Living and Wellness Smoke-Free Life: How to Quit Smoking By UPMC, January 2, 2015 Becoming a smoker was a journey. The journey probably began for you many years ago when you started experimenting with those first cigarettes. Those first few cigarettes probably were not so good, but as time passed, your body became used to smoking, and you began to crave the feeling you got from lighting one up. It became a part of you. Becoming a nonsmoker is also a journey and a learning process. Think of this as a new beginning, with change occurring over time. As time passes, you will learn more about being a nonsmoker and will develop a new identity. Remember: You are not your cigarettes or defined by an addiction to nicotine. Not only are there many health benefits to quitting, but there are also financial and social benefits. You have more time for family and friends, and you can save a lot of money. A person who smokes one pack of cigarettes a day spends about $6. That is $180 a month and $2,190 a year! Imagine what you can do with that extra spending money. So start off the New Year right and break the habit. Follow these steps to a smoke-free life: Methods for Quitting Smoking Choose a quit method that you will stick with – and remember you don’t have to start the journey alone. Join a support group or lean on your family and friends for support. Nicotine Cravings and Coping Skills Temptation is always around but you can learn how to face them head-on without ever reaching for a cigarette. The key is to stay focused and find ways to distract yourself from smoking. Know Your Nicotine-Addiction Symptoms Your body will naturally start reacting to the loss of nicotine, which is an addictive substance. There are a variety of symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, but there are many things you can try to help alleviate them. Meet Your Needs Without Smoking Do you know why you smoke? Figuring out why you smoke will help you to find new activities or strategies to avoid smoking. Preventing Weight Gain and Staying Fit as You Quit Smoking One side effect of quitting smoking is an increase of appetite, which for some translates into weight gain. There are steps you can take to continue on your journey to wellness without worrying about the scale. Remember, it is never too late to quit! Please visit our Smoking Cessation resources – you can print out our Journey to a Smoke-Free Life booklet to use. Also, consider enrolling in one of our Smoking Cessation programs. Find one near you today!