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How do I quit smoking?

Q: I have been smoking for the last 16 years. Eight months back I got married. Now I want to quit smoking. How do I go about it?

A:First of all, I want to applaud you for your desire to quit smoking. No good ever comes out of smoking. I suggest the following in my practice:

  • Make a smoking diary. Every time you pick up a cigarette, ask yourself why you did it and write it in your diary. This will give you some insight into your behaviour. There are many products available to help you quit if you find out what is holding you back. If it is nicotine craving, nicotine products in gradually decreasing doses will be helpful. If you are smoking to quell anxiety, then anxiety medicines will be helpful.
  • Pick a quit date. This can be any day that is special to you like a birthday, an anniversary, etc. Tell yourself that you will not pick a cigarette from that day on. In preparation of that day, get all smoking paraphernalia out of your house. Tell all your family members of your decision, and ask for their support. The first three days are the most difficult. Once you are done with the initial withdrawal, it will get easier. I would suggest that you seek the help of a medical professional who can help you with withdrawal medicines.

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