Today, in honor of the Great American Smokeout, many smokers are going to attempt to quit smoking for good and some will attempt to quit for just the day. For some, this isn’t their first time at the rodeo.
Smoking is addictive. Will quitting for one day make a huge difference? Recent studies suggest so. It shows that smokers who are over the age of 65 who are used to smoking more than three packs a day were able to greatly lower their risk of heart disease by giving the habit up for good.
The Great American Smokeout is the perfect day to start a new life. Here are some tips that may help to quit smoking for good.
1. Quit on a Monday. Yes, The Great American Smokeout happens on a Thursday, but research has shown that smokers who drop the habit on a Monday were more successful than those who quit on any other day of the week. Dr. Thomas Glynn of the American Cancer Society claims that it is because people are usually busiest on a Monday. It’s the beginning of a new week and can be the beginning of their life as a former smoker. Dr. Glynn also suggests to pick a day that is meaningful to them, such as an anniversary or a birthday. That way they will always be reminded of the day they kicked the habit.
2. Listen to Music. Listening to music is a great distraction from cravings. Be it a soulful jazz tune, something calm and soothing, or heavy metal, music allows the mind to wander and gets you up and moving. Which leads to number 3.
3. Exercise. Exercise is a fantastic way to distract someone from smoking for several reasons. Exercise causes one to break a sweat and release endorphins. It’s a fantastic stress reliever, something that many used to relieve by smoking. The burning of calories is an added bonus and since weight gain is a huge concern for many smokers they are taking a proactive approach to a common problem.
4. Chew, Chew, Chew. Be it gum, carrots and celery, or hard candies, give your mouth something to do instead of reaching for a cigarette. Having a snack may help also calm nicotine cravings. Choose low calorie foods in order to to keep weight gain to a minimum.
5. There’s an app for that. Actually, there are several apps for quitting smoking. Quit it Lite counts the cigarettes that would have been smoked and shows all the money saved by abstaining. The My Last Cigarette app takes personal information and presents readouts that will show things like health improvements, cost savings, and average lifespan. And the most popular one, Cessation Nation, shows how many cigarettes that have been skipped, how much money being saved, and how overall health may have improved. The most fun feature of Cessation Nation is a game that that is played to distract from cravings.
The Great American Smokeout is just one day of the year to try to quit smoking and don’t worry if you slip up and fall off the bandwagon. There are 364 other days in the year to give it another try.
By Mary Kay Love
Colorado 9 News