Simply stop buying, daydreaming or having anything to do with cigarettes altogether.
While quitting smoking is admittedly not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish, it is one of the most rewarding. Sound like some empty motivational hoopla? Well take it from me, I have been through the journey myself and for this reason, I give anyone credit who is observing the Great American Smokeout today.
This nationwide event is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and is reserved as a day to develop a plan to quit smoking. You can accept the “quit for 24-hours challenge,” quit altogether or perhaps develop a plan to quit in the near future. However you choose to observe it, congratulations for taking that first step. Deciding you are ready to kick the habit for good is really the hardest choice.
While there are many different approaches for quitting smoking, in my personal experience it first comes down to one thing – the desire to quit. You can say you want to stop for a variety of reasons, but until you are 100% dedicated, the battle is even harder to fight. It took me three times – but I got there eventually.
Once you have found the desire to quit deep down within, you can also fuel that desire with some facts from the American Cancer Society about the health benefits that you will see in your first year of transitioning to a smoke free life.
1. After 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure drops down closer to normal.
2. 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood is back to normal.
3. 2 to 3 weeks – Lung function and circulation improves.
4. 1 to 9 months – Difficulty breathing and excessive coughing cease, also cilia in the lungs begin to function normally again.
5. 1 year – The risk of coronary heart disease becomes half of what it was as a smoker.
One of my biggest road blocks was that I was skeptical that I would see any improvement at all, especially right away. Now nearly three months later I am not coughing or feeling faint when I work out, I no longer have to worry about smelling like smoke and about making sure I am not running dangerously low on cigarettes at any point in time. It’s actually a whole new freedom I could never have imagined.
Consider this – as a smoker a pack cost me nearly $9. I smoked about a half a pack a day. So the way I figure it, in just one year I was spending more than $1,500! When you think of that spread over a lifetime, it adds up quickly. One thing that helped for me was to figure out my average monthly expense for cigarettes. Then I would think of something healthier I could do with that money. For me, this meant signing up for a gym membership and buying new sneakers. The first few times I got back into the swing of working out, admittedly it didn’t feel great on my lungs but within a month I felt my endurance and my ease of breathing improve.
While quitting smoking is a very personal decision, one that no one can try to force on you, it often helps to seek support from friends, family, professionals and even medication. Chantix is one of the nation’s most common smoking cessation medications. It works by allowing you to continue smoking when you first begin taking the medication and it then helps you taper off without having excessive and uncontrollable cravings.
If you are quitting, or thinking about quitting today, congratulations! This is a cause that is close to my heart. If you are interested in Chantix, see if it may be the medication for you here. Also, upon checkout, enter the coupon code QUIT to receive free shipping and a 15% discount!