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If you are a health-concerned smoker who has been thinking about quitting, ask yourself which of the following 10 quit smoking stages you have reached as of today. Then pick three things you can do within the next month that will help you get to the next stage. Rank three things you've chosen in order of importance. Then work hard to do them. Keep repeating this exercise until you reach Stage 10.
Stage 1. You've identified yourself as a health concerned smoker. You're worried about the health effects of smoking and wonder if you should quit or cut down.
Stage 2. You decide that you will begin to seek additional information about smoking, quitting and other health related behaviors and will begin to actively explore your alternatives.
Stage 3. You decide to take some steps to modify your smoking level and/or your overall health status - e.g. observing your smoking triggers, switching brands, cutting down, getting more exercise, taking vitamins, managing stressful situations more effectively, paying more attention to your bonds with family and friends.
Stage 4. You make a firm commitment to quit but do not specify a quitting date.
Stage 5. You set a quitting date and make a firm commitment to quit on that date.
Stage 6. You smoke your last cigarette and go without smoking for 24 hours.
Stage 7. You complete your first week as a nonsmoker.
Stage 8. You complete your first month as a nonsmoker.
Stage 9. You complete your first three months as a nonsmoker.
Stage 10. You complete your first year as a nonsmoker.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|