutting back on the number of cigarettes smoked before the quit day or making use of medicines or nicotine replacement therapy. But others find it helpful to slowly taper their smoking for a week or two before the quit date. Others cut out cigarettes consumed with coffee, or smoke only at certain times of day.
Why should you tell people about your decision to quit? Because they can help encourage you to stick to your guns when cravings hit. And it gives you an opportunity to ask friends and family members who smoke not to smoke around you - or leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
Trick: Hold On to Your Ashtrays
Smokers often try to quit several times before succeeding. But keeping cigarettes, ashtrays, etc. around the house is a big no-no. Doing so keeps your thoughts on smoking - and makes it much harder to resist tobacco cravings. Don't forget to get rid of smoking paraphernalia at work and in your car, too.
Rationalizations are the easy excuses your smoking-starved brain comes up with to get you to light up. "I'll just have one to get me through this rough patch," is one common rationalization identified by the American Cancer Society. Others include, "Today is not a good day - I'll quit tomorrow," and "Air pollution is probably just as bad."
Nonsense. The only thing to do with rationalization is to ignore them.
As the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed... Quitting smoking is hard business, and most nicotine junkies try more than once before succeeding. So if you've tried to quit before and failed, that doesn't mean you should give up trying. Think back to the strategies that helped, and think what else you can do to toss tobacco from your life once and for all.