If you quit smoking recently, you probably knew exactly what
your reason was at the time. Maybe you wanted to get serious about your health,
set a good example for the kids, or save all the money you’ve been spending on
cigarettes. But now that some time has passed, you might be ready for a fresh
infusion of motivation. That’s when these quit-smoking tips come in handy.
Below are six surprisingly effective ways to renew your
commitment to giving up smoking. Some may not apply to you, but others might
help you stay tobacco-free for good.
Secondhand smoke can be as harmful for pets as it is for
nonsmoking human friends. According to the American Legacy Foundation, exposure
to smoke has been linked to nasal cancer and lung cancer in dogs and lymphoma
in cats, among other effects. In one survey, 28% of smokers
said knowing that their habit was hurting their pets would spur them to quit.
Create a long-term
In a study
published last year in the journal Addiction,
smokers whose saving and spending plans stretched ahead more than a few months
were more likely to quit smoking than those whose plans reached only into the
next week. The reason? Long-term budgeters were more focused on the future,
which may have helped them think about the health consequences of continuing to
Think of your future
While you’re focusing on tomorrow, consider this: Whether
you’re male or female, smoking may jeopardize future children even before
conception. In women, smoking increases the risk of infertility, accelerates
reproductive aging, and makes eggs more prone to genetic abnormalities,
according to the American Society
for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
In men, the ASRM says that smoking reduces sperm count and
motility and increases sperm abnormalities. Plus, a study published last
year in the FASEB Journal showed that
men who smoke can damage the genetic information they pass along. These genetic
changes could increase the risk for childhood cancer and other diseases in their
Regular exercise is often recommended to help manage stress
or prevent weight gain after quitting smoking. But those aren’t the only ways
it helps. A recent analysis
of the combined results of several studies showed that moderate-intensity
exercise, such as walking or cycling, also helps tame nicotine cravings. Maybe
that’s why physical
activity decreases the risk of having a smoking relapse.
Eat your fruits and
In a recent study, researchers from
the University at Buffalo found that eating more fruits and vegetables helps people
who are trying to quit smoking stay tobacco-free. One possible explanation: The
fiber in these foods makes people feel full. Because many people confuse hunger
with a craving to smoke, that might lead to less desire for a cigarette.
Mindfulness involves fully focusing your attention on
here-and-now experience, noticing and accepting it without judging it. In a study from Yale
University School of Medicine, 88 volunteers who wanted to quit smoking were
randomly assigned to eight sessions of either a mindfulness class or a standard
quit-smoking program. Four months later, 31% of those in the mindfulness group
were still tobacco-free, compared to only 6% in the standard program.
It seemed that mindfulness helped people notice and accept
nicotine cravings without reacting to them. Each time people successfully rode
out a craving, the intense urge to smoke grew a little weaker.
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