Maybe you've thought about giving up tobacco but just never seem to get there. It might help to explore your reasons or to take small steps toward overcoming your habit.
Advantages of Quitting Smoking
Your decision to stop using tobacco could be one of the most important you'll ever make for your future health and well-being. Some benefits of a tobacco-free lifestyle include:
- Feeling better about yourself and becoming a
- role model for family and friends
- More stamina for work and play
- Whiter teeth and fresher breath
- Cleaner-smelling clothes, furniture, and car
- Decreasing risk of serious illnesses
- Freedom from the restrictions of smoking
- Saving money
With any behavior change, however, there are adjustments to make in your normal routine. Some are easy, while others may be a bit more challenging. To help prepare, complete the following statements:
- I expect to benefit from not using tobacco in the following ways:
- I expect to make the following changes to quit:
If You Can Imagine It, You Can Be It
An important step in changing any behavior is the ability to visualize success. Take a moment to consider each of the following images. Pause on each before moving on to the next. Give yourself time to let the thought sink in, become a part of how you think of yourself. Once the image is clear in your mind, go to the next thought and do it again.
Picture yourself not using tobacco, healthier and more energetic than you've ever been — looking forward to the day with enthusiasm and optimism for what lies ahead.
See yourself moving through the day — free from your tobacco habit. You're able to accomplish more and achieve greater personal satisfaction.
Stage Two: The Benefits of Being Tobacco-Free (<i>cont'd</i>)
Imagine life without tobacco, not because you have to, but because it's what you want to do. A tobacco-free lifestyle helps you feel better about yourself and makes you a role model for family and friends — and you're proud of that.
How did that feel? It is possible to visualize yourself quitting, isn't it? If doubts creep back in your mind, repeat this exercise to imagine success again and again.
Knowledge Is Power
A good problem-solving technique is asking the right questions. The key is to ignore answers that seem too good to be true, and instead focus on facts about the health behavior you want to change.
Here are some sample questions to get you started. Use them as a guide for developing questions geared to your situation.
- How will I feel in the days after I stop using tobacco?
- How can I avoid gaining weight once I quit smoking?
- What are the dangers of second-hand smoke to those around me?
Record 1-2 of your own questions that you believe would give you important answers to assist in changing.
And in This Corner...
Supportive relationships are important in every stage of the behavior change process. Seek someone to be in your corner — a nonjudgmental, positive-minded believer in you. Someone working toward similar goals can provide great support, too. Once you've identified friends or family members to support you, list 2 or more things they can do to help.
Print out the Take-Action Form How Much Will You Use Tobacco This Week? to record your observations.
When you complete the activities in this stage, continue on to Stage Three: Preparing to Be Tobacco-Free.