|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
Handling Thoughts About Smoking
You have been a smoker for years. It is not going to be easy to change to being a non-smoker all of a sudden. You will have thoughts about having a cigarette. Hopefully you will be able to overcome them.
Here are some tips to help you on your quit day and thereafter:
You can also try some of the techniques we described in Learning to Relax.
Assessing High Risk Situations
It is important to change your routine. If you usually have a cigarette first thing in the morning, go for a short walk instead. If you smoke while watching television or have a favorite smoking chair, read a book or sit in a different chair instead. Figure out what your triggers are and avoid them. Remember, everyone has triggers. You may be more likely to smoke when you are drinking, around certain people, or in certain environments.
Smoking rates are three times higher in drinkers than non-drinkers. Drinking alcohol is the number one risk factor for relapsing into smoking. Drinking not only tempts you to smoke; it also affects your determination not to smoke. You may find it helpful to not drink at all while you are quitting.
If you do chose to drink here are some tips on how to resist the urge to smoke:
Stressful situations can prompt you to smoke. When you feel stressed and are craving a cigarette, take a few deep breathes and try to relax. Review the exercises we offered in Learning to Relax.
Many times the people you are around influence whether you smoke. If you usually spend time with people who are smokers, you may want to ask them not to smoke when you are around. Try to go places where smoking is not allowed, or make plans with nonsmokers. If you work and usually go outside for a smoke break, don't. Stay inside instead and talk to non-smoking co-workers.
More than likely, your environment plays a huge role in your decision to smoke. There probably are certain settings in which you are more likely to have the urge for a smoke. If you usually smoke while talking on the phone, before you pick it up, say to yourself "I do not smoke, I do not smoke". Or doodle on a piece of paper to keep your hands busy. Walk around while you are talking. If you smoke while you are driving, remove the lighter and ashtray from your car, or hang a "no smoking" sign.
No matter what your triggers or what the situations, be prepared! Before you go someplace where you may be around smokers, remind yourself that you are a non-smoker.
Continue reading: Coping with Cravings