Umhs approved clinical care guideline - how to quit smoking

UMHS Approved Clinical Care Guideline - How to Quit Smoking How to Quit Smoking
Patient Education Handout associated with UMHS Clinical Care Guideline
This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for medical treatment. You should speak to be seen if you have questions or concerns about this information or your medical condition. Translations available in:
How will my health improve by becoming a non-smoker?
Quitting smoking helps your circulation, your stamina, your skin, and your general health. Your risk for
coronary heart disease, the most common cause of death in the U.S., is cut in half after only a year
without smoking. Quitting smoking also reduces the likelihood of having breathing problems and lung
and other cancers. Studies have shown that smoking affects others as well as yourself. Children of
parents who smoke around the house are more likely to get respiratory infections than children from
nonsmoking homes. Smoking is an addictive habit. Quitting smoking is not easy but it can be done.
Most former smokers made several attempts to quit before they are finally successful. So, never say, "I
can't." Just keep trying!
What are the first steps to becoming a non-smoker?
Set a quit date. Setting a quit date is one of the most important steps in being successful with your quit
plan. Pick a date when you will stop smoking as soon as possible and mark it on your calendar. Throw
away all your lighters, ashtrays and cigarettes. If you keep cigarettes around, sooner or later you'll
break down and smoke one. Make it less easy to start again. Tell your family and friends you plan to
quit, and ask for their support and encouragement. Ask them not to offer you cigarettes.
What can I expect when I do stop smoking?
The first 10 days you may feel tired, irritable, and develop headaches or a cough. You may also have
problems concentrating as your body goes through nicotine withdrawal. These symptoms last usually
only one to two weeks.
How can I alleviate withdrawal symptoms?
To help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, drink plenty of water and eat at least three meals per day,
exercise, avoid alcohol and get plenty of rest as nicotine goes out of your system. Try chewing gum,
pretzel sticks, raw fruit or raw vegetables as a substitute for cigarettes. Take deep breaths, keep busy
and reward yourself for not smoking. These techniques will help you handle cravings to smoke.
What else can I do?
Spend time with nonsmokers rather than with smokers. Think of yourself and identify yourself as a
ex-smoker (for example, in restaurants). Stay away from "smoker's havens," such as bars. Avoid (1 of 3) [8/8/2008 10:12:22 AM] UMHS Approved Clinical Care Guideline - How to Quit Smoking spending time with smokers, at least for the first few weeks of quitting. You cannot tell others not to
smoke, but you do not have to sit with them while they do. Old habits die hard and one of your old
smoking buddies is sure to offer you a cigarette. Plan to walk away from cigarette smoke.
Keep your hands busy. You may find you don't know what to do with your hands for a while. Pick up
a book or a magazine. Try knitting, drawing, making a plastic model, or doing a jigsaw puzzle. Join
special interest groups that keep you involved in your hobby.
Take on new activities. Take on new activities that don't include smoking. Join an exercise group and
work out regularly. Sign up for an evening class or join a study group. Go on more outings with your
family or friends. Go see a movie.
Consider using nicotine gum, patches, spray or other pharmacologic therapies. Nicotine is the
drug that is in tobacco. You can use nicotine patches, lozenges or gum, available without a
prescription at your local pharmacy, to quit smoking. It is a two-step process. First, you learn to live
without smoking, but not without nicotine. On your quit day, you discontinue smoking and start using
the patches or gum. Then you slowly cut back on the nicotine over 6 - 8 weeks.
Zyban and Chantix are prescription medications that can be used to help you quit smoking. Both
medications should be started about 7 - 10 days before your quit date. Ask your primary care physician
about using either of these medications to help you with quitting.
Join a quit-smoking program. You may prefer to be involved in an organized quit-smoking program
while you are using the patches, gum, Zyban, or Chantix. None of the nicotine replacement products,
Zyban, or Chantix are a miracle cure. You still need to learn to live without cigarettes in your daily life.
Your personal decision to quit smoking combined with learning the skills to be smoke-free can help you
be successful. Some people do better in a formal class with a set of instructions to follow. Group
support is another reason to consider a formal quit smoking program. Others quitting at the same time
provide support and encouragement for each other. Remember, the aim is to quit smoking. It does not
matter how you do it. Quit smoking programs that are available include:
● Kick the Habit: contact the UMHS Tobacco Consultation Service at (734) 936-5988 ● Michigan Department of Community Health: call (800) 537-5666 How can I prevent a relapse?
If you are unable to resist the urge and give in to the temptation to smoke, follow these guidelines to keep this slip from turning into a relapse. Do not finish the cigarette. Put the cigarette out before you finish and throw the pack away. Keeping the pack means you are giving yourself permission to smoke again. Understand that a slip is different from a relapse. A slip is an error or mistake that anyone can make. The best strategy is to contain the damage and get on with your larger goals. Learn from the slip. Review what happened and decide what you can do differently should the same thing happen again. Realize that negative feelings you may have about the incident will pass if you let them. With a little self-awareness, you can refocus and get back on track. Have fun with the money you will save by not smoking. Make a list of things you would like to buy for yourself or someone lese. Estimate the cost in terms of packs of cigarettes and put the money aside to buy these presents. For more information on this topic, contact the UMHS Health Education Resource Center at (734) 647-5645. (2 of 3) [8/8/2008 10:12:22 AM] UMHS Approved Clinical Care Guideline - How to Quit Smoking Information maintained by the UMHS Clinical Care Guidelines Committee (c) copyright 2006 Regents of the University of Michigan (3 of 3) [8/8/2008 10:12:22 AM]


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