Aug 7, 2007

You don't have to quit smoking alone

by Darren Warmuth

One of the hardest things to do is to quit smoking. And when you're just beginning the journey as a non-smoker, you can feel very isolated and alone. One of the keys to success of becoming a non-smoker is to set up a support system. Whether it be family support (be cautious in who you choose), online, or at a local smoking cessation meeting, having a support system is vital.

The online support option is fanatastic for those who have limited time in which to establish a local system. By joining up with community forums that host a smoking cessation board, you get the opportunity to speak with others looking to accomplish the same goal you are.

Once you have found a message board you like, dig down and you will probably find that it is broken down into differing areas that correspond to the stage of quitting that you are currently in. And as I've said before, even though you think your particular situation is unique, you will most likely find that others before have encountered the exact same situation.

Family and friends, on the other hand, can be a blessing or a curse. They may feel that they are being 'extra' supportive by inquiring repeatedly on how you are doing, but this can become downright irritating and in worst cases, actually cause you to relapse.

Many family members and friends mean well and think they're being encouraging by doing this, when you're going through withdrawal symptoms and are naturally more agitated, this can be detrimental to your success. Sometimes just discussing this with them, before your quit day, can help nip it in the bud and make it a smoother transition.

Perhaps there is a local support group that can help you as well. In most cases these are held for little cost or even free at local health centers, schools and even churches. Check them out for you may find them quite helpful.

Usually lasting about an hour or so, local support groups will give you the opportunity (as with online forums) to speak with others in the same situation as you. One of the huge benefits of course it the personal contacts you will make which could develop into quitting buddies. Having a buddy to assist you can be a great ally in remaining a non-smoker.

Whichever method you choose the chances for your success are greatly improved, by having a strong support system set in place, before your quit day. Making sure that you have utilized every tool that is available to you is only going to increase your chances of starting a new life as a nonsmoker.

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