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17 Ways to Quit Smoking: You Got This!

It's time to show smoking the door.

The habit, which can cause cancer, stroke, and heart disease (not to mention it's expensive!), may not be easy to kick, but it's essential. Once you do, your health drastically begins to improve. Just in the first 24 hours without cigarettes, your chance for heart attack decreases.

In honor of the Great American Smokeout, an awareness day designed to help smokers push the habit to the curb, we rounded up a few proven ways that may help you quit. Check them out:

1. Practice mindfulness meditation.

2. Quit on a Monday.

3. Learn to associate smoking with a nasty smell.

  • Cigarettes are much less appealing when your brain links them to a foul scent (rotten fish, perhaps?), according to a 2014 study. The study also suggests that the behavioral change in the brain can begin to occur when you're sleeping.

4. Hit the gym.

5. Watch these ads from former smokers.

6. Take up yoga or try relaxation techniques.

7. Use your text messages.

  • A study published in the journal The Lancet found that smokers who used a cessation program called "txt2stop" were twice as likely to quit after six months than those who tried to quit on their own. The program sent encouraging messages to those who are trying to kick the habit.

8. Eat some produce.

9. Lift weights.

  • Running on the treadmill isn't the only way to get that beneficial exercise in. Research shows that smokers who engaged in a 12-week weightlifting program along with cessation treatment were twice as likely to quit than those who didn't pick up the dumbbells, Shape magazine reported.

10. Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

  • The therapy, which could just about double your chance of quitting, offers several ways to deliver nicotine to your system in order to reduce withdrawals. Nicotine patches, chewing gum, and inhalers are all part of NRT.

11. Consider your pets.

  • Next time you go to purchase a pack, think of your furry friends. As Ed Sayres, former president of the ASPCA, points out that you're jeopardizing your pets' lives just as much as your own. Research shows that smoking around cats can increase the likelihood they'll get feline lymphoma cancer, and dogs are more at risk for nasal and lung cancer when living with a smoker.

12. Try counseling.

13. Go cold turkey.

14. Take up a new hobby.

  • Engaging in exciting activities activates the same reward part of the brain that nicotine ignites, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Additionally, participants in the study who were engaged in self-expanding activities were less likely to respond to smoking cues.

15. Give hypnosis a go.

  • While there isn't super strong evidence that says hypnosis works on smokers, the conclusive research that has been conducted on the method has been positive, The Fix reported in 2012. For more on the alternative hypnosis methods you can use to quit the habit, click here.

16. Write down why you want to quit.

17. Don't stop thinking about cigarettes entirely.

  • Banishing the vice from your mind may work right away, but it won't for long. According to research published by University of St. George's London, completely erasing thoughts can make users smoke more than usual once they stop suppressing them.

Arm yourself with a method (or two, or many!) and kiss smoking goodbye for good.

Read the original article from The Huffington Post HERE.

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