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Beat Nicotine Addictions

Quitting a nicotine addiction is never easy, regardless of the nicotine product. No addiction is entirely chemical, so addressing the ritual and social aspect of your addiction is equally critical to successfully quitting. Support from your friends and family helps, but the most important changes have to come from you. A step-by-step guide for beating your nicotine addiction helps address the obstacles associated with each stage of quitting.

- Identify your reasons for quitting. Everyone is different, so note the reasons most important to you, such as your children's health or a smoke-induced illness. Having a clear goal or incentive for long-term success makes quitting more purposeful.

- Set a quit date. Decrease withdrawal by choosing a date that is at least one week away, but don't wait much longer or you risk continually postponing your quitting plans. Begin cutting back on the amount of nicotine you consume during this week. Your quit day won't feel so drastic if you incrementally reduce your nicotine consumption over several days.

- Share your goal. Telling your friends and family increases your accountability and gives you the opportunity to explain what you need from them, such as not smoking or chewing around you. Encourage a friend to quit with you, beating any addiction is always easier with a supportive partner.

- Write down the times you are most likely to smoke or chew such, as after a meal or during your work break. Beating any addiction is easier when you know your triggers and can find appropriate replacement activities.

- Change your routine on quitting day. This day should be the start of a new, healthier you, so set yourself up for success by avoiding your previous pitfalls. If your previous routine included waking up, walking the dog, eating your breakfast and having a cigarette before taking a shower, change your routine. Instead, try eating a power bar while walking your dog and shower immediately after returning to avoid tempting downtime.

- Try new things and keep busy. Anything that physically prevents you from smoking or chewing is a great activity. Some good examples of distractions include swimming, yoga, knitting or even playing video games if you're bored. Try committing more free time someplace where smoking is prohibited, such as an animal shelter or a children's hospital.

- Document your feelings. The first weeks of quitting nicotine are rough, so try writing down you emotions, successes and temptations to channel that energy in a productive way. Continue journaling for several months so you can see the changes in yourself and your life. If you ever go back to smoking or chewing, having a journal will help you identify your mistakes the first time.

- Reward yourself each day you stay nicotine free. Some people find having a money jar especially helpful. Put the cash you would normally have spent on nicotine products into a jar at the end of each day. You'll be amazed how quickly you save enough money for a rewarding activity like great seats at a sporting event or a relaxing massage.

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