Chris Guerrieri, a graphic designer at Independence Blue Cross, had been a two-pack-a-day smoker for ten years. He felt exhausted, sick, and older than his 33 years. He was tired of using nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine as a crutch, and was ready to change his life.
Chris had tried to quit before — the gum, the patch — but nothing worked. He knew that he had an addictive personality (two packs a day, two pots of coffee a day —sense a pattern?) and that quitting everything cold turkey was the way to go. For him, it was easier get rid of all his bad habits at once and replace them with more positive habits, so he decided to quit smoking, alcohol, and caffeine.
The Great American Smokeout is a Great Time to Quit
Smoking is a habit that 36.5 million Americans still partake in. You probably know many of the reasons why you should quit smoking and perhaps you’ve even tried to quit once or twice. If you weren’t successful the first time around, don’t lose hope. With the right support and a genuine desire to rid your life of tobacco, you can quit for good. On November 16, 2017, smokers around the country will take part in the Great American Smokeout. Why not make 2017 the year you join them?
3 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking
- Find your motivation: If you broke into a cold sweat just reading the words “cold turkey” don’t worry, quitting cold turkey like Chris did isn’t the only way to go. You also don’t need to tackle three bad habits at once. There are numerous ways to quit smoking, and finding the right one for you is the key to success. Chris’s advice for those trying to quit is, “You have to find your motivation. Each person is different so you have to find what works for you.” Chris’s motivation was the prospect of feeling better physically and mentally.
- Adopt new habits for a new lifestyle: Whatever method you choose, Chris recommends replacing your old habits with new ones. “I started going to the gym, meditating, therapy, and eating better. I replaced my old coping mechanisms with new ones,” Chris recalls. Once he started down a healthier road, the positive habits snowballed. He started feeling better and was motivated to get even healthier.
- Treat yo’ self: Rewarding yourself is also key. Quitting is tough, and Chris found that if he rewarded himself along his journey, it helped motivate him. For example, Chris was always self-conscious about the discoloration of his teeth from smoking, so he treated himself to teeth whitening as a reward for quitting. Maybe you’ve been itching to take a trip somewhere, or want to invest in some new workout clothes. Take the money you are saving on cigarettes and put it towards a special reward for your hard work and dedication to improving your health.
So you’ve made the commitment to quit smoking. Congrats on taking the first step! Now, where to begin? Just S-T-A-R-T and take it day by day.
S = Set a quit date.
T = Tell family, friends, and coworkers that you plan to quit.
A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting.
R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.
T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.
Get Support from IBX
No two people are the same, so while one method of quitting may work for your friend, it may not work for you. That’s why IBX supports different approaches to quitting:
- Tobacco cessation reimbursement: As part of the Healthy LifestylesSM program, IBX will for completing an approved tobacco cessation program.
- 2MorrowQuit app: As part of our new personalized Achieve well-being tools on ibx.com/login, IBX has partnered with 2MorrowQuit to offer a unique smoking cessation program that teaches you new ways to deal with the urge to smoke. With the help of a free smartphone app, you can create a personalized quit plan with daily exercises that teach you how to handle urges in a mindful way.
- Medication: Prescription medication is a great option for many who use tobacco, and IBX covers several tobacco intervention medications with no cost-sharing*. Make sure to speak to your doctor about whether medication is right for you.
Whatever method you choose, know that with support you can break the habit for good. And once you do, you’ll discover the many benefits of going smoke-free.
* Certain designated intervention medications will not be subject to any cost-sharing or deductibles, but will be subject to the terms and conditions of your benefits contract, including age and gender requirements