The Great American Smokeout

You've already begun doing something good for yourself
when you recognize a problem exists. If you're problem
is smoking a smoker now's a great time to take the
next step toward a long, healthy life. In November is
the Great American Smokeout, a day when all Americans
are encouraged to quit smoking for at least 24 hours.
But any day can be your day for beginning a life of
victory over this addiction. 
There are a number of things you can do to kick the
habit, which raises the risk for cardiovascular
disease and, according to the American Cancer Society
(ACS), is the leading cause of preventable,
cancer-related deaths. The best way to quit smoking is
to make a plan and follow through with it. There are
also a number of free quit-programs — both online and
in communities to help you along the way. 
Of course, if at first you don't succeed, try again.
Relapses are a normal part of the quitting process, so
do not let minor setbacks deter you from ultimately
reaching your goal to quit. Here are eight steps you
can take to make quitting a little easier and to
increase the chances that you'll succeed: 

Remove all temptations. 
Clear your house of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays,
and any other smoking remnants. Thoroughly clean your
living space to eliminate any lingering odors. 

Avoid your usual smoking places. 
Until you've gotten your nicotine cravings under
control, avoid places you associate with smoking, like
your favorite bar or break room at work. It's also
best to avoid being around anyone who's smoking. 

Distract yourself when you feel intense craving. 
When you crave a cigarette, take a walk, phone a pal,
reply to an e-mail, or chew on some sugar-free gum
instead — whatever it takes to distract yourself until
the craving diminishes, which generally happens within
a few minutes. 

Find a quit-buddy. 
Someone who is also trying to quit can help inspire
you to stay true to your goal. You and your quit-buddy
can be there for each other to celebrate each quitting
milestone or to manage minor setbacks. 

Get support. 
There's no reason why you have to conquer smoking
alone. Tell your friends and family what you're doing,
and ask them to provide encouragement and gentle
nudges to help you run the course. (Harassment does
not help) No one ever achieves greatness without the
help of supporters and confidantes. 

Consider nicotine replacement therapy. 
According to the ACS, up to 90 percent of smokers
avoid quitting because of difficulty managing their
nicotine cravings. Nicotine replacement therapy can
help you manage the physical cravings, which in turn
increases the likelihood that you will quit smoking.
Some nicotine replacement products, like gums and
patches, are available over the counter, while others,
like sprays and inhalers, require a prescription.
Whether you use over the counter or prescription helps
success rates vary between thirty and forty percent.
They do not substitute for commitment either 
Another prescription medication, bupropion, acts on
your brain chemistry to reduce nicotine cravings and
withdrawals. If you are determined to quit smoking,
speak with your physician about one of these aids.
Combining this type of pharmacological approach with
behavior changes like those described above can really
increase your chances of success! 

Practice healthy eating habits and engage in regular
A healthy lifestyle program does double duty when
you're kicking the habit. 
First, eating healthily can help offset any weight
gain associated with smoking cessation. Second,
research shows that people who engage in regular
exercise while trying to quit smoking have a higher
success rate than those who don't. 

Commit to quit for the glory of God
This is more than the old saying that it is hard to
talk to someone about heaven with the fires of hell on
your breath. Smoking impacts just about everything a
person does from parenting to love making. Since all
our actions are supposed to be governed by the
question “does this bring glory to God?” a commitment
to quitting should be founded in the idea of giving
Him glory.

            Jonsquill Ministries

P. O. Box 752

Buchanan, Georgia 30113