Try chewing on our 6 Flavor Ultimate Sampler Packs for 3 Days and we guarantee it will be easier if
followed by tips and information provided below.
for Quitting and Kicking the Habit for Good
We are very proud of the role we play in providing much needed support and encouragement in helping people to quit smoking.
Whether you are seeking information for yourself or for someone you care about, we are sure you'll find exactly what you are looking for.
Would you like to quit smoking? Quitting smoking can be a drag,
but you can successfully quit when you know what to expect, are motivated, have
social support, and create a personal game plan. Stopping smoking
requires desire, determination, and commitment, but the more you learn about
your options and prepare for quitting, the easier it will be. While some
smokers successfully quit by going cold turkey, most people need a plan that
involves a gradual reduction in smoking and different rituals for satisfying
your needs. You may be surprised to discover other things in your life that are
as pleasurable as smoking. It is possible to learn how to replace your smoking
habits, manage your cravings, and join the millions of people who have kicked
the habit for good!
Health professionals are the single most influential determinant of tobacco cessation success and can contribute significantly to an increase in overall cessation rates. Suwannee River AHEC currently offers six live continuing education courses as well as online training at tobaccocme.com.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that all health care providers treat tobacco dependence in their practices. A minimal intervention lasting three minutes or less can have a significant impact on smoking cessation rates and improve individual treatment outcomes for your patients.
Professional continuing education is offered by qualified Tobacco Cessation Specialists to health care providers and community partners on a variety of tobacco related topics.
Presentations are based on the Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence and CDC Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs.
Live continuing education courses:
START: Stopping Tobacco with Assessments, Referrals, and Training
The Effects of Tobacco Use on the Cardiopulmonary System
Head to Toe: The Health Consequences of Tobacco Use
Tobacco Trend Busting
Tobacco Cessation Medications
Diabetes and Tobacco: A Dangerous Liaison
Tobaccocme.com online courses:
Suwannee River AHEC encourages all providers to complete the tobacco-related modules offered at www.tobaccocme.com
. The modules offer online continuing education for health care professionals. Completion of the modules will broaden a health care professional's understanding of tobacco-related issues and treatment modalities. These modules are provided free to health care providers. Registration is required in order to receive credit.
Florida AHEC courses have the following credit types available: AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, Florida Physician Assistants, Florida Board of Dentistry, Florida Board of Medicine, Florida Board of Nursing, Florida Board of Clinical Social Work (Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling), National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, and Florida Board of Respiratory Care.
Contact Sarah Catalanotto
at 386-462-1551 ext 103 to schedule a presentation.
quitting seems so hard
pleasures of smoking
It’s not easy to let go of something
that’s been such an integral part of your life for so long. That little stick
of tobacco has stuck with you through thick or thin, rain or shine, day or
night. With minimal effort it has provided hours of comfort and activated the
pleasure centers in your brain. No wonder the thought of quitting seems so
daunting. Who wants to give up something that can temporarily make sadness,
stress, and boredom evaporate into thin air? Just thinking about it can stop
you in your tracks. But that’s exactly what’s needed. Stop for a moment and
think about why smoking is in your life. What purpose does it serve?
to get your smoking needs met without smoking
Whatever your reasons are for having
smoking in your life, there is an alternative behavior you can
substitute in place of smoking which will achieve the same result
in the end. Only you can determine what will work for you. Some examples
Purpose of Smoking
Sample Substitute Behaviors
Relaxation or stress reduction
Deep breathing exercises,
meditation, massage or exercise
Boredom or Loneliness
Find something you’re passionate about
such as art, music, or literature
To feel more comfortable in social
Counseling, enroll in a public
speaking class, join a support group or splurge on a makeover
A meal doesn’t feel quite complete
without a cigarette
Eat a healthy meal and then top it
off with a delicious dessert
for creating your personal stop smoking plan
your personal game plan
Tailoring a personal game plan to
your specific needs and desires can be a big help. A good place to start is
with the online guide from smokefree.gov. They recommend thinking
about why you want to quit and then writing down all your reasons. The site
goes on to give you helpful tips and options. Some of your choices include:
quitting smoking cold turkey, systematically decreasing the number of
cigarettes you smoke, reducing your intake of nicotine gradually over time,
using nicotine replacement therapy or non-nicotine medications to reduce
withdrawal symptoms, utilizing nicotine support groups, trying hypnosis,
acupuncture, or counseling using cognitive behavioral techniques.
to ask yourself
To successfully detach from smoking,
you will need to identify and address your smoking habits, the true nature of
your dependency, and the techniques that work for you. These types of questions
- Do you feel the need to smoke at every meal?
