10 Tips to Help You Quit With COPD
Quitting Smoking with COPD
Quitting smoking is extremely difficult—even after you’ve been diagnosed with COPD. But, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), quitting is the most effective method of slowing down the progression of the disease and preventing further damage to the lungs. Click “next” to read a list of 10 tips that can help you win the battle of stopping smoking and put down those cigarettes for good.
George Washington Carver once said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” Having knowledge of just how risky it is to continue smoking with COPD can serve as a powerful motivator in your efforts to quit smoking. Talk to your doctor and learn all you can about the effects that smoking has on COPD. Your newfound knowledge may be what you need to help you kick the habit.
Know That It’s Possible
Believing you can quit is half the battle. Millions of adults who have smoked for years are now living smoke-free. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over half of all adult smokers who have tried to quit have been successful. That doesn’t mean that it will be easy, but it does mean that you can do it too.
Write Down Why You Want to Quit
Simply wanting to quit isn’t a strong enough motivator when the cravings really kick in. Write down the specific reasons you want to quit and keep them close by. Hang them up around the house or keep them in your wallet or handbag. Seeing the words “to protect my family from second hand smoke” or “to stop further damage to my lungs” can help combat your urge to light up. Read your list (and add to it) daily.
Use Multiple Methods
Research sponsored by government agencies and non-profit organizations shows that individuals who use multiple methods in their battle to stop smoking are most successful. For example, you may choose to use a nicotine replacement product in addition to partnering with a close friend or family member to keep you accountable. Make sure to do your research first to choose the methods that will work best for you.
Build a Support System
Those who have tried quitting on their own for years often find success when they team up with others. Sure, in the end it’s up to you to do it, but it helps to have people in your corner, cheering you on. You won’t have to look far for support—there are plenty of people who want to see you succeed. Ask your family members, doctor, and friends for encouragement and to keep you accountable.
Do Your Homework
Dozens of products and methods on the marketplace today—from nicotine replacement therapies and prescription medications to herbs, acupuncture, and counseling—can help you win the battle. Discuss the pros and cons of each with your doctor. Understanding your options increases your chances of success.
Don't Go Cold Turkey
Quitting cold turkey is probably the most straightforward smoking cessation method, but it rarely works. According to the American Lung Association, 95 percent of people who try to quit this way end up relapsing. When you cut your body off from nicotine completely, the withdrawal symptoms become too much to bear.
Learn to Cope with Stress
Many people cope with stress by lighting up a cigarette. Dealing with COPD is stressful and can inhibit your efforts, unless you find alternative ways to managing stress. Listening to music, practicing meditation, or going for a run are alternative activities to handling stress.
Certain environments and behaviors can trigger your urge to smoke. For example, if you always smoke when you drink coffee, switch to tea for a few weeks. Alcohol is another common trigger, so try to drink less when you first quit smoking. Nicotine replacement products are particularly helpful during the times or in the situations that you tend to smoke most.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up if You Relapse
It’s common to relapse. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Use the stumbling block as a way to examine a weakness in your plan to quit smoking. Were you spending time with other smokers? Did you have a few too many drinks at a family gathering? Treat the setback as a learning experience and recommit to success the next time around.