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Become a nonsmoker!
Are you ready?
By Mark B renn aman , M.Ed .
Plot your position
Congratulations! You’re either thinking about quittingor have decided to quit smoking. You’re at thebeginning of one of the most important journeys of your
life and this guide will help you map your way andyou’ll have extra confidence in your quit because of thepreparation that you’re about to do.
Become a lasting
This is a workbook. You’ll be asked to write a fewexercises so you can better plan your quit. The moreyou plan your quit the easier you will make it. Knowing
Preparation is key
what to expect and what to do about gives youconfidence.
Mess with your habit
Once you complete all the tasks you will be ready to seta quit date and begin your journey. Use this workbookwhen you feel you are losing focus. By continually
referring to your workbook you’ll always know what todo next.
Journey with a
Quit for life
By having a positive attitude and an expectation ofsuccess you will find it much easier to quit. Be playful
as you create new daily rituals that will replace your old
Your biggest cheerleader
Try to have fun with your quit. Smile often.
It can’t be said enough, “Concentrate on what you’re
instead of what you’re ending.” I wish you well
on your new journey for life. Enjoy!
Copyright 2003-2011 by Mark Brennaman, M.Ed. All Rights Reserved
Are you ready to become a nonsmoker?
another cigarette or skipping it so you can
strong feelings about wanting to smoke as
quitting you’ll find it impossible to quit.
that’s perfectly normal. To make a changeyou’ll have to tip the balance toward one
There’s no use in trying to “trick” your
mind into believing you’re ready to quit ifyou’re not really ready. Nothing will
happen except you’ll start to feel guilty
the next page. This will give you an idea
you value certain choices you’re making.
Discover where your true feelings are. Ifyou aren’t ready to quit smoking, but you
want to, it’ll help if you can see where
your thoughts in the four spaces on thenext page you’ll recognize where you are
then plan the next step of your journey.
Your inner voice is with you every step of the way. Whatyou allow your inner voice to say is how you behave. Ifyou don’t pay attention to and get rid of negativeaffirmations you will continue to do the very thing you’retrying to change.
You get to write the scripts for your inner voice. Createpositive affirmations that you can repeat to yourself overand over and over. Positive self-talk works and you’re incharge of the script!
Positive Self-Talk Works. Train your Mind What to Think!
Plot your position
Not so good things
Not so good things
Becoming a lasting nonsmoker
There are three distinct parts of smokingthat must be addressed for a person tosuccessfully break an addiction: 1)Physical, 2) Behavioral, and 3)Psychological.
With smoking, the physical aspect is ourbody's dependence or craving for thechemical, nicotine. Nicotine will flushout of your body in about three daysafter your last dose (whether smoked or
just enough to break the association with
coffee try switching to tea for a few weeks.
can alter your routines as you learn how to
activities? Do you wake up andimmediately smoke?
The psychological aspect involves how you
the benefits of quitting. This is also where
you allow your inner voice to lead the way.
smoking if you let your old scripts play in
your mind. If you change the scripts your
inner voice will lead you to a life free from
If you can get your inner voice to
become your biggest cheerleader you’ll
routines you have that involve smoking.
make your quit far easier than you ever
To dismantle the addiction to nicotine it's
The changes don't have to be permanent.
significantly during the first couple ofweeks and months of your quit. After you
have to figure out how to "mess with your
routines, but this time without the link tosmoking that they once had.
You can figure out how to mess with yourhabit by taking an inventory of how you
The psychological aspect is where the real
battle is won or lost. We all know that the
we can get the mind to work either for or
routines that work as a trigger to smoke.
List all of your activities that also
What are your favorite times to smoke?
Smoking gives me . . .
I smoke because . . .
smoking it’s important to take an inventoryof how you perceive smoking satisfies yourneeds, think about why you smoke and thenthink about why you want to quit. Now youcan create some new beliefs about yourselfas a nonsmoker.
Create new scripts for the self-talk that goeson inside you.
List new hobbies or new routines
that will replace your old smoking
I can quit!
I’m a non-smoker!
I love smelling fresh!
I’m a nonsmoker!
I’m doing it!
I’m proud of me!"
The self-talk will take place whether youcontrol it or not. If you’re passive, the self-talk will continue to reinforce your addictivebeliefs, and that’s where fear of quitting and
Write some positive affirmations
doubt as to your ability to quit comes from.
you can tell yourself as you
However, if you’re proactive in controlling
become a nonsmoker:
your self-talk with positive reinforcementsyou’ll respond that way.
Setting and pursuing your goals
Look at your Decisional Balance Sheet andlook at what you wrote under Good ThingsAbout Quitting Smoking. You have alreadylisted several goals you want to accomplish.
Now look at what you wrote under Not SoGood Things About Smoking and you've gotmore goals to work toward.
nonsmoker and set a good example for
my children and grandchildren."
