Smoking cigarettes could lead to diseases like lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease. – Luther Terry, M.D., the 9th Surgeon General of the United States
Dr. Terry’s initial report from 1964 completely changed the way we think about smoking. Since this message the number of smokers in the U.S. is 18 percent down.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of people who need to stop smoking. If you are one of these people you can start with these five proven strategies to help you quit smoking:
1. Exercise every day
People who exercise are more likely to overcome the urge to smoke, finds a report published in the journal Addiction. Exercise could distract you from thinking about taking a puff, and breaking a sweat may lift your mood and boost your feelings of self-control, reducing your impulsiveness.
2. Share your struggle
Smokers who share their struggles via social media are more successful at quitting, than those who seek support offline, finds University of Georgia research. Flocking to Facebook can help you link up with like-minded others over a common goal, and the more connected you feel, the more you believe you can curb your cravings.
3. Pick up some produce
Eating more fruits and vegetables could help you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free for longer, according to a 2012 study from the University at Buffalo. Hankerings for cigarettes and foods are closely linked and confused with one another, the researchers say. By eating a diet with higher fiber content, you’ll feel fuller and avoid craving confusion.
4. Get a milk mustache
Milk lends a funky taste to cigarettes. Duke researchers found that smokers were less likely to smoke with the aftertaste of moo juice in their mouth. Your move: Add more dairy to your diet. It’s a potent source of protein.
5. Download Quitpal
Quitpal (free for IOS) is an app from the National Cancer Institute. Among other features, it helps you track the money you’re saving and connects you with social media networks so friends can help you stay on track.