- Are you more of a social smoker?
- Is it a very bad addiction (more than a pack a day)? Or
would a simple nicotine patch do the job?
- Is your cigarette smoking linked to other addictions?
- Are you open to hypnosis therapy and acupuncture?
- Are you someone who is open to talking about your
- Are you interested in getting into a fitness program?
Take the time to think of what kind
of smoker you are, which moments of your life call for a cigarette, and why.
This will help you to identify which tips, techniques or therapies may be most
beneficial for you.
smoking plan (START)
S = Set a quit date.
T = Tell family, friends, and
co-workers that you plan to quit.
A = Anticipate and plan for the
challenges you'll face while quitting.
R = Remove cigarettes and other
tobacco products from your home, car, and work.
T = Talk to your doctor about
getting help to quit.
For a more info see the Surgeon
Cessation Help Pages
Jerry kicked a 1/2 pack a day habit
by reducing his intake, one cigarette at a time. First he cut out the morning
cigarette that he always had with his coffee by substituting a warm cinnamon
bun. After two weeks he dropped the mid-morning cigarette break. Then every
other week he dropped another scheduled smoke time until he was totally
smoke-free. Because he weaned himself off the nicotine so slowly he was able to
quit without feeling any severe withdrawal symptoms.
motivation to stop smoking
Laura smoked more than a pack a day
for 10 years. She had tried quitting a few times over the years but always
ended up retrieving the crumpled cigarette pack from the wastepaper basket.
Nothing seemed to work until the day she got the jolt of her life; her doctor
told her she had cancer. This event forced her to take stock of her life and
started her on the path to quitting again. That was three years ago and she hasn’t
lit up since. When you ask her how she did it, she’ll tell you it was sheer
willpower and the support of family and friends.
Fear is a powerful motivator but you
don’t have to wait until something frightening happens to stop smoking.
to quit smoking and manage cravings
associated to sugar levels
When you stop smoking, your body
reacts very quickly to the lack of nicotine in your system. Over the course of
three to five days, you are likely to experience a number of the following
physical symptoms as the toxins are flushed from your body:
- Increased irritability, frustration, or anger
- Anxiety, tension or nervousness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased appetite and weight gain
As you smoke, nicotine is absorbed
into your bloodstream and within 3 minutes, chemical reactions cause your body
to trigger the release of sugar. After quitting, you may feel dizzy,
restless, nervous or even have strong headaches. This
is because you are lacking the immediate release of sugar that cigarettes
provide – and why you may have a bigger appetite. These sugar-related cravings
should only last a few days until your body adjusts to this new smoke-less
state of being. So, for the first 3 or 4 days after you quit, make sure you
keep your sugar levels a bit higher than usual by drinking plenty of juice. It
will help prevent the craving symptoms triggered by a lack of sugar and help
your body re-adjust back to normal.
cessation and high sugar levels
When you quit smoking try eating
healthier. Cravings can lead to over-eating to make up for the lack of instant
sugar that was released in your body when you were smoking. Speak to a
nutritionist if you are concerned, high sugar levels can be dangerous.
For more information, read Tips for a Healthy
Diet : Guidelines for developing a plan for healthy eating
to manage cigarette cravings
Remnants of old habits such as
smoking with your morning coffee, after meals or business meetings, and while
you’re stuck in traffic can trigger cravings. There are ways to anticipate
those moments and deal with the possible withdrawal symptoms.
