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"It may be true that there are two sides to every question, but it is also true that there are two sides to a sheet of flypaper and it makes a big difference to the fly which side he chooses." - ANONYMOUS

Presuming that you have set your quit date for one or even two weeks from now, there are a number of things you can do to make the transition from smoker to one of ex-smoker smoother for you and the people around you. It is possible to jump into it and bravely go where most smokers fear to tread... cold turkey; but your chances of success when going from a one or two-pack-a-day habit to cold turkey the next day might mean you are asking too much of your body at one time. Or it could mean you are a glutton for punishment.

Quitting cigarettes or tobacco will probably be the hardest thing you've ever done for yourself, although certainly it will be the smartest. You've finally realized that cigarettes are NOT your friends. To give yourself a fighting chance, consider approaching it more slowly than the all or nothing plunge. Be kind to yourself... you deserve it!

If you haven't already done so, pick up your QuitNet Calendar for Quitting. Then get a quitting buddy. Perhaps you have a relative or friend or colleague at work who wants to quit smoking, too. The buddy system is often helpful for support.

Now, set your Quit Date and begin to concentrate on leading up to the big date. Pay attention to your smoking "triggers". What are the things that set you off... a smoke first thing in the morning to get you going? The after-breakfast smoke? Find your triggers and identify them all during the week. Write down at what time and why you smoke each cigarette.

Switch to a different brand now... preferably one you don't even like. Buy only one pack at a time. Buy no more cartons. Tell your family and friends that you're going to quit smoking and get their support. Smoke only in certain places, such as outdoors.

Have your nicotine patch, gum or spray on hand, but safely out of reach of children. Put off having a cigarette when you get the urge for one. Postpone it for a time by thinking of something to do instead of smoking, such as chewing gum or drinking a glass of water. Keep your cigarettes in a different place... make it as inconvenient as possible to get at a smoke. Think about the reasons you want to quit again and keep repeating the list periodically.

The day before you quit, clean out your car ash tray and all the empty packs, if any. Clean your home's curtains and anything that smells like smoke. It takes a while, but the smoke smell will eventually fade away. Buy things you can safely snack on to replace those cigarettes, like carrot sticks, apples, or chewing gum. My old standby was and still is, sunflower seeds. For a time, I used swizzle sticks...but, not out in public since they looked funny on me. I doubt cigarettes looked much better, come to think of it! The swizzle sticks gave my hands something to do for the first weeks and took the place of "holding" a cigarette.

Watch your coffee intake. Not only is it a trigger to smoking, your sensitivity to caffeine increases, mimicking nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Take a walk before breakfast to begin an exercise routine. If you're not a morning person, take one in the evening after dinner. Notice how much better you begin to feel with this routine in place. It will feel even better after you quit smoking.

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