DIG: Help To Stop Smoking
Help to Stop Smoking
We all know that smoking isn’t good for your health. What you may not know is that smoking also affects gastrointestinal (GI) problems like IBS. Regardless, you may not:
Want to quit
Be ready to quit
Know how to quit
Whatever your thoughts are about quitting, we’d like to provide you with information about quitting. It may be useful now or in the future.
It is difficult for most people to quit smoking. Having a quit plan helps. Experts have established effective guidelines for quitting.
The following contains the steps to quit. Write down your plan.
1. Set a quit date. It's best if it's within 2 weeks. To prepare, try not to smoke in those places where you spend most of your time.
2. Tell those close to you about your plan to quit. Ask for their support.
3. Be ready for challenges during your quit time. Make a list of ways to deal with smoking triggers. The first few weeks are the most difficult and include nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
4. Make sure you get rid of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Check your work environment, car, etc.
*Set a date for each of the above steps, and include any notes on how you plan to meet your goals.
One of the most difficult parts of quitting is nicotine withdrawal. Since nicotine and other ingredients in cigarettes are addictive, stopping causes withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms and how long they last are different for each person.
They may include:
Cravings for cigarettes
Feeling sad, irritable, restless
Trouble thinking and concentrating
Smoking Cessation Medicines
There are over-the-counter and prescription medicines that help lessen withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor or pharmacist may recommend one, or a combination of, the medicines.
Over-the-counter: nicotine gum, patch, spray, inhaler, or lozenge
Prescription medicines: varenicline and bupropion
What Can Help
Triggers are those things that increase your desire to smoke. They may be thoughts or emotions, or locations. Your triggers may include:
Morning or mealtime
Drinking alcohol, coffee, or tea
Feeling anxious, tired, or bored
Being around others who smoke
Dealing With Triggers
When you experience any of your triggers, it is very helpful to have some solutions readily available. You will have your own ways of dealing with triggers. Here are ideas that can help.
Stop what you’re doing or remove yourself from the situation, if possible.
Think about your reasons for quitting. Create a list to use as a reference.
Have a piece of sugar-free gum or hard candy.
Drink a glass of water.
Call or text someone.
Use one of the apps or other tools available to those who are quitting (see the resources below).
For More Information & Support
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2022). Retrieved 12-27-2022 from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/index.htm
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (2022). Retrieved 12-27-2022 from https://betobaccofree.hhs.gov/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (2022). Retrieved 12-27-2022 from https://smokefree.gov/