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Tips to help quit smoking, and stay quit

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For smokers who are thinking about quitting, here are some tips to get started on butting out for good:

—Set a target date for your quit attempt.

—Make your home smoke-free. If you go outside to smoke, it will help change routines.

—Make your vehicle smoke-free.

—Identify triggers that make you want to light up: Your morning coffee? After a meal? Smoke breaks? Alcohol?

—Eliminate reminders of smoking from your home like ashtrays, lighters, and matches.

—Work with someone who smokes? How will you plan your day if you usually take 'smoke breaks' with them?

—Consider activities to replace smoking: exercise, knitting or other "hands-on" hobbies.

—Use nicotine-replacement products such as the patch, gum or mouth spray and/or prescription medications such as Zyban and Champix to boost chances of successfully quitting.

—Reward yourself: build incentives into your quit plan; take time to recognize even small changes made.

—Keep sugarless candies on hand to combat cravings, and drink lots of water. Avoid replacing cigarettes with high-carbohydrate snacks to prevent weight gain.

Source: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

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