Go back over all the goals you've written
every aspect. Make a list of your goals so
rewrite each goal as if it is already true.
State your goals as if they’re
is not only possible, but believe youhave already accomplished them.
Make posters and little signs you can put
nonsmoker." write your goal like this:
"I'm a nonsmoker!"
the bathroom mirror. Get creative as youwrite your goals and as you put
office, your car, and especially in
children, write your goal like this: "I'm a
places where you used to smoke.
Write your goals as if they’re already true:
Make little signs with your goals and place them throughout your
home, office, car, and especially in places where you used to smoke.
Preparation is the key to an
In addition to the websites
listed to the left, visit other
sites. Do a search for key
The more you know about the quit process the easier you
can make it. There are plenty of websites devoted toquitting smoking. Unfortunately, many of them exist to
try to sell you unnecessary products.
Arming yourself with information about the quit process
can help you overcome urges to smoke, and you’ll have a
better understanding of what to expect. By preparing foryour quit you increase the odds that you’ll become a
Visit your doctor
Visit http://quitsmoking.about.com to read articles on all
Enlist the help of friends
phases of quitting. Other helpful websites include
who want to see you
http://whyquit.com and http://www.quitnet.com.
Read about the benefits of stopping smoking when you
Join several online support
Mess with your habit!
Find out if there are weekly
support groups meeting in
As you get ready for your quit day, really “mess withyour habit” by switching brands, smoking at totally
Make a bunch of signs you
different times and in different places. Make sure the last
can tape to your mirrors,
few weeks and days of your old habit that you make
put on your desk, and in
places where you used to
Have a practice quit. Decide to go a half-day withoutsmoking so you can become aware of the thoughts you’ll
Start saying to yourself,
“I’m a nonsmoker! I’m a
Decide up front that you are going to have some fun evenif the thought of quitting scares you. The message from
Get excited about setting
the song Whistle While I Work
is very appropriate.
Quitting isn’t pleasant, but you can make it bearablesimply by having a positive attitude about it.
There are several ways to quit smoking. Whatever works best for you is the
quit method you should follow. Many people quitting smoking believe the
method they’ve chosen is the only way to quit. Nonsense! Don’t pay
attention to people who tell you their way of quitting is better than other
You should always be eager to learn from other quitters what’s working forthem and what’s not. Not to take their advice, but to learn more about yourown quit.
The first method is going cold turkey. You decide to quit, you stop buyingcigarettes, you don’t light up another one, all without the help of patches,pills or other items. Many people have successfully quit smoking using thismethod.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Probably the most discussed aid to quitting is the nicotine patch. Should aquitter use them? What do the “step down” dosages mean to a quitter? Thereare as many questions about patches as there are people who wear them andare trying to quit.
Patches, if worn properly, can help you quit by decreasing your need to get anew dose of nicotine by lighting up. The patch allows you to graduallyeliminate nicotine from your body. Looking back at the description ofdismantling the nicotine addiction you’ll see the patch is only an aid so youcan change your routines and your mental outlook.
Patches keep your body on an even keel while you pay attention to changingyour old routines and changing the way you see yourself in your new role asa nonsmoker. The patch gives you the minimum nicotine dose you need toremain comfortable while you are eliminating cigarettes and smokingaccessories, and while you’re building new routines where you go about lifedoing your stuff while happily smokefree.
Nicotine gum does nearly the same thing although most of the people I knowof who are quitting don’t use the gum. The same can be said of the nicotinelozenges that recently became available.
Many people quitting see their health care provider to learn about medication
to help the quit process. People who want to quit smoking are sometimes
. To be effective, my doctor told me to
start taking my medication 14 days before my quit date. These pills have
helped a lot of people cope with the discomfort of quitting.
My favorite quit method is the use of your self-talk, your biggest cheerleader.
Your inner voice works every day. Think about what you tell yourselfthroughout the day. Self-talk is our strongest tool to change from being asmoker to living a smokefree life. The more you pay attention to the messagethat your inner voice tells you the easier it becomes to become a successfulquitter (More about Self-talk later).
A lot of people quitting are doing so with a combination of the patch and themedication. That’s the way I quit, and I think it worked very well. In mysituation I stopped wearing the patch less than a week into my quit. I know ofothers who are taking their medication, but have decided to quit their intake ofnicotine completely.
No matter which method you (and your health care provider) select your quitwill be unique in some respects, but you’ll share a lot of things that millions ofsuccessful quitters have experienced when they quit. With the right support youwill become smokefree.
You simply can’t go wrong if you’ll visit your health care provider to discussall your options, including your decision to quit smoking.
I’m a nonsmoker!
I’m a nonsmoker!
I’m a nonsmoker!
Break your hand-to-mouth memory
Find ways to keep your hands busy. Avoid using food as a replacement forsmoking. Your body has a very strong habit of moving an object to your lips andthen ingesting.