Cravings associated with meals
For some smokers, having a cup of coffee
after a meal goes hand-in-hand with lighting up, and the idea of giving that up
may look like a hard prospect. People have been able to successfully replace
that special moment, at least in the early stages, with something that works
for them. It could be a piece of fruit, a dessert, or a piece of dark
chocolate. Eventually, you will re-discover the real savor of a good meal or a
nicely brewed cup of coffee and will find that cigarette smoke spoils its
Alcohol and cigarettes
Many people have a habit of smoking
when they have an alcoholic drink. If you feel cravings after drinking with
friends or family you may have to try non-alcoholic drinks. Nuts and chips to
munch on are also great cigarette substitutes.
When friends, family, and co-workers
smoke around you, you are in risk of never being able to give up smoking. If
you don’t address this directly it can increase your risk for relapse. Talking
about your decision to quit is the first step, your
social circles need to know that you are changing your habits. It may involve a
change of habit on their part too, for example, they won’t be able to smoke
when you’re in the car with them or in your presence.
Know that in every social circle
there are non-smokers, sometimes former smokers, and people that can be of some
inspiration in finding new and better habits. In your workplace, don’t take all
your coffee breaks with smokers only, do something else instead, and find other
non-smokers to have your breaks with. Your decision to quit could be a good
role model for your friends and give them the incentive to quit as well.
The main thing is to stay strong and
not compromise. This is a crucial change in your life. Let others around you
know that you are serious about quitting.
to deal with common cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Stay active: Keep yourself distracted and occupied, go
- Keep your hands/fingers busy: Squeeze balls,
pencils, or paper clips are good substitutes to satisfy that need for tactile
- Keep your mind busy: Read a book or magazine, listen to
some music you love.
- Find an oral substitute: Keep other things around to
pop in your mouth when you’re craving a cigarette. Good choices include
mints, hard candy, carrot or celery sticks, gum, and sunflower seeds.
- Drink lots of water: Flushing toxins
from your body minimizes withdrawal symptoms and helps cravings
- Look for new ways to relax and to cope with depression
or anxiety: There are a lot of ways to improve your mood without smoking.
See Depression Self-Help for some ideas. For tips on ways
to deal with stress, visit Coping with Stress.
a craving journal
For a couple of weeks make entries
into a log book to monitor your daily progress. Think about different moments
in your life when you enjoy having a cigarette, these are your triggers to
smoking. Are there certain people or environments that trigger your cravings?
How do you feel when you smoke? Jot down some other things you can do to feel
that way. After you quit, if you’re having a bad day, you can look back at the
comments you wrote in week one to get perspective on how far you’ve come.
support from others
Quitting smoking is challenging, and
having the right people around you can make all the difference. Let your
friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their
support and encouragement to stop. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop
smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.
the pounds off
Weight gain is a common concern when
quitting smoking. While it’s true that many smokers put on weight when they
stop smoking, the gain is usually small, on average 3-5 pounds. Weight gain
occurs because the oral gratification of smoking is replaced by the
self-soothing mechanism of eating. Don’t let the fear of putting on a few
pounds weigh you down. Eating a healthy diet and staying active can help you
maintain your current weight. See Healthy Weight
help to quit smoking
Finding the right combination of
things to help you stop smoking is as individual as you are. Medication can
provide support in your effort to stop smoking by easing withdrawal symptoms,
reducing cravings, and improving your chances of successfully quitting.
Smoking cessation medications are
most effective when used as part of a comprehensive stop smoking program
monitored by your physician. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether
an anti-smoking medication is right for you. U.S. Food and Drug Administration
approved options are:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy
involves "replacing" cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such
as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. It works by delivering “small and steady
doses” of nicotine into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms
without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of
treatment helps smokers focus on breaking their psychological addiction and
makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviors and coping skills.
Non-nicotine medications help you
stop smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Currently, bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are the
only two medications that don’t contain nicotine which are approved as smoking
cessation aids. These anti-smoking pills are intended for short-term use.
There are several things you can do
to stop smoking that don’t involve nicotine replacement therapy or prescription
option that has good results.
Hypnosis works by getting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are open to
suggestions that strengthen your resolve to quit smoking and increase your
negative feelings toward cigarettes. Ask your doctor to recommend a qualified
smoking cessation hypnotherapist in your area.
