Category Archives: tabacco use

5 Tips for Quitting Smoking

Doctor breaks  cigarette to quit smokingTobacco use affects every part of your body, including your oral health.  In addition to bad breath, smoking causes discoloration of your teeth, an increased chance of gum disease and oral cancers, longer healing times after dental procedures, bone loss in your jaw, and a host of other oral problems.  The best way to avoid those side effects is to quit smoking—which as a lot of past smokers will tell you is easier said than done.  So how can you stop smoking?

Commit.

Quitting smoking takes commitment, and a lot of effort.  Every day is a new day, so renew your commitment to quit your tobacco habit every day—and take it seriously.  Your body is addicted to nicotine, and you are going to have to battle through withdrawal.  Write down your reasons for quitting smoking, and keep your reasons within easy reach so you can remind yourself when the cravings hit.  If you are quitting for a certain person, keep their photo close by when you need it.

Throw them out!

Once you’ve committed to quitting smoking, get serious.  Throw out your cigarettes, lighters, and anything else that could remind you to smoke.  Don’t forget about “back-up” packs in your car or in your kitchen cabinets.  You don’t want any temptations as you quit smoking.

Change your routine.

Smokers tend to incorporate smoking into their routine.  For one of our friends, it was the car; she smoked every day she got in the car in the morning.  Obviously, you can’t avoid driving, but you can make changes to your daily routine to avoid those habitual smoke breaks.  For example, if you have a time every day that you leave work to go outside for a smoke, change the time of your break and the activity to a different, positive habit like going for a walk.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Every smoker chooses a different path for quitting smoking.  Don’t feel that you have to quit the same way your friend or family member quit.  Research your options, and select the way that would work best for you.  Let your family and friends know that you’re quitting; a support system is always helpful as you try to hit your goal.

Focus on the positive.

Quitting smoking takes a lot of focus—focusing not on what you’re giving up, but on what you’re gaining.  Focus on the positives when your cravings hit: a healthier body, lower chance of cancer, whiter teeth, better oral health—the list could go on and on.  You’ll be surprised to see immediate results that people notice—even your dentist at your next dental appointment!  If you focus on the goal (no smoking) and all the benefits that come with it (including your specific reason), you’ll have a better chance of fighting through those cravings to a new, healthier, no-smoking you.