Stopping smoking is the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.

Why is it so hard to quit smoking? : The answer is the nicotine found in tobacco. It’s as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Smokers become physically dependent on and emotionally addicted to nicotine. This physical dependence causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when one tries to quit. The mental dependence (addiction) make it hard to stay away from nicotine after quitting. Therefore you must be highly motivated. Think of all the benefits (health; finances; family).


How to quit – STAR (Quit Smoking and be a STAR!)

S Set a quit date

T Tell family, friends and co-workers

A Anticipate challenges

R Remove tobacco products from the environment


S Set a quit date

Pick a day within the next two weeks as your Quit Day. Picking a date too far away can allow you time to rationalize and change your mind. But you want to give yourself enough time to prepare. You might want to choose a date with a special meaning like a birthday or anniversary. Prepare for your quit date by:

-Changing your routine e.g. If you have been smoking for any length of time, smoking has become linked with a lot of the things you do — waking up, eating, reading, watching TV, and drinking coffee, for example. Changing your routine can help to “un-link” smoking from these activities e.g. Use a different route to go to work. Eat in a different place.


T Tell family, friends and co-workers

– Set up a support system (cheerleaders/“personal trainers”) – e.g. friends or family who successfully quit and is willing to help you. Tell God and ask His help!

– Does anyone close to you smoke? Ask them to quit with you, or at least not to smoke around you


A Anticipate challenges –Cravings & Rationalizations

Cravings – strong desires to smoke are called cravings – some tools to deal with them. The 5d’s

DISTRACT (do something else) -Do other things with your mouth: Use substitutes you can put in your mouth such as sugarless gum, raw vegetables such as carrot sticks, or toothpicks. Some people chew on a coffee stirrer or a straw.

– Do other things with your hands: Exercise/hobbies e.g. needlework, reading a book, a hot bath, a walk, washing dishes

DISCUSS with your support group

DRINK Water/juices help reduce cravings, and flush toxins. Drink less coffee /Drink tea instead of coffee. Avoid alcohol.

DEEP BREATHE: Most smokers only breathe deeply when inhaling. When the urge strikes, breathe deeply and picture your lungs filling with fresh, clean air.

DRUGS: Most smokers prefer to quit cold turkey — they stop completely, all at once, with no medicines. A minority may need drugs to reduce withdrawal symptoms, nicotine replacement or nicotine receptor blocker. For assistance with the drugs, send an sms to “44777”.


Rationalizations: Mistaken ideas to justify smoking; provide a written defense against them before your quit day

-“Is smoking smoking really that bad? After all, Uncle Dickson smoked all his life and he lived to be over 90.”

-“Everyone must die of something.”

-“Life is so boring without smoking.”

-“Smoking is my only vice.”

-“I am so stressed out today. I’ll just take a stick and quit again from tomorrow.”

 R Remove tobacco products from the environment

-Go through your house, car and office, getting rid of everything that has to do with smoking e.g. cigarettes and ashtrays

-Have your clothes, carpets, drapes, car and furniture cleaned. You may not notice now, but they smell like smoke.

 Reward yourself. What you’re doing is not easy, so you deserve a reward. Put aside the money you would have spent on tobacco and then give yourself a monthly treat. Or save the money for a major purchase. Donate towards the Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs) by sending the “CANCER” to 44777 or donate via ATM or online using the code 777526.

Relapse: A relapse is going back to smoking; if you relapse, try not to get too discouraged. It takes most people several tries before they quit for good. What’s important is figuring out what helped you when you tried to quit and what worked against you. You can then use this information to make a stronger attempt at quitting the next time.


Last Word: SUPPORT GROUPS FOR QUITTERS – Corporate organisations could set up such a group



© 2013 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria)