Do you or a loved one plan to quit tobacco in 2015? The Change 3 Challenge can help! Three simple lifestyle changes can help you successfully quit tobacco for good. Here are five lifestyle changes you can make to help you successfully quit tobacco
- Drink more water: Staying hydrated helps to maintain your energy level and keep you thinking clearly. Carrying a bottle of water with you at all times, or even drinking water through a straw, can help to occupy your hands and mouth. In addition, alcoholic and sugary drinks are often triggers for tobacco users. Opt for water and you’ll be less likely to give in to tobacco temptations.
- Floss Daily: Flossing daily, brushing your teeth throughout the day, and using mouthwash will leave your mouth and breath fresh. A clean, fresh mouth will help to keep your mind off of tobacco.
- Get more sleep: A lack of sleep often leaves you feeling lethargic, irritable and more likely to give in to cravings. Sleep at least 7-8 hours each night will result in feeling rested, energetic, and focused throughout the day.
- Make time for hobbies: Learning a new skill or re-visiting an old hobby can help keep yourself busy. Having something to focus on will keep your brain occupied and less likely to think about tobacco.
- Be active: Exercise can help to reduce stress, improve lung function and releases mood-boosting endorphins to help keep your mind off of tobacco.
- These are only a few examples and there are many more. Evaluate your lifestyle and your tobacco use patterns to determine what changes will work best to help you quit using tobacco. All of these changes fall in line with the three A’s that are used to help individuals quit:
- Avoid situations you know are triggers for you. For example a certain person’s house or a bar.
- Alter or change the situation: switch it up by throwing out all of your tobacco products, drink tea instead of coffee, change your route to work, or swap cars with a spouse for a few weeks.
- Alternatives or substitutes for smoking can be helpful, such as chewing gum, eating hard candy or wearing a rubber band on your wrist to keep your hands busy.
Also consider utilizing Quitline Iowa, a free telephone cessation service available for Iowans who are ready to quit tobacco. Call to enroll now and you’ll also be able to receive 8 weeks of free nicotine replacement therapies. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit www.QuitlineIowa.org for more information.
Authored by +Emily Bisbee, CHES