What do I do with the information I gather about my smoking habits?

It can be helpful to make a few lists and carry them with you.

• Make a list of situations that most strongly trigger your smoking urge. This will help you recognize them immediately when they occur, or even ahead of time. Work out some advance strategies to respond to this urge, listing some options that might work for you (e.g., leaving the situation, performing some alternative action like gum chewing, taking a walk, eating candy, or saying something prerehearsed to yourself or to others present).
• Decide what you will say when you are offered a cigarette, asked if you’ve quit yet, or teased. Rehearse these lines often; advocates of the power of positive thinking claim that mental rehearsals are perhaps just as powerful as real-life experiences in the quest to change your behavior.

• Make a list of your motivations to quit so you can reread it whenever you need to.

• Make a list of all your reasons not to smoke, including health reasons. This last suggestion is really a form of aversion treatment , and you may make the list as detailed and graphic as you wish (even using pictures of lung cancer or emphysema patients and blackened lung tissue if you are so inclined). Aversion treatment works for some people but actually discourages others, so use it only if you feel it will help.

And then, again, you may prefer not to make lists. Go with your honest intuition.


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