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Kicking the Habit: How to Choose a Quit Date

By Diane Griffith
December 01, 2012; 3:32 PM

Congratulations! You've decided to quit smoking. Now you just need to decide when. Many smoking cessation programs suggest that the first step to quitting is choosing a quit date. But how do you make that choice?

If you're ready to make the commitment, here are some things to think about when choosing your quit date.

1. Choose to quit within the next several weeks. This will give you time to prepare yourself but not enough time to change your mind.

2. Give yourself time to heal if you've experienced a recent loss or traumatic event. The grieving process is hard work. It can drain your energy and affect your ability to concentrate. The stress after a trauma or loss will likely increase your urge to smoke, too.

3. If you are facing a stressful event, such as marriage, buying a home, or graduating from college, wait a while. Stress will probably make you want to smoke more often. And your focus is going to be on your big event, not on quitting. You are more likely to absently reach for a cigarette when your mind is somewhere else. The fewer distractions you have, the more likely you are to succeed.

4. Try to pick a date that has meaning for you. Is there a day that holds unique meaning in your life? Would you like to link the day you quit to a special event? Some people choose a random date, but others prefer to pick a birthday, anniversary, or some other special day. Others opt for a more symbolic choice, such as the Great American Smokeout, Independence Day, or New Year's Day.

For more tips on how to choose a quit date continue reading at myOptumHealth.com.

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