Besides helping control blood sugar, quitting smoking directly affects your risk of developing conditions such as heart and kidney disease and diabetic retinopathy. To get started on your path toward becoming a non-smoker, the American Cancer Society recommends the following strategies:
- Set a “quit date” and spread the word. Pick a day with special meaning, such as a birthday or anniversary. Share your quit date with your friends and family for support. Also, share the date with a doctor, as they may be able to prescribe a medication to aid the quitting process.
- Make smoking difficult. Don’t leave smoking-related items, such as lighters, ashtrays, and matches, around the house.
- Breathe through the urge. Inhale deeply and count to ten when cravings strike.
- Keep your fingers occupied. Pick up knitting or text a friend to keep from lighting up.
- Get active. According to at least one study, exercise can help decrease nicotine cravings while giving you something healthy to do in place of smoking.
Source: American Cancer Society