Step 2: Do the Prep Work
Youre about to make a big change, one that requires some planning. Give yourself a month (31 days) to do all the prep work.
Promise yourself: Make a personal pact with yourself to quit.
Set a quit date: Make it at least a month from today.
Think of the three biggest reasons why youre quitting: Write them on a card that you can carry with you and look at several times each day.
Be assertive: Eliminate smoking in two or three situations that usually prompt you to smoke.
Cut back: Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke to one pack a day or less.
Go cheap: Change to a less desirable brand of cigarettes.
Need a light: Discard your lighter and matches.
Misplace your cigarettes: Carry them in a different place than you usually do.
Role-play: Spend a little time each day imagining yourself in stressful situations in which you are not smoking.
A. Start walking 30 minutes a dayevery day.
Before you actually stop smoking, you have to establish another behaviorwalking 30 minutes a day, every dayin its place. No excusesyou miss a day, you reset the clock to day 1. That is because another behavior takes at least 30 days to form. But after a month of walking, youll have two of the things you need to stick with our plan: more physical stamina and greater mental discipline.
B. Find a quitting buddy.
Dont quit alone. We know from experience that everyone needs to be encouraged by someone. And your buddy is that someone. But you shouldnt be the only one relying on other people; try to find a support partner who needs you as much as you need him or her.
C. See if youre covered.
More and more insurance plans are offering some level of coverage for quit-smoking efforts. Ask your insurance company about its coverage. And if you arent insured, ask your HR departmentmany cover the cost (about $600 for six months; it really is cheaper than a pack a day, but we know dollars spent for medical expenses and smoking are usually segregated in smokers minds and hearts).
D. Schedule a checkup.
Quitting smoking is physically and mentally stressful, and you want to be sure you have no conditions that might interfere with the tools, techniques, and medications suggested in this program. And talk to your doctor about the following prescriptions to help you stop smoking:
1. Bupropion (Wellbutrin) in 100 mg tablets--one twice a day: Bupropion is an anticraving drug (its also an antidepressant at higher doses) that can help you make the transition from smoker to quitter. It can interact with other medications, so make sure your doctors aware of any drugs youre taking, particularly for high blood pressure or seizure disorders.
2. Nicotine patches: Talk with your doctor to figure out what strength would be best for youfor a one-pack-a-day habit its usually 21 or 22 mg. Quitting day is almost hereits time to start getting your body ready to fight future cravings.
- Start taking bupropion: On day 30, two days before youll actually stop smoking, take one tablet in the morning.
- Keep taking bupropion. On day 31, take one bupropion tablet in the morning.