Tips

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Created By JustUs Health

Because nicotine is addictive, it’s tough to quit. Getting through withdrawal symptoms can be a drag. Read on for some useful motivation, information and links including Benefits of Quitting, Cravings and Triggers, Staying Quit, and Supporting Someone Who is Quitting.

Benefits of Quitting

There are many benefits of quitting tobacco – fewer colds, more energy and stamina, more $$$, flawless nails, improved sense of smell, no more smoky clothes/skin/hair, better sex! What are your top reasons for becoming smoke-free?

Here are some things to expect in your body when you quit smoking:

Illustration of a person in a jean jacket  with short teal and brown hair and glasses eating an apple and smelling some flowers that are blowing by.

2 hours: blood pressure is normalized

8 hours: carbon monoxide and oxygen levels return to normal

48 hours: nerve endings are regrowing, quitting-related irritability and anger peak

72 hours: body is 100% nicotine-free and withdrawal symptoms have mostly peaked

Illustration by Ry Macarayan of a femme person in red sweater taking a deep breath and saying "Ahhhh"

Two to twelve weeks: Circulation and breathing are improving

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One to nine months: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease

One year: Excess risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke now ½ that of a smoker’s

Ten years: Life expectancy is now similar to that of a nonsmoker

Illustrations by Ry Macarayan

Staying Quit

It’s hard work. On average, it takes a person 7 quit attempts before they quit for good. Here are some tips for staying on track: know your nicotine triggers and try to change up your routine to avoid them, celebrate reaching tobacco-free milestones, get support from family and friends, find a quit buddy, know that slip-ups will happen and when they do, be gentle on yourself and start again.

Practice the 5 D’s:

Illustrations on a yellow-orange background with the title Remember the 5 D's. There is a clock labeled Delay, a person's hand holding a glass of water labelled Stay hydrated, a person taking a deep breath labelled Deep breathing, a ball of yarn, cooking pot and person walking labelled Distract and two people talking labelled Discuss.

DELAY: The urge to smoke passes in 3 – 5 minutes.

DRINK WATER: Staying hydrated helps curb cravings and is good for overall health.

DEEP BREATHING: Take 3 long, slow breaths. Try meditation, music, or going for a walk as well.

DISTRACT: Do something you enjoy to keep you distracted when a craving hits.

DISCUSS: Talk or text with a supportive friend or someone who as already quit smoking.

Supporting Someone Who Is Quitting

Illustration of a group of nonbinary, femme, and masculine folks talking about ways to help a friend quit.

Do you have a family member, friend, or co-worker who is thinking about quitting tobacco or trying to quit? Your support helps! Remember to ask how they want to be supported — everyone is different! — be understanding of withdrawal symptoms, especially irritability and crankiness, don’t smoke/vape around your friend (or offer them nicotine!), offer to help them throw out lighters/ahstrays/cigs/vapes, surprise your friend with a Quit Kit (fidget spinner, gum, note of support)