Almost Time To Quit

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For those of you planning to quit smoking from January first, there’s just one more day of smoking before you become smoke-free. If you don’t have a clear plan for your quit yet, then now is the time to make it. Are you going to use nicotine replacement therapy (and if so, which ones)? Are you going to quit from the stroke of midnight? Are you going to be sober or intoxicated at that moment? What are you going to do with any remaining cigarettes? Who have you told about quitting and who might be helpful? These are all issues that should be considered now, and the answers written down for clarity (just in case you are not very clear headed in the morning).

If you are going to use NRT but don’t have any yet, you’d better buy some tomorrow.

For many smokers the very thought of quitting, “for ever” can seem very scary. Some will have barely had a day of life as an adult without smoking. So it can feel like stepping off a ledge without knowing how far it is to the bottom. Don’t worry…its not so far. And a little bit of preparation is analogous to putting a few cushions down on the other side of the ledge, so that even if you fall it won’t be such a hard landing. For those who find it scary, it may help to think about it one hour at a time. Some find it easier at first to consider themselves as still smokers, who have simply decided not to smoke for that hour. And they continue to think of it that way hour after hour. Somehow breaking it down into shorter time units feels less daunting than “forever”.

Once you have your quit smoking plan sorted out, you may want to consider what other “resolutions” you want to make for 2008. When I look back at my previous years’ resolutions I see that most still apply: try to exercise every day, keep my office tidy (ha!), lose a pound a week for 20 weeks and keep it off, and try to get to bed on time to have enough sleep. I just read a nice post on healthline about the sleep issue at:
http://www.healthline.com/blogs/healthline_connects/2007/12/five-signs-you-need-more-sleep-in-2008.html
One of the points that struck home with me is that when we’re sleep deprived we’re not so good at sorting out life’s other challenges. This issue is particularly relevant to stopping smoking at New Year. Many of us stay up later than usual on December 31, and you may not have the option of a lie in the next day. Either way, your normal sleep cycle is already disturbed, and sometimes quitting smoking can affect that as well. So its important to get back to a normal regular sleep cycle as soon as you can in the new year so you can feel more refreshed and ready to stick to your resolutions.

Best of luck, and have a great one.
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About the Author


MA, MAppSci, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Foulds is an expert in the field of tobacco addiction.

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