Do these four things (A-D), which will make quitting easier and couple be the keys to your success.
- Start walking 30 minutes a day—every day.
Before you actually stop smoking, you have to establish another behavior—walking 30 minutes every day—in its place. No excuses—you miss a day, you reset the clock to day 1. That’s because another behavior takes at least 30 days to form. But after a month of walking, you’ll have two of the things you need to stick with our plan: more physical stamina and greater mental discipline.
- Find a quitting buddy.
Don’t quit alone. We know from experience that everyone needs to be encouraged. But you shouldn’t be the only one relying on other people; try to find a support partner who needs you as much as you need her or him.
- See if you’re covered.
More and more insurance plans offer some level of coverage for quit-smoking efforts. Ask your insurance company about coverage. And if you aren’t insured, ask your HR department—many cover the cost (about $600 for six months; it’s cheaper than a pack a day, but we know dollars spent for medical expenses and smoking are usually segregated in smokers’ hearts and minds).
- Schedule a checkup.
Quitting smoking is physically and mentally stressful, and you want to be sure you have no conditions that might interfere with the techniques, tools and meds suggested in this program. And talk to your doc about the following prescriptions to help you stop smoking:
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin) in 100 mg tablets—one twice a day: Bupropion is an anti-craving drug (it’s also an antidepressant at higher doses) that can help you transition from smoker to quitter. It can interact with other meds, so make sure your doc’s aware of any drugs you’re taking, particularly for high blood pressure or seizure disorders.
- Nicotine patches: Talk with your doc to figure out what strength would be best for you—for a one-pack-a-day habit it’s usually 21 or 22 mg.
Quitting day’s almost here—it’s time to start getting your bod ready to fight future cravings.
Start taking buproprion: On day 30, two days before you actually stop smoking, take one tablet in the morning.
Keep taking buproprion: On day 31, take one tablet in the morning. BREAK
Step 3 Break the Habit
Today’s the day you stop smoking. If you’ve done the prep, you’re ready.
On day 32, QUIT: Throw away all cigarettes, and get rid of ashtrays any other smoking-related objects.
Put on a nicotine patch. Place one on your arm, thigh or chest (you’ll be doing this daily for a while).
Take your buproprion: One in the a.m. and one at night.
Here are your daily to-dos for days 33 through 61.
Take two: Increase your buproprion to two tablets per day—one in the morning and one at night.
Patch up: Put on a new one each day. (And don’t forget to take the old one off!)
Keep walking: Every day, for 30 minutes.
Reach out: Check in with your buddy.
Drink up: Have as much coffee, tea or water as you wish.
Step 4: Enjoy Life as an Ex-Smoker
Making it through a month without smoking is a huge accomplishment. It’s time to celebrate the new YOU! Here are some to-dos for day 62 and beyond.
Breathe in: Enjoy how quitting has made your lungs happier.
Push yourself: Use your newfound vitality to start a strength-building routine. But take it slowly; don’t increase your physical activity by more than 10 percent a week.
Love life without the patch: Every two months, decrease the dose of your nicotine patch by one-third. Your goal’s to be patch free after six months.
Say bye-bye, buproprion: But make it a slow goodbye. At five months, decrease your buproprion to one tablet at night, and aim to be off it entirely by your eight-month anniversary. Tip: Just in case you feel a craving, for the rest of your life carry one buproprion tablet with you at all times, so you can take it if you need to.