Tips on Setting a Quit Date
When it comes to setting a quit date, or the last day you’ll ever have a cigarette, a popular saying applies: just do it. Don’t wait for the perfect time to quit smoking, because there is no such thing. You can wait and wait to have your last cigarette until you’re ready. You might be waiting for your health to get better, or a busy period to pass, or your buddies to make the same decision; no matter what your reasons are, the sad truth remains the same: you won’t get anywhere just by planning to quit smoking.
Remember, in the US alone, over 450,000 people die of smoking each year. Who knows what might happen to your health in just one year? Setting a quit date is important because it’s the first step to making quitting smoking a concrete, achievable reality. So look at your calendar and just set your quit date.
Once you’ve set your quit date, you can focus on preparing yourself for the process of quitting smoking. You become that much closer to completely kicking the habit of smoking.
Your quit date and your ability to stick to it largely determines your body’s ability to recover from the effects from smoking and gives you insights on how the entire quitting process will go for you. That said, addiction specialists and ex-smokers all have their own pieces of advice when it comes to picking your quit date.
Here are some tips you might find handy:
⦁ Although there is no one perfect date for your last cigarette, there are certain days you may want to avoid. These days often cause more stress or are more sensitive than your regular, run-of-the-mill day; deciding to quit smoking on these days might just cause additional stress you might not be able to handle. So if there are certain dates in your life that involve traumatic events, such as deaths or divorces, you’ll be better off picking other days to quit smoking.
⦁ Some smokers recommend putting off quitting smoking if you’re going through a particularly difficult period in your life, like a divorce or a bout of unemployment. The stress of these times, combined with nicotine withdrawal, might be too much for your body to handle. You might end up putting your body in worse danger.
⦁ You’ll also want to be particularly careful if you’re planning to pick special days such as birthdays, anniversaries, and major holidays like Christmas for your quit date. Some people pick these days for their sentimental value, thinking that it will provide them additional motivation to quit smoking. Unfortunately, celebratory days such as these are usually trigger events. Being at a birthday party, for instance, might cause you to relapse just because you’re in the company of smokers.
⦁ If you’re dead set on picking a special day to quit smoking, you may want to pick a date that holds some significance for smokers, like World No Tobacco Day or The Great American Smokeout. Many ex-smokers have also successfully quit smoking starting the Spring Equinox or New Year’s Day, both of which signify renewal and new beginnings. Just remember to be wary of avoiding your triggers if you do choose to set a special day as your quit date.
⦁ According to ex-smokers, the quit date itself is much more likely to be successful if you treat it as a celebration rather than a solemn occasion. Set your quit date on a weekend or during a vacation so you won’t have to deal with the stress of work during that day. Throw a little (nicotine-free) party if you want and celebrate the start of your journey to better health.
⦁ Don’t be too hard on yourself if you end up not quitting smoking on the date you picked. If this happens, brush yourself off, pick another quit date, and try harder to keep it.