Breaking the habit

By now, most ASU students have heard of the smoking ban taking place next year. While many people oppose this new rule, from a health perspective, this is a huge step in the right direction.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of lung cancer, heart disease, and premature and preventable death. According to the Surgeon General, one in three young adults under age 26 are smokers.

For students who smoke, going off campus is an inconvenience. For all the non-smoking students who do not want secondhand smoke, it is exactly what they have been hoping for. If you’re a smoker, consider breaking the habit before next August for a fresh start.

The red highlights on the map show the areas that will be designated as tobacco-free zones after the on-campus smoking ban goes into effect. (Courtesy of Arizona State University)

Tips to quit smoking

Before you can quit smoking, you have to make the decision to quit. You have to actively be thinking about quitting and know the reasons why you want to make the change. Follow these tips to become tobacco-free.

  • Make a plan. Decide how you’re going to limit your tobacco use and stick with it. As with anything in life, if you don’t have a plan you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Start small and be amazed with how quickly you’ll achieve success.
  • Reward yourself. When you reach your short-term goals and stick with your plan, give yourself a small gift. You deserve to treat yourself. Try to use something positive, like new running shoes or a workout shirt. Be careful with rewarding yourself with food as this can create an addiction swap.
  • Curb your cravings. If you can figure out what activity makes you crave a cigarette, you’re one step ahead of the game. Is it before a meal? After a meal? With coffee? After a class? If you know exactly when you’re going to crave the nicotine you can avoid the craving before giving in.
  • Get a quit buddy. Since most smokers are social smokers, you probably have a few friends who smoke as well. If you’re committed to quitting, do it together and help each other stay motivated.
  • Take it one day at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed with quitting. It doesn’t happen instantaneously. Take each day one at a time and appreciate every time you skip a cigarette.

Tools to help you quit 

There are plenty of programs you can use to help quit smoking. When you’re just starting to think of quitting, check out the calculators on the American Cancer Society website to find out how much you spend on cigarettes and how many cigarettes you have smoked in a given amount of time. For free quit programs, visit the Smokefree.gov website for a list of resources.

Good luck, Devils!