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Staying Smoke Free

Your Health Benefits Package

health benefits of quitting image

Emergency Kit Essentials

Make an emergency kit you can turn to when you have an urge to smoke .
Your kit can help you substitute healthier habits for cigarettes. Here are
some ideas:

  • Dice
  • Gum
  • Fruit
  • Snacks
  • Puzzles
  • Toothpicks
  • Sudoku
  • Water
  • Games

Immediate Health Benefits of Quitting

Handling Setbacks

What if you slip up and relapse? Know that it is common to slip or relapse as well as to feel disappointed if it happens. Remember, most tobacco users try to quit several times before quitting for good.

Instead of blaming yourself if you slipped and used tobacco, think about what you learned, and how you feel about yourself for slipping. Remember, it takes courage and persistence to quit. Approach your slip with understanding and acknowledgement. Slipping up is not a new pattern, it is simply a setback.

Here are a few immediate steps to get back on track:

  • Stop smoking or chewing immediately. Take action.
  • Get rid of all tobacco from your surroundings, or leave the scene if necessary.
  • Think about what went wrong. Who were you with? What were you doing? Where were you? Identify the trigger that caused you to use tobacco.
  • Figure out what you will do if this situation comes up again.
  • Go back to notes on Your Reasons to Quit and Stay Inspired and review your quit plan.
  • Replenish your quit kit, if necessary.
  • Consider calling your doctor, a friend or support person, or call the Washington State Quitline at 1-800-784-8669.
  • Try again!

Millions of people who have quit tobacco have relapses, and many of those still end up quitting for good. If you have relapsed for more than one day, set a new quit day, and remember to tell everyone that you are quitting for good.

Review your quit plan and reasons for quitting to remind yourself why this is so important for your life. When the urge hits, repeat to yourself, I am quitting for good this time. Be proud of yourself for every time you refuse tobacco. Celebrate the small wins that become goals fulfilled.

If you have relapsed, use these questions and ideas to better handle your setback:

  • What did you learn from your relapse?
  • What triggered you to use tobacco?
  • How does your relapse make you feel about yourself and your quit efforts?

Review your answers to Your Reasons to Quit, Stay Inspired, and Identify Your Smoking Risk Situations. What stands out to you? What are three things you can do differently to re-establish a tobacco-free
lifestyle?

0055 Healthy People FarmLiving Tobacco-free with Good Nutrition

Aside from not smoking, the most important determinants of good health are what we eat, and how active we are. Get ready for your sense of taste and smell to expand in ways you have not experienced for a long time! Let’s look at some meaningful ways we can savor our newly-acquired tastes with quality food choices to maximize our tobacco-free lifestyle.Enjoy your journey to better health and wellness.

Take this opportunity to maximize your tobacco-free lifestyle:

  • Savor the flavors of healthy eating
  • Imagine your ideal plate
  • Eat just until satisfied
  • Eat vegetables and more whole fruit

The flavors of healthy eating include:

  • Eat more vegetables, whole fruit and nuts.
  • Choose healthier carbohydrates by eating whole intact grains like steel-cut oats, wheat berries, quinoa, farro, and others.
  • When choosing breads, cereals and crackers, make at least half these choices whole grains.
  • Expand protein options by including more fish, shellfish, poultry, nuts, seeds, beans, and soy foods.
  • Choose healthier proteins by limiting red meat. Limiting red meat will also help limit the amount of saturated fat consumed.
  • Enjoy cooking with healthy plant-based fats and oils, for example, extra-virgin olive, canola, corn, sunflower, peanut oil, nut and seed oil. Enjoy avocados.
  • Imagine your ideal plate packed with foods mostly from plants. Consider building your meals to look like this - 1/4 healthy proteins, 1/4 whole grains, 1/2 veggies or whole fruit.
  • Portion just enough food to satisfy 80% of your fullness. Eat until you are just satisfied – not until you are full! Learning how to control our portions is one of the single best  strategies to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.  
  • At meal time, limit what you eat to what fits in your two hands cupped together minus any fruit and veggies (no need to limit fruit or veggies).
  • We know that those who practice regular portion control increase their chances of long term weight loss up to 4-fold!

Learn more about these healthy eating concepts.

Ways to Maintain Your Weight During the Quitting Process

When you become a nonsmoker, positive, healing changes take placein your body. Without nicotine, your  metabolism may slow slightly which could contribute to minor weight gain. However, the benefits of quitting to your health and longevity, far out way a small amount of weight gain. Weight gain is not inevitable when
you quit tobacco. Here are a few ways to prevent weight gain:

  • Use the quitting process to move towards optimal lifetime nutrition. Optimal nutrition will decrease the chances of subsequent weight gain after quitting tobacco.
  • Build an exercise program into your life if you don’t already have one. Exercise will help indirectly increase your metabolism by helping to build more muscle which burns more calories! Exercise also burns off nervous energy.
  • Find alternatives for your mouth. Use the items you have added to your Quit Kit.
  • Learn to reward yourself with non-food treats like going to a movie, starting a new book, starting a new  project involving your hands.

Glute strengthening exerciseGet Physical to Improve Your Odds of Quitting

Did you know that...

  • After ten minutes, of physical exercise, nicotine cravings are reduced.
  • Exercise may produce brain chemistry associated with positive moods.
  • Exercise does not have to be hard or long-lasting to have positive effects such as reduced cravings.
  • Exercise like yoga or Tai Chi can help emphasize breathing awareness and promote relaxation.
  • Exercise like walking, running sports, dancing, and cycling can burn off jitters.

Successful exercise routines don’t have to last for hours and leave you drenched in sweat, gasping for air. If you are unfamiliar with exercising or engaging in physical activity regularly, don’t feel discouraged by starting off slow. An aerobic activity that only lasts ten minutes can still yield positive outcomes for your quality of life.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of low to moderate aerobic activity per week. Knowing this, we can create a plan that meets this goal for each week. We can spread out exercise routines/moments of physical activity into increments of 10-60 minutes at a time.

Some days you may be very busy and will only be able to fit 10 minutes into the day, however, the following day you may find you have 40 minutes you can set aside to exercise. This physical activity can range from walking outside, riding a bike, gardening, cleaning your house or apartment, to exercising in the gym, going on a run or jog, or even swimming. The goal is to keep your body in a constant state of movement for at least ten minutes. Doing so will improve your quality of life!

You are making a great choice to quit tobacco. Keep it up! Eat healthy. Enjoy being physically active. Reach out to those you love and do things you enjoy. Get the most out of life! Enjoy your freedom from smoking!