Try some new hobbies that will keep you busy. I used woodworking extensivelyduring the first month of my quit. I kept my hands busy handcrafting a piece ofwood. If you’ve always wanted to try something new now’s the perfect time!
Many people quitting do use food as a replacement for smoking. If you findyourself handling food and eating it to help satisfy a craving to smoke, usehealthy foods instead of sugary or salty snacks. Cutting up carrot sticks keepsyour hands busy and it gives you a healthy snack. Carry a small box of raisinsand plop a handful in your mouth when you hear nicotine begging for a smoke.
Drink lots of water and fruit juices to help flush nicotine out of your system.
You’ll be amazed how your sense of taste will come alive.
Concentrate on what you’re starting!
The best advise I ever got when I quit was “Concentrate on what you’re starting
instead of what you’re quitting
This shift in thinking makes all the difference in the world. You’re about to startbreathing better, have more money, smelling things better, tasting things betterand you’re about to live a healthier life. When you concentrate on these insteadof thinking about how you’re missing smoking you will get through withdrawalwith far fewer troubles than those who always think about the negative things.
Use positive self-talk to drive away
all negative thoughts!
Just in case . . .
Many people who quit smoking slip the first time they are confronted with suddenor unexpected stressful situations. It’s normal to attempt to quit and go back tosmoking for a while. Slipping just because you face extra stress can be avoided byplanning ahead what you’ll do in a crisis to remain smokefree.
Find someone you can visit when you need support, plan now so if the need arisesyou can stay smokefree and have a friend to talk to.
In a crisis I’ll remain smokefree by . . .
Make a list of all your friends who will help you stay
smokefree and will help you celebrate your victories:
Journey with a
If you say to yourself over and over that
You’ve seen “self-talk” referred to
you can’t quit smoking, and if you believe
you can’t quit for more than a few days,
important? To me, self-talk is the single
best tool to use to break the nicotineaddiction, to move from being a smoker
A positive attitude is your most important
tool to quit and stay quit. Maintaining apositive attitude will help you have asense of humor about the quit process,
will help you deal with stress in newways, it will help make your quit easier.
operate from what we tell ourselves.
until my face turned blue. Well, I didn’t
Positive affirmations result in
really turn blue, but I did staysmokefree.
positive outcomes. Negative
thoughts result in staying the
The advice to concentrate on whatyou’re starting, not on what you’re
same or worse, going
around and think about how much youmiss smoking you won’t miss it too
affirmations you want and tell yourselfover and over.
If you sit around and think about howgreat it feels to breathe fresh air you are
positive affirmations about your quit.
to be smokefree you’ve got to be “the
Having the right kind of support can make or break your
quit effort. The more support you have the easier your quit
Local Weekly Group Meetings
Call your local hospitals, HMOs, universities and otheragencies to find out if there are weekly support groups youcan attend. If you’re a veteran call your nearest VA MedicalCenter. Look in your Yellow Pages under United Wayagencies to find your local lung association and cancersociety office.
If you can find local meetings go to them. In-person supportis the best help as you go through withdrawal. It’s worth thetime and effort to locate groups you can visit before you setyour quit date.
Family and Friends
Your family and friends can be a source of tremendoussupport if they better understand what you need as you quit.
Tell all your friends and family about your decision to quit.
Tell them why you’re quitting and what it means to you tobecome a nonsmoker. Let your friends know of your newdesires. Your family and friends will be so happy you’reworking toward a healthier lifestyle.
Online Support Groups
Most internet service providers have online groups you canjoin. Yahoo, MSN, AOL and others offer hundreds ofgroups made up of people quitting and can be a great sourceof support. Go to your favorite provider and do a search for“Quit Smoking Support Groups”. You’ll want to join morethan a few so you can find a group that suits you and yourmethod of quit.
Positive self-talk – your
Your inner voice is with you every step of the way.
I’m a nonsmoker!
What you allow your inner voice to say is how youbehave. If you don’t pay attention to and get rid of
negative affirmations you will continue to do the verything you’re trying to change.
You get to write the scripts for your inner voice. Create
positive affirmations that you can repeat to yourself
over and over and over. Positive self-talk works, andyou’re in charge of the script!
Self-talk is the single best tool to use to break thenicotine addiction, to move from being a smoker to
The advice to concentrate on what you’re quitting, noton what you’re ending makes a lot of sense. If you sit
around and think about how much you miss smokingyou won’t miss it too long. You’ll light one up.
If you sit around and think about how great it feels to
I can quit!
breathe fresh air you are more likely to stay smokefree.
I don’t need to
Write a couple of your favorite positive
affirmations you’ll be repeating to yourself:
Setting your quit date
I have decided to
become a nonsmoker
There are several things to get donebefore you set your Quit Date. To begin
by quitting smoking as
your journey well prepared means yourjourney will be familiar and compelling.
I have completed all the exercises in
I understand the stages of change and I
believe I’m ready to quit.
Life as a nonsmoker
I agree about the importance