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1. Make a Quit Plan

  1. More on this topic for:
  2. How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey
  3. What happens after you quit smoking?
  4. What to expect when you quit smoking - Better Health Channel
  5. What Day Is the Hardest?

When you decide to quit smoking, it can help to find out what to expect as you work through the process. Some people have only a few mild symptoms when they quit but others find it harder. While withdrawal can be challenging, it can help if you look at the symptoms as signs that your body is recovering from the damage smoking has caused. Many people find withdrawal symptoms disappear completely after two to four weeks, although for some people they may last longer. Symptoms tend to come and go over that time. Remember, it will pass, and you will feel better if you hang on and quit for good.

As time passes, you will find these symptoms grow weaker, and you will think about smoking less. If you have severe or long-lasting symptoms, it might help to discuss them with a health professional or a Quitline Specialist. It might also help to use nicotine replacement therapy products or quitting medication. For more tips go to Craving a Cigarette Right Now? In the first days and weeks when you quit smoking, the emotional ups and downs could feel like a rollercoaster ride.

Making big changes in your life can naturally lead to heightened emotions.

More on this topic for:

Weight gain is not always part of quitting smoking but it is common. You may find you feel hungrier than usual after you quit — this is a common withdrawal symptom and it will settle down with time. It can help to plan ahead and have plenty of healthy snacks in the kitchen, such as nuts and fruit, and to get rid of the junk food from your house. Although withdrawal symptoms can feel challenging, there are ways you can help yourself stay motivated:. One of the biggest challenges many people face in the early days of quitting is the regular cravings. Some cravings are your body physically wanting nicotine, but some are also related to your daily routines.

Here are some ideas for activities to do instead of smoking at those times you usually reach for the cigarettes:. The more options you have to distract yourself, the better. Here are a few more ideas you can try at any time:. It will take time to settle into new routines and find new ways to deal with stress now that smoking is not an option. The stress-release you feel when you have a cigarette is only temporary. Research tells us that smokers tend to have higher stress levels than non-smokers.

Most people find that their stress levels are lower six months after quitting than they were before they quit. You might find it helpful to create a special space for yourself to relax. Or you could try revisiting an old hobby or starting a new one.

See How to deal with stress when you quit for ideas on great time-out activities. There is no point dwelling on the amount of money you have already spent on smoking. Thinking about what else you would like to do with that money can be a great motivator to stick to your quit plan. Try this cost calculator to see how much you can save by giving up smoking. Quitting is the best thing you will ever do for your health. It can affect your life in ways you may not even imagine. Remove yourself from the situation. Go for a walk, take a deep breath or have a drink of water, and ask yourself if you really want to be a smoker again.

Try not to waste your energy on self-blame. Instead, treat your slip-up as a sign to revise your quitting strategy. Next time you quit, spend some time thinking about what has worked for you in the past, and what challenges caused you to relapse. Then make plans for what you will do this time when those temptations come up again. If you could do with a hand, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about options to help you quit, or call Quitline for advice and support. And willpower is not the only tool at your disposal — you can buy nicotine patches and quitting medications more cheaply with a script from your doctor.

You might also like to try QuitCoach. QuitCoach is a program that asks you questions about your smoking and uses your answers to give you personalised advice. Each time you visit the site it asks you relevant questions for your situation and provides updated advice based on your answers. QuitCoach can be especially useful in helping you decide what quitting aid — such as a nicotine replacement therapy product or medication — could be right for you. The following content is displayed as Tabs.

Once you have activated a link navigate to the end of the list to view its associated content. The activated link is defined as Active Tab. What do the experts say about electronic cigarettes. Passive smoking means breathing other people's second-hand tobacco smoke. Passive smoking increases the risk of serious illness in both children and adults Smoking kills more Victorians every year than road accidents, alcohol and other drugs combined Smoking kills more Victorians every year than road accidents, alcohol and other drugs combined.

To minimise the health effects of tobacco on individuals and the community, Victoria has laws Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD is a serious, progressive and disabling condition that limits airflow in the lungs. Hear from individuals who have been diagnosed You would have to gain over 40 kilograms above your recommended weight to equal the risk of heart disease posed by smoking People who smoke should visit their dentist regularly to keep their teeth and gums healthy, and have regular oral cancer checks Exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of children developing asthma and provokes more frequent asthma in children with asthma Smoking while pregnant exposes a woman and her unborn child to an increased risk of health problems Asthma cannot be cured, but with good management people with asthma can lead normal, active lives Influenza the flu is caused by a virus.

The flu is more than just a bad cold and can occasionally lead to serious complications, including death.

How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey

Specific antiviral medication is available. It is Along with nicotine, people who smoke inhale about 7, other chemicals in cigarette smoke. Many of these chemicals come from burning tobacco leaf. Some of these compounds are chemically active and This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Quit. Content on this website is provided for information purposes only.

Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances.

