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How to Manage Your Smoke-Free Plan in Stages

Posted by on May 13, 2014 . 0 Comments.

In order to transition from traditional cigarettes to a smoke-free life, you’ll need to be completely honest with yourself. You want to identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you figure out a plan that will truly work.

For example, some individuals have lots of willpower. They can manage a lifestyle change in three steps. Others, on the other hand, require many steps to create a lifestyle change.

The bottom line is: you will need to form new habits. It will be important to know what’s working and what isn’t, so you can adjust your plan accordingly.  Keep a notebook and write down your plan, so you can figure out what adjustments might help.

Before you begin a smoking cessation program of any kind, take time to identify how you respond to self-discipline. All of us, for instance, fully know how quickly we can lose weight. Most of us also know how disciplined we are at sticking to an exercise routine.

“My brother has the willpower of a Roman soldier,” says a high school teacher we’ll call Tiffany. “He quit smoking in one week, and he’s using e-cigarettes all of the time now. I’m still working a plan to go smoke-free in stages. I’ve been working on my plan to give up traditional cigarettes for over a month.”

 

Use Patience and Don’t Give Up

Working with your own personality, lifestyle and your unique stress factors, plan your program so you are making progress.  Your goal is to make some progress on a continuing basis, however small that progress is, rather than take two steps forward and three steps back.

We’ve all heard of people who can lose 20 pounds quickly, climb mountains effortlessly, and pass college courses without studying. These people are rare!

In attempting to give up smoking cigarettes for good, try to picture yourself moving in steps. Don’t delude yourself, though. Plan a program that you really can follow.

Here are some examples of steps you might take:

1.    Purchase an e-cigarette kit the first week.

2.    Utilize your e-cigarette twice a day for another week. Keep smoking traditional cigarettes as well.

3.    In week three, smoke traditional cigarettes before noon only. Use e-cigarettes after lunch until bedtime.

4.    For the fourth week, cut back to only one traditional cigarette per day. Use an e-cig at all other times.

5.    On week number five, skip traditional cigarettes during the week. Use an e-cigarette and allow yourself to smoke one traditional cigarette on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Keep in mind that you should make a plan that you know you can stick with. If you totally flub the plan, you’ll be stressed and disappointed in yourself.

Speaking of stress, keep in mind that reducing as much stress in your life as possible is critical to your success plan. Stress can derail a diet or a smoke-free lifestyle faster than anything.

Deal with Real Life as You Go Smoke-Free

“I knew my in-laws were coming to our house for a week,” says Evan, an attorney in North Carolina. “I did not begin my plan to switch to e-cigs until my in-laws were headed back home. I think you have to foresee stress and figure out how to manage your life around it. Switching to e-cigs takes focus and a certain amount of internal harmony while you’re starting your plan.”

Evan is right. While none of us can erase stress in our daily lives, we all know it’s better to start a lifestyle change when things are fairly calm. We need to foresee who makes us uneasy and what events get on our nerves.

It also pays to fully understand your body chemistry. For example, if nicotine gum helps you curb smoking, you might want to implement it with your e-cigs for a couple of weeks. If a nicotine patch helps you reduce cravings for cigarettes, you can use an e-cig with all flavoring and no nicotine.

“I ranked my stress every day on a scale of 1-10,” Evan continues. “On days I had a stressful case to argue in court, I allowed myself a traditional cigarette after my workday was over. After some time, though, I just didn’t want the traditional cigarette. I hate the way smoking makes me cough, and I really like myself a lot more when I have the discipline to stick to e-cigs.”

Self-esteem does enter the picture as you plan your new smoke-free life. Conquering bad habits and getting healthier should matter more to you than feeling good temporarily by lighting up.  

These tips to stop smoking traditional cigarettes can help as well:

·      Stay very organized. Have all your e-cigarette products in a neat box or small case, so you won’t feel scattered. Make sure you feel in control by having everything on hand, because scrambling around to find what you need will tempt you to smoke a traditional cigarette.

·      Lighten your activities. While you’re trying to switch to e-cigs, don’t volunteer to babysit your neighbor’s three children while he and his wife go on vacation. Don’t volunteer to stay after work to take up slack for someone, if you can avoid it.

·      Ask for support from others vaping e-cigs. Try to locate someone you can call, email or text for added encouragement. There’s nothing like sharing your emotions and experiences with someone going through this type of lifestyle change too.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

Reader’s Digest: http://www.rd.com/slideshows/quit-smoking/#slideshow=slide1

Help Guide: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/quit_smoking_cessation.htm

Tobaccoharmreduction.org: http://www.tobaccoharmreduction.org/faq/quittingsmoking.htm

 

RESOURCES:

Smokefree.gov: http://smokefree.gov/

Becomeanex.org: http://www.becomeanex.org/how-to-quit-smoking.php

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: http://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/issues/2010-december/quitsmoking.html

Last update: May 13, 2014

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