Smoking and High Blood Pressure

Developing an Action Plan

Quitting smoking can be difficult to do. One of the keys to quitting smoking is developing an action plan. The following is one action plan that you may find helpful:
 
Step 1: Get Ready to Quit
Set a target date to quit. You might want to pick a day that is usually less stressful (such as a weekend or day when you're not working).
 
Suppose you've decided to quit this coming Saturday. Write down, "I will quit smoking Saturday." Ask a family member or friend to sign it. Don't forget a little positive reinforcement. For example, reward yourself with some new music or books for every week that you're not smoking.
 
Step 2: Survive "Day One"
Throw out all of your cigarettes, ashtrays, and matches. Do something that you enjoy to take your mind off smoking, such as going to a movie or shopping at the mall.
 
Step 3: Determine What Makes You Want to Smoke
Think about your smoking "triggers" -- the events or situations that make you want to smoke. Perhaps your worst times are while you are on the phone or after dinner.
 
Step 4: Find New Habits
You know that you tend to smoke when you get stressed, so you have decided to try some new deep breathing exercises instead.
 
Step 5: Keep Busy
Consider starting a new walking club at work so that you are all set to not smoke on your lunch break. Keep your mouth distracted with healthy snacks (such as carrot sticks) or a pack of gum.
 
Step 6: Know What to Expect
Unfortunately, you might experience headaches, irritability, tiredness, constipation, or trouble concentrating. These might be unpleasant, but keep reminding yourself that these are signs that your body is recovering from smoking. The good news is that most symptoms end within four weeks.
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