Giving up smoking can be hard, but you can do it. Although it may seem daunting, it can take a few attempts to be successful. Try these few simple tips to help you on your way. List all your reasons for quitting, e. The more powerful the reason, the more likely you will stay motivated. Plan something nice to occupy your time. Quit Victoria suggests taking a couple of weeks to prepare.

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Attempt some practice runs — try not to smoke on occasions when you normally would e. Instead, go to places that have no association with smoking. Ditch your lighter and refuse any offers of cigarettes.

What happens after you quit smoking?

If there are other smokers in the household, suggest they join you. Work out the best way to quit smoking. They can help with managing strong emotions and set us on track. The more motivated you are, the more likely you are to be successful. There is loads of support out there — including online, phone and SMS tools. Doctors can prescribe medication together with counselling to help with withdrawal symptoms. You may feel tense, tired and irritable as your body adjusts.

Remember: After about a month, strong cravings tend to happen less often, and not every day. By three months, circulation and immune function will improve and coughing and wheezing will ease. By a year, your lungs will be healthier. Giving up the ciggies means a huge change in routine for most smokers. In the first few weeks, try to steer clear of alcohol and any other triggers. For many, cigarettes and alcohol go hand-in-hand. Avoid places where people smoke and try to keep busy. Do something else to unwind — listen to music, meditate , keep active , connect with other non-smokers or try a new hobby.

Replace workplace cigarette breaks with a walk around the block, or 'freshen up' in the bathroom — brush your teeth, notice how much better your mouth feels since quitting. Be kind to yourself, take it one day at a time. Take it one day at a time. Although the average weight of ex-smokers is similar to those who have never smoked, many smokers are worried about weight gain.

Strong emotions and withdrawal symptoms can make us hungrier. Cut down on foods high in fat , salt and sugar and look for healthy snacks. Listen to your body — are you really hungry? Chew on some sugarless gum if cravings are bothering you. Focus on the positives — if you gain a few kilos, quitting smoking is an even bigger boost to your health than gaining a few kilos. If you need help, see a doctor or dietitian. Those who have more success at quitting are the ones who drum up support.

Think about what suits you best. Call on family and friends — if you know someone who has ditched the ciggies ask them to be a mentor. If you prefer face-to-face contact, get encouragement and advice from a reputable health professional who is trained as a quit smoking advisor, or attend a course.

If access is a problem or you like your privacy, ring Quitline call-back service on 13 , sign up to QuitCoach and QuitTxt. Hint: in Victoria, there is a range of free services and many are available in a variety of languages. If you live elsewhere, check with your doctor or community health service. It is okay to slip up — quitting can take a number of attempts. Take note of your triggers and plan how to avoid them in future. Instead, learn from the experience — see it as a practice attempt to bring you closer to your goal.

What to expect when you quit smoking - Better Health Channel

Take advantage of the many tools out there and get support when you need it. Some are great at offering encouragement and distraction tips in tough times. Quit also has Quitline call 13 , it has a handy call-back service — book appointments with a trained professional at times that suit you. If talking is not your thing, sign up to free QuitTxt and QuitCoach. Please enable JavaScript in order to get the best experience when using this site.

Caret Health. Seniors Online Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs. Show search toolbar. Navigation Home Close Menu. Conditions and treatments Conditions and treatments. Allergies Allergies. Allergic reaction to packaged food. Behavioural conditions. Birth defects. Blood and blood vessels. Bones muscles and joints Bones muscles and joints. Foot care - podiatrists. Brain and nerves. Complementary and alternative care. We looked forward to that day by talking about how nice it would be — everything would smell better and we'd have extra money to spend.

We tried smoking a little less. We'd light up, take a few puffs and put out the cigarette. We did not empty or wash the ashtrays. After several weeks of this, smoking was not enjoyable and the house smelled pretty bad. The night before my birthday we put the cigarettes we had left in the sink and ran water on them, and threw the mess in the garbage. We emptied and cleaned the ashtrays, and put them away. We never smoked again. And we never regretted quitting.

My husband sometimes had a toothpick in his mouth and carried hard candy in his shirt pocket so it was handy. I smoked about a pack a day for more than 30 years, starting as a teenager. Over that time, I tried various brands and never settled on a specific one. Around age 48, I again decided to try to quit and finally succeeded.

I have not smoked a cigarette or anything else for the last 28 years. For me, the problem was really two problems, and I needed to deal with them one at a time, separately. First there was the nicotine addiction, and second there was the oral need to have something in my mouth.

How do I get through the rough spots after I stop smoking?

It was just too much for me to attempt both together, so I tackled the addiction first. Coincidentally, I had recently read that the FTC would send me a list of all the current brands ranked by how much nicotine and coal tars each cigarette contained. Nowadays such a list is easy to get, but at the time it was a revelation and just what I needed. I found my brand's dosage would you believe an oxymoron name like "Life?

Then — and this for me was the crucial point — I told myself that I could smoke as many of the new cigarettes as I wanted each day for as long as I wanted. In other words, I gave myself zero pressure and zero deadlines. The "trick" is that there are only so many cigarettes a person can smoke each day. Yes, it was a little expensive initially, but so what! The end result was that in about two months, I was smoking just about the same pack a day as before, but at half the previous daily nicotine dosage. Somehow, the ability to light up whenever I wanted wound up neutralizing the loss of nicotine.

I leave the psychology of it to others. All I know is that it worked for me. I went back to the list and on to the next brand at half the nicotine again, and so on. It took about 8 to 10 months to reduce my daily nicotine dose down to whatever level it was such that I just decided to go cold turkey because I viewed the last brand I think it was called Carleton as really just pieces of wood, so why not stop and be done with it!

So now to the second, oral problem. Oddly enough, for me it was more of a hassle than the nicotine addiction. The first thing I tried were my collection of pipes all unfilled of course left over from previous failed attempts. Again, no pressure, I chewed on it whenever I wanted. This took longer than 2 months, somewhere around 6 months, if I remember correctly. Finally, it just became a big nuisance, and I made a switch to toothpicks decided on well in advance.

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  4. This was another roadblock. About all I can say is that about after a year, I looked in the mirror one day and thought, "What on earth is a grown man doing always walking around with a toothpick in his mouth? I will say however that having successfully kicked the nicotine addiction first was enormously helpful. It kind of put me on a psychological roll in that I kept telling myself that having come so far, there was just no way I wasn't going to go all the way and finish it.

    I met my lifetime husband at the end of WWII. He told me later that one reason he liked me from the start was because I, too, smoked and so did not nag him to quit. Many years later I decided I really should quit. Among other things, cigarettes were getting so expensive. I tried and failed, tried and failed. Then I reasoned that for some reason, perhaps good sense, I had never, ever smoked in bed.

    So I did not waste time after preparing a meal and eating. Instead I left the table and hurried into bed and watched the boob tube or snoozed. For reasons I cannot fathom, the desire for a cigarette faded in a relatively short time. After only a week or two my desire for a cigarette grew less and less and I even reached the point that I could stand it when my husband lit up.

    But the smell of nicotine began to get through to me and I realized that all these years of smoking must have been offensive to my nonsmoking friends. After only about 2 or 3 weeks of this "in-the-bed" trick, enough of the nicotine was out of my system and, by George, I had licked habit. Proof was my dislike of the stench of cigarette smoke, which I couldn't smell before. Fortunately, my husband made it a bit easier for me by smoking outdoors and not around me. After several weeks of this routine, we went to a function at the country club and I couldn't stand it.

    I lit a cigarette. I almost choked! That did it. I put the cigarette out and to this day some 40 years later I have never smoked a cigarette again. But it sure is easy to detect others who do. The smell clings to clothing and breath and hair and the smoker probably doesn't even realize it. I am a year-old retired cardiologist.

    The recommendations I offer have helped many of my patients become former smokers. My first advice is to stop all caffeinated beverages — coffee, tea, Pepsi, Coke, etc. People frequently enjoy a cigarette following a cup of coffee or a Coke. Caffeine increases the heart rate and stimulates the nervous system thereby increasing the problem of tobacco avoidance.

    I recommend Postum, Sprite, or other noncaffeinated beverages for a week prior to attempted tobacco reduction. This improves willpower, which is a necessary attribute for anyone struggling to quit smoking. Postum is better than decaf coffee because it has an entirely different flavor. This may be discontinued later. No one starting to jog runs five miles the first day.

    Perhaps one block for the first week, then two blocks and so on. This principle is applied to stopping tobacco. The thought that you can never have another cigarette strikes terror to a smoker's heart. A gradual approach works much better if you are not able to stop cold turkey. Determine what time you first light up in the morning.

    What Day Is the Hardest?

    The first week, wait an hour before having the first smoke of the day. The second week, wait two hours. Continue this until you aren't having your first cigarette until noon. Then add three more hours a week. When I finally quit on March 1, , I had smoked for 40 years. It was extremely difficult, and I haven't even had a drag on a cigarette since that time for fear that I would start again! I also had to quit drinking coffee for a while. When I began, I had "cut back" to a pack a day. I had a special box in which I put the day's allowance of cigarettes. My No Smoking zones began with no smoking while on the phone, no smoking while in the car, then no smoking in the bathroom, then no smoking in the bedroom, etc.

    When I was down to 2 cigarettes a day, I realized that I spent a lot of time just deciding when to smoke those two--what an addiction! At that point, I stopped entirely, and got rid of all the cigarettes in the house. After about a month, I felt OK. The advantages for me from the way I was finally successful in quitting were that I had very few headaches, stomach aches, and not too much nervousness. I also had only a moderate weight gain. And, I was able to quit!

    I was a heavy smoker when I quit in at least one pack a day. I made a plan to quit, which succeeded now not one cigarette in the intervening years.