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Setting a Quit Date

When you set a quit date, you prevent yourself from putting off the quitting process. Set a date right now, and you will have time to prepare your life and your mind for quitting smoking.

One of the most popular theories about quitting is that you will quit when you are ready, and nothing could be further from the truth for most people. There is never going to be a perfect time to quit smoking. If you are waiting for your life to slow down, your health to get better, or all of your stressors to stop, you may just be procrastinating the process. And in the process of waiting, you may end up with a smoking-related illness. Your health depends on your ability to set a date and stick to it. Consider this: 470,000 people die because of smoking each year, in the United States alone.

With that said, life can be busy and it can be difficult to find times to quit. Instead of putting it off, set a date and focus on controlling the things you can control, rather than those you cannot. You can plan to quit on a weekend, during time off work, or even during an extended vacation to help the process. However, you can't predict when you will be sick or healthy in the future. Just focus on doing the best you can.

Avoid These Dates

Certain dates are more stressful than others, and may not make a good choice for quit dates because of this fact. While stress occurs for most of us on a daily basis, we can attempt to give ourselves space from highly sensitive points in time. If you have just had a seriously devastating event occur in your life, or have gone through a traumatic experience, it may really not be the right time for you to quit. Give yourself some space to heal before quitting.

Also avoid any of the following times:

  • Marriages
  • Anniversaries
  • Birthdays
  • Christmas
  • March Break
  • Other major holidays
  • The date of the death of a loved one
  • The date of a divorce or a divorce period itself

This list is by no means exhaustive; every person experiences the quitting process in a different way. You may want to avoid other dates that are sensitive for you.

Make Your Date Meaningful

If you have a particular date that is more meaningful to you, you may want to make that specific date your quit date. The quitting process is bound to be at least somewhat emotional. If you make it a celebration rather than a somber event, you are more likely to succeed. Some people have found the following dates to be very effective:

  • Spring Equinox; a time for renewal
  • New Year's Day
  • The Great American Smokeout
  • World No Tobacco Day
  • Independence day!

With a little hard work, and a chosen quit date, you are well on your way to being totally free from cigarettes!

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