The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the future and the important changes you want to make in your life. Many smokers will make a quit smoking New Year’s resolution to stop smoking on or around January 1. However, before you make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking cigarettes, it helps to think through some strategies to be prepared for your quit day.
Quit Smoking New Year’s Resolution Tips
So, now that you’ve decided to make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, where do you begin? Follow the tips below and you will soon be on your way to experiencing the many benefits of quitting smoking for good.
1. Choose a Quit Smoking Date
While January 1 is often the date people use to quit smoking, the best date will vary for everyone. Choosing a quit date within 14 days from today is the best way to stay on track and lower your risk of tobacco-related complications. Also, you need to decide if you are going to try to quit smoking cold turkey, or gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke up until your quit date. Choose a date and mark it on your calendar.
2. Decide On Quit Smoking Medications
Many smoking cessation methods recommend using medications to help ease the transition of reducing and eliminating the amount of nicotine in your bloodstream. Many of these products are available over-the-counter at your local drugstore, and include nicotine gum, nicotine patches and nicotine lozenges to help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Other products that help with quitting smoking on New Year’s may require a doctor’s prescription, such as Varenicline (Chantix) Bupropion (Zyban). Since these often should be started before your quit date begins, talk to your doctor early about which medications may be right for you.
3. Download a Quit Smoking App
With many apps available, it can be hard to find the best quit smoking apps for your device. Many offer similar features, such as cigarette and craving tracking. We built Aeris to be the best free quit smoking app available for iOS and Android devices and loaded it up with important features, such as choosing a quit date, setting up a personal quit plan and tracking tobacco, cravings and medication usage. Aeris also gives you daily tips and a recommended cigarette allowance that gradually reduces until your quit date. Download a quit smoking app before your quit smoking New Year’s resolution begins so you can be familiar with all of the features and start tracking today.
4. Share Your Quit Smoking New Year’s Resolution
The road to living a smoke-free life is often challenging. A quit smoking timeline can show you the many milestones along the way, however, the journey is much more bearable when you have someone you trust supporting and encouraging you. Talk to close friends and family and let them know about your quit smoking New Year’s resolution. Think of practical ways that they could help you along the way, whether that be going for walks together or simply talking on the phone. There also many web forums dedicated to people attempting to stop smoking, which you may want to consider as well.
5. Get Plenty of Exercise and Sleep
If you already exercise during the week, you will want to keep it up. If not, find something you enjoy doing, like going for walks or doing short exercise routines right in your home or office. This will not only help minimize weight gain, but will release endorphins in your body to boost your mood and distract you from cravings.
Equally important is to get plenty of quality sleep. When you set a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, it is not uncommon to have trouble sleeping and also, to feel very sleepy as your body works through giving up nicotine dependence. Try to fit a full 8 hours of sleep in each night, and adding naps when you feel you need it.
6. Drink Water and Eat Smart
Staying hydrated is important in general, but even more so when you are quitting smoking. Water helps flush out toxins from your body and can reduce cravings and urges to smoke. If you are someone who likes to drink alcohol on New Year’s eve, then you may want to plan ahead to substitute alcohol for another beverage because it can be a trigger to smoke.
Additionally, you may find yourself craving snacks and treats to occupy your hands and mouth. Keeping healthy snacks nearby, such as nuts, carrots and other easy to grab fruits and vegetables will allow you to load up on beneficial foods, cut down on weight gain, and satisfy your short-term cravings.
7. Call a Tobacco Quitline
If you live in the U.S., you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW and get connected directly to your state quitline. This is a toll-free call where you can receive live tobacco cessation services from counselors trained specifically to help smokers quit. You can get information and advice, and in many cases request free quit smoking medications right over the phone. TIP: The Aeris quit smoking app also includes a button to quickly speak with a live quitline counselor 24/7 at no charge.
8. Read Up on Quitting Smoking
The mere fact you are here reading this shows you are someone ready to learn what it takes to quit smoking. There are many great resources available online to help quit smoking and quit vaping that you may come across. We recommend taking a look at the CDC Smoking and Tobacco Use website for fast facts and additional tips and tools to help you on your way.
No matter where you are in your journey to living smoke-free, remember that it often takes several attempts before someone has quit successfully. However, there are now more former smokers in the U.S. than current smokers, and more people are quitting everyday. So go ahead, and set your quit smoking New Year’s resolution, and may these tips help you ring in the new year happier and healthier without tobacco.