1. Keep Your Guard Up
Your body has changed since you began to smoke or use tobacco. Your brain is now sensitive to cravings and triggers. Certain people, places, things and situations can trigger a strong urge‚ even years after quitting. That's why you should never take a puff or dip again‚ no matter how long it has been since you quit.
After you've quit‚ nicotine withdrawal symptoms often hit at the same time of the day or week. For many people‚ the hardest place to resist the urge is at home. Many urges hit when someone else is smoking or using tobacco nearby. Identify your triggers so you can be prepared for a temptation. If a craving hits, use the skills you've learned.
2. Fight the Urge
It might be tempting to give in and use tobacco when a craving hits. But the longer you go without it, the more these urges will fade. Resist the urge. Having go-to coping skills — like taking a walk or practicing deep breathing — can help maintain your freedom from tobacco.
3. Stay Upbeat
As you go through the first days and weeks without tobacco‚ keep a positive outlook. Don't blame or punish yourself if you do have a tobacco relapse. Don't think of quitting as an all-or-none proposition. Instead‚ take it one day at a time. Remember that quitting is a learning process.
4. Reward Yourself for Staying Tobacco Free
It's tough to quit, and staying tobacco free is a major accomplishment. Make sure you're rewarding yourself. Now that you're not buying tobacco anymore, you might have extra money to buy a small treat. But your reward doesn't have to cost anything! Enjoy a nice hike now that you can breathe easier, or invite a friend over for movie night.
5. Lean on Someone for Support
Even after you've been tobacco free for a while, you will still encounter triggers and cravings. When it happens, don't be afraid to turn to someone that supported you when you first quit. This is totally normal, and doesn't mean you're weak. Often, talking about a craving with someone can help you identify what's really going on while the craving passes.
Remember, quitting tobacco happens one day at a time. Celebrate your milestones, big and small. You deserve it!
Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or register online for free, nonjudgmental support from a Quit CoachTM.