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Commit for the Long Run

Quitting smoking is a journey, not a single event, and you may need support throughout. Even after you’ve been smoke-free for an extended period, you may still need support from friends and family members to stay on your smoke-free path. As a newly former smoker, it’s important to commit to the long run, through every phase of your quit.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during your quit journey:

Stay positive. Remember, scare tactics and blame are not the best way to motivate yourself to quit smoking. Instead, maintain confidence that smoke-free success may be on the horizon. Quitting smoking is not just about willpower: it’s about shifting one's physical, mental, and social state, which is not a simple task to achieve. Celebrate small wins and don’t hold it against yourself if you run into obstacles along the way.

The first week or so smoke-free is usually the toughest. Check in with yourself frequently during that first week. This would be a good time to schedule distractions, such as a movie night, home improvement project, or a dance class with a friend.

Some smokers can have an urge to smoke beyond the first few weeks after quitting. If smokers are exposed to their known triggers, even if it is beyond the first few weeks of their quit, they can be affected by the trigger and have an urge to smoke. This means that you need to remain mindful of your quit after you’ve left cigarettes behind. Your quit journey will change as time progresses.

Do your best to be kind to yourself over the long run. Because quitting smoking is a journey, it’s possible that the experience will include some slip-ups. Remind yourself, on the good days and bad, that you can achieve your smoke-free goal. You may slip up and smoke, but that doesn’t mean your goal is any less achievable. Instead, learn from the experience so you can avoid a similar slip-up in the future.