Giving up tobacco is the single most important thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you. Even if you do not smoke in their presence, you exhale fine particles of tobacco that cause inflammation.
Day 1 to 6: A Commitment to Quit
Get started by pledging to exercise 30 minutes per day and by making your home a comfortable, safe and smoke-free environment. During this time, you may continue to smoke.
Walk 30 minutes a day and enlist a buddy. This person should be a non-tobacco user or someone else who is trying to quit. Speak to or email this person each day to confirm you've done your walking. When the going gets rough, this person will cheer you on and offer moral support.
Day 6: Go Public
Accountability is a powerful motivator for success. Let your friends and family know that you've made the ultimate commitment to your health.
Sign a pledge, and have your spouse, child or friend co-sign it. This is your public commitment to stop smoking (heck, Twitter or blog your experience to make the quitting that much more public), and your desire not to let others down, will significantly boost your motivation.
Days 7 to 12: Make an Appointment to Quit
Medicine can help eliminate cravings and deliver the dopamine you're getting from smoking. Move up your annual doctor's appointment. Discuss your commitment to quit smoking, a prescription for Wellbutrin pills (100 mg) and nicotine patches (if your health plan covers it).
For most people, the desire to smoke is prompted by specific feelings or situations. Break that connection so your daily experiences don't leave smoking constantly on your mind; space your cigarettes at equal intervals throughout the day. If you smoke 6 cigarettes per day, and you're awake for 18 hours, smoke 1 cigarette every 3 hours. If you miss your scheduled smoking time by more than 5 minutes, wait until the next one.
Make a Doctor’s Appointment - During your visit make sure you know these 5 essential numbers. An unsafe result on any of these tests can be indicative of a serious health problem.
- Blood pressure
- Waist size
- Blood sugar
Days 12 to 29: Your Prescription Plan
On Day 30 of Dr. Oz's Kick the Habit plan, you will be quitting. So today, enlist the help of prescriptions to help you through the next 2 weeks.
Start Wellbutrin on Day 28. Take a 100 mg pill once per day, in the morning. Do the same tomorrow. Just before you go to bed toss all cigarettes in the garbage. This it. Cigarettes are no longer a part of your life.
Day 30: Quit!
The first step in being smoke-free is to be cigarette-free. Get rid of ALL your cigarettes. The ones in the kitchen, the glove compartment - the emergency pack. Also purge anything that reminds you of smoking, including lighters, ashtrays, etc. If you have clothes that smell like cigarettes, wash them. If your furniture smells like cigarettes, douse them with anti-odor spray.
Day 31 to 45: Establishing Your Smoke-Free Life
This set of patterns will transition you from your life as a smoker to your life as a non-smoker.
Increase Your Dose
Continue taking Wellbutrin (according to your doctor, you may increase your dose to 2 Wellbutrin daily for the next 2 to 4 weeks.)
Start wearing nicotine patches. The general rule is that a 21 mg patch will deliver the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. So if you smoke a pack a day, wear a 21 mg patch through the day. If you smoke less than half a pack, use a 14 mg patch. Remember to take the old patch off when you put the new one on each morning and adhere to a different site.
Day 31 to 45: Rules of Distraction
Learn to break your behavioral smoking patterns. The keys to this are replacement and distraction.
- Replace cigarettes: You'll miss the feeling of doing something with your hands, or of having something in your mouth. Try chewing sugarless gum or celery sticks to keep your mouth busy, and wear a rubber band around your wrist that you can use to keep your fingers occupied.
- Distract yourself: When you get a bad craving, don't just sit there and think about it. Get up right away and do something distracting. Clean your messy closet. Organize the books on your shelf. Go for that 30-minute walk. Go for a second 30-minute walk!
Day 45: See Your Doctor
If your doctor wants to check in on your progress, see them on or around day 45. Your doctor can reduce the dose of Wellbutrin to once a day and the nicotine patch to 1/2 or 2/3 of what you were using.
Days 46 to 180: Keep It Going
It's time to decrease your medication and increase your physical activity.
- Taper off: Lower your Wellbutrin intake to a single dose in the morning, which you'll eliminate in 6 more months. Also, lower the dose of your nicotine patch by 1/3 starting today, and then again every 2 months until it's finished. At 6 months you can discontinue the pills and patches that made those difficult weeks possible.
- Pump iron: Get some weights, and every even day start lifting them for 10 minutes per day. Improving your fitness will help in the continuing struggle against cravings.
Day 181+: You ARE a Non-Smoker
In Case of Emergency, carry 1 Wellbutrin and your buddy's phone number. Get a craving? Pop the Wellbutrin, call you buddy and wait at least 30 minutes. Remember what you did to be successful. Reread your blog, your pledge or your Twitter feed.