Quit Smoking With The “5 D’s”

Sixty percent of those who stop smoking return to smoking. What happens if you slip and you go back to smoking?

First, be patient, don’t let guilt lead you back to smoking. Remember slips don’t mean you’ve failed. Most people stop smoking before they completely beat the bad habit. Second, think about why you started to smoke again and what you can do to avoid it the next time. Third, Get rid of all the cigarettes around you. Fourth, start from where you’ve left off before the slip. It’s recommended by the National Cancer Institute if you’ve tried to quit a few times and failed, you may have to change your plan.

Another easy plan to follow is the “5 D’s” plan recommended by both smokers and cancer experts:

1. Deep breathing

Take a deep breath, in through your nose.

Hold the breath for a count of 4.

Then breathe out slowly, through your mouth

Repeat these steps 4 or 5 times, or until you feel calm.

To make sure you are breathing deeply, place your hands on your stomach. You should feel your stomach rise as you breathe in.

2. Drink water

Try to drink eight glasses a day.

3. Do something else

Play basketball. Chew some gum. Listen to your favorite records, tapes or compact discs. Work a crossword puzzle. Look at a magazine. Read the Bible. Keeping busy with other things will keep your mind off smoking.

4. Discuss with a friend or family member

Talking about things can help you to feel better.

5. Delay

Don’t reach for that cigarette right away. Count to 100 or 200. Think pleasant thoughts. Remember, the urge to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes, whether you smoke or not.

Research has shown that smokers are more successful in kicking the habit when they use supports, such as:

1. Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines

2. Stop-smoking groups

3. Online quit groups

4. Counseling

5. Nicotine replacement products

6. Prescription medicine to lessen cravings

7. Guide books

8. Encouragement and the support of friends and family members

Using two or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. Some people use as many as three or four of the methods listed above.

You will need to replace smoking time with another habit. When the urge hits, breathe in deep, wash your hands, stretch, go for a walk, brush your teeth, make a phone call or visit a ex-smoker’s office. Keep your hands busy. Take on projects like washing the car, gardening, drawing or writing letters. Visit non-smoking places like libraries, museums and theaters. Make a list of other things you can do to keep from smoking and choose from it when the urge is strong.