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Use your time in confinement to prepare yourself quit smoking

3.9 billion people around the world are now confined to their houses. Populations in more than 180 countries are being confined by the authorities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We are not all equal in the face of confinement, however, it is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our habits, on what is precious and important to us, it is a time to take control of the life we want to lead in the near future, as individuals and sometimes even as a society. As far as smokers are concerned, this period intensifies reflection on the place of cigarettes in their daily lives and on preparing to stop.

A girl in front of the window

April 29, 2020

The confinement is pushing for a change of habits, limiting outings and eliminating friendly and family gatherings. For some smokers this is an opportunity to quit smoking since confinement involves the removal of "social temptations". On the other hand, those who smoke to regulate emotions such as anxiety, fear or boredom may be more vulnerable during this period of confinement. Our perceptions, behaviors and emotions are different according to the ideas we have about ourselves, the world and others. Confinement can therefore be an ideal time to quit smoking. In this article, Kwit would like to help you prepare yourself for quitting with the metaphor of preparing for a journey. Indeed, quitting can be compared to a trip or a journey, both composed of different steps necessary to reach the final destination. It is a journey about knowing our own habits and their impact on our body and mind.

6 steps to prepare to quit smoking ?

Kwit accompanies you in the preparation of your smoking cessation. Imagine you going on a trip, what would you need before you leave? Perhaps it will be necessary to define the destination? Maybe it will be necessary to have a map to visualize the progress or difficult passages? And above all, it would be necessary to equip yourself with the tools that will make it easier for you to get through these passages?

Here are our 6 steps:

1) List your motivations, what are you looking for in this journey?

To keep you motivated, list all the things that make you want to quit smoking on a piece of paper or on your phone. The main reasons are related to our most important values. For example, the fear of illness is related to the value of well-being and health. The birth of children or the death of our loved ones are also very frequent and powerful reasons related to the importance we give to family. The sense of freedom versus the sense of dependency that causes smoking is also very important for many smokers. Identifying what's important to you will help you get started and keep you smoke-free in the long term.

This list of reasons for quitting smoking can be a very helpful tool when cravings to smoke occur and we doubt our strength to cope with them. Every time you have a craving, pull out your list to give yourself a little extra motivation!

2) Set a preparation period, a departure date and your destination

It is important to set a quit date, otherwise you will continually postpone your withdrawal. Let's take the example of travel, when you organize your vacation you determine the departure date according to your availability and when you are ready. It is the same principle for smoking cessation, you should choose a quit date when you feel it is the right time to quit smoking.

It is important to set a preparation period, a stop date and a destination. Let's take the example of travel. When you organize your vacation, you take your time to think about what you need for your trip, in this time you determine the departure date according to your availability and, the means of transport according to your means.

It's the same principle for smoking cessation, you must take a moment to think about what you need to start quitting smoking. In this step you identify your resources and the difficult passages. This is the time to identify if you need extra help or learning certain techniques.

When you feel that you have found the resources you need, you can determine the start date. Choosing a quit date can be a stressful situation in itself because it involves the ability to cope with cravings. Kwit suggests that you perceive the quit date as the start date of an adventure, with ups and downs. Indeed, quit smoking can be progressive and often there are lapses or relapses in this adventure. But don't worry, you've thought about your extra help, and you'll be surprised at your ability to handle most situations that at the very beginning may seem surmountable.

3) Identify and prepare difficult passages!

When planning your holiday, you will study the obstacles you may encounter on your journey. Above all, you will imagine possible solutions to deal with them on the day.

Identify the moments when you feel like it

In the application, or in a diary you can write down the situations where the craving occurs. After identifying the situations, you can try to assess the strength or intensity of these cravings. You will notice that the strength of the cravings varies, even in similar situations. You can observe how these cravings occur and how you respond to them (the Mindfulness Mediation technique can help you observe these cravings, go here to download our exercises). In fact, you will find that you have managed several cravings without realizing it. That there are times when saying "no" to cigarettes is very easy.

Prepare your avoidance strategies

You also become aware that there are other times when disobeying envy is not so easy. Often linked to feelings of craving such as irritability or nervousness, as well as to certain deep-rooted habits such as the time after meals or work breaks. In this case it is necessary to take more time to analyze and prepare strategies to get through these moments without the company of a cigarette.

For example :

  • « After meals, I feel like smoking. »: your avoidance strategy could be to prepare a herbal tea and a piece of chocolate to finish off your meal.
  • « I smoke a cigarette because I'm stressed. »: you can download a breathing exercise to do easily and quickly at home.

4) The day of departure: Ready to go

When you travel you realize this step, you are ready to leave and you prepare your suitcases, you must think to take with you what is necessary and leave aside what is too much.

Prepare your home

  • Throw out everything that reminds you of cigarettes: ashtrays, lighters, cigarette packs, etc.
  • Create a boredom box and write papers with things to do. Pull out a piece of paper every time you feel like smoking (it's a good way to get rid of the craving that won't last).

5) You need support : Talk about it with your loved ones

The support of your loved ones is essential! They can motivate you and support in hard times and your progress can be a source of inspiration as well. Some people like to make this type of trip in a group or have the opinion of others who have gone to this unknown destination. You can also become a member of our Kwitters group, a Facebook group where people exchange and help each other to quit smoking!

6) Visualize your progress : Download Kwit

Enter your quit date and you'll be more than ready to go.

Keep in mind that some people need help with withdrawal, for example, you may be able to use nicotine substitutes, its helps you to reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation. It is important to take the right dose of nicotine at the beginning and reduce it slowly. That's why Kwit will soon launch a new feature that will take into account your nicotine consumption. You will now be able to configure your consumption of patches, gums, e-liquids and pods in order to measure, understand and reduce your nicotine dosage.

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