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Whether you’ve tried quitting before and failed or are just considering quitting, it’s always good to know where you are finding yourself in the quit smoking process, because from knowing where you are finding yourself comes knowing what to do in that situation and how to handle yourself in said situation. There are 5 quit smoking stages, each with its own particular psychological characteristics and each one needing to be dealt with correctly in order to ensure progress to the next stage and the success of your plan to quit smoking.
The fist of quit smoking stages is called pre-contemplation. It’s not uncommon for people to feel pressured by peer groups, family or even workplaces into quitting smoking. The person does not want to quit smoking, but is considering it because of external factors. In this stage the person might try to quit, and does so not because they are ready, but as a way of giving into pressure. When quitting smoking happens in these circumstances, the person will most likely take up smoking again, for lack of the appropriate motivation to quit.
The second of the quit smoking stages is contemplation. The person finding him/herself in this stage wants to quit smoking, but does not intend to do so in the foreseeable future. While they are most likely aware of the reasons why they should quit and agree with said reasoning, they are, for now, still finding justifications for themselves and maintaining the habit under the excuse that they will quit some day.
The third of the quit smoking stages is preparation. This stage can be seen as the waiting room for the actual quitting. The person wants to quit and has already taken small measures in that direction, mostly meant to soften the blow, such as reducing the number of cigarettes or switching to a lighter version.
The fourth of the quit smoking stages is the actual quitting. The person has prepared him/herself and is taking action towards fulfilling the stop smoking plan. They have stopped smoking and are going through withdrawal, dealing with the urges to smoke again, and are generally readjusting to their non-smoker status. This stage lasts from 6 months to a year.
The fifth and final of the quit smoking stages refers to the post-quitting maintenance. This stage begins a year after quitting, and relapses are not infrequent during this interval. A percentage of up to 75 of smokers who have quit tend to retake the habit in the first year after quitting smoking. That does not mean that what they had done thus far gets annulled, in fact, studies show that it usually takes about three tries to completely stop smoking, so while relapses can be seen as steps back, they should not be discouraging, but instead should work towards the motivation to quit again.
Being aware of which one of the quit smoking stages you (or a loved one) are finding yourself in can help you make the most of the situation, since, after all, information is power. Start your journey today by browsing this list of proven quit smoking products.