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The How-To Lounge: Quitting Smoking

Smoking is a nasty habit. We all know smoking is bad for your health and wreaks havoc on your skin, your teeth, and the people around you. Even though some people make smoking look glamorous, it is a dangerous habit to pick up. Quitting is easier for some and can feel close to impossible for others, so here are tips to help you on the road to recovery if you are up for the challenge.

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  • The first and most important step is commitment. Ask yourself the tough questions as to why you are quitting; even write down your answers so you can be reminded of your reasons in case you feel the urge to smoke
  • Get a support system -- ask your friends and family members for their support and request that they don't smoke in front of you
  • Break your routine so you don't miss your old behavior so much
  • Be ready to change your environment -- immediately throw away all of your smoking paraphernalia: cigarettes, even your emergency stash, ashtrays, lighters, etc. from your home, place of work, girlfriends' or boyfriend's home, your car, or any other place you spend your time
  • Plan activities or develop new behaviors to replace the smoking with. Carry gum with you if you need the oral stimulation, or rely on a Nicotine replacement method to help wean you off the drug
  • Go for a walk around the block if you need a break from work instead of taking a "smoke break"
  • Be prepared to feel the effects of Nicotine withdrawal. Symptoms of dizziness, irritability, headache, tiredness, coughing, cold, etc. They last a few days and that will undoubtedly be the hardest part about quitting smoking
  • If you relapse, don't be too discouraged and do not use that as an excuse to start smoking again. It is totally normal for people to have slip ups so don't give up

While it takes a lot of dedication and bravery to quit a habit like smoking, the benefits far out weigh the negatives. Your teeth, your breath, your hair, your house, even your pets will thank you for quitting! Good luck.


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