How to Choose a Quit Smoking Program

Why its so Hard to Quit

Everyone knows that nicotine is very addictive, and for this reason people find it very difficult to give up, and when most people try to give up, they find the withdrawal symptoms hard to take, and are easily alleviated by just having a cigarette. Beyond the physical demands nicotine has on the body, the mental burden can be even more intense. Smoking becomes an integral part of most peoples routines; they smoke when they wake up, when they have a cup of coffee, on the drive to work, at their breaks at work, after a meal, the list goes on and on.

Taking into account that the average smoker smokes at least 20 cigarettes a day, that is 20 changes in their daily routine; this would seem like a daunting task to anyone. This is especially difficult to achieve on ones own, and for this reason quit smoking programs can be a great help to people who want to supplement the support they already get from friends, family, or a professional of some other sort.

Choosing a Program

There are as many support programs to quit smoking as there are cigarettes that are smoked; it can be difficult to choose. Choosing however, is a very important decision, as it could determine how successful one is at actually quitting for good. Many quit smoking programs also either offer counseling, group or individualized, to help a smoker overcome the obstacles they may face daily, which will tempt them to smoke. In addition, if the program charges a fee, the fee should seem reasonable, and it is a good idea to check any company out with the better business bureau.

Other considerations should include the length of a quit smoking program, number of meetings, family involvement, and intensity of the quit smoking program. Long term success will likely be determined by the skills that are gained in these classes or meetings; they should teach the smoker coping skills, and behavior modifications.

For example, if someone normally smokes the most in their vehicle, it would be a good idea to have the car completely cleaned of the cigarette smell, put in fresh smelling deodorizers, and maybe even remove the cigarette lighter and ashtray, So that the car has been completely modified, to no longer accommodate the smoking habit. The quit smoking program should meet weekly, and offer a chance to discuss their triggers and challenges with a therapist, or group, and get tips on coping with those specific situations.

Dealing with Triggers

Many times the reasons people resume smoking after they have quit is because of triggers; stress or parts of their routine that make a person feel like they need to smoke. One of the most popular concerns are weight gain; especially among women. A quality quit smoking program will also include diet programs; smoking is partially an oral fixation, and as such, eating is a natural way to cope with the loss of cigarettes.

Eating the right foods can not only help to deal with cravings, but also boost the metabolism; the quit smoking program should provide resources to satisfy specific cravings, with reasonable and healthy alternatives. One example would be if craving something crunchy, try carrot sticks or apple slices; or, if something salty, try pretzels or low fat popcorn. Finding ways to overcome personal triggers is the only way to quit smoking for life.

Related Information and Products

Smokefree.gov is an initiative from the National Cancer Institute to help you or someone you care about quit smoking.
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CDC's Office on Smoking and Health offers links to the Tips ® Campaign, benefits of quitting, quitting resources, and cessation materials for state tobacco control programs.