One of the
oldest known medical techniques.
Acupuncture is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins
(natural pain relievers) that allow the body to relax. As a smoking cessation
aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine addiction is related to the
habitual behaviors (the “rituals”) involved in smoking. Behavior therapy
focuses on learning new coping skills and breaking those habits. The American
Lung Association offers a free online smoking cessation program that focuses on
Self-help books and websites can
provide a number of ways to motivate yourself to quit
smoking. One well known example is calculating the monetary savings. Some
people have been able to find the motivation to quit just by calculating how
much money they will save after they quit. One person saved enough money to pay
his annual car insurance premiums.
to do if you relapse
smoking didn’t work, now what?
Two steps forward, one step back is
a common pattern when you’re trying to replace unwanted habits with new
positive ones. Having a small setback doesn’t mean you’re a smoker again. Most
people try to quit smoking several times before they kick the habit for good,
so don’t beat yourself up if you start smoking again. Turn the relapse into a
rebound by learning from your mistakes. Identify the triggers or trouble spots
you ran into and create a new and improved stop smoking plan.
- You’re not a failure if you slip up. It doesn't mean
you can't quit for good.
- Don’t let a slip become a mudslide. Throw out the rest
of the pack. It's important to get back on the non-smoking track now.
Remember, your goal is no cigarettes - not even one puff.
- Look back at your quit log and feel good about the time
you went without smoking.
- Find the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke again? Decide how you will cope with that issue
the next time it comes up.
- Learn from your experience. What has been most helpful?
What didn’t work?
- Find a quit buddy. You can quit smoking together and
gain strength from each other.
- Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Call your
doctor if you start smoking again. Some medicines cannot be used if you
are smoking at the same time.
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Loss and Dieting
How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
How to Manage and Relieve Stress in the Moment
links for quitting smoking
to Quit Smoking and Stop-Smoking Plans
Online Guide to
Quitting – Step-by-step guide to quitting describes how to make a plan to
quit, cope with cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, and avoid relapse.
Quit Smoking Action Plan – 3-step plan for quitting
smoking. Provides additional resources for support.
(American Lung Association)
Double Your Chances of Quitting
Smoking. Ways to improve your chances of quitting smoking. (American Cancer
Hints to Kick the Smoking Habit – Provides advice on how to successfully
quit smoking. Includes a list of smoke-free suggestions.
(University of Maryland Medical Center)
Quit Meter – Calculate how much extra money you’ll have
after quitting. (Defeataddictions.org)
Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine Alternatives / Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
– Provides an overview, general warnings, and side effects of NRT. (American
Nicotine Replacement – Comprehensive fact sheet on nicotine
replacement includes a discussion of specific methods, dosages and side
effects. (American Lung Association)
Weight Gain after Quitting
Can Control Your Weight as You Quit Smoking – Provides suggestions for what
to do before, during, and after quitting smoking to prevent weight gain.
(National Institutes of Health)
with Nicotine Cravings and Withdrawal
Help For Cravings and Tough Situations – A list of tips to
cope with cigarette cravings. (American Cancer Society)
Nicotine Dependence Coping Skills – A comprehensive guide
to developing alternative coping strategies when quitting smoking. (Mayo
for Smoking Cessation
Quitlines – Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) to get the
number of your local quitline. (North American Quitline Consortium)
Cessation Programs – Searchable database of smoking cessation programs that
you can locate by state or zip code. Also offers links to free support groups.
Freedom From Smoking® Online – Provides a seven module
program that supports you and walks you through a smoking cessation program.
(American Lung Association)
Meetings – Search for local meetings of Nicotine Anonymous, a 12-Step
program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. (Nicotine Anonymous)
for Friends and Family
Helping A Smoker Quit: Do's and Don'ts – Provides a general
list of “do’s and don’ts” for supporting someone who is quitting smoking.
(American Cancer Society)
How Can I Help My Friends and Family (PDF) – Describes
appropriate ways to help a friend or family member who is quitting smoking. (California Smokers’ Helpline)
Deborah Cutter, Psy.D., Jonathan Lhrar, Jeanne
Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A., contributed to this article. Last modified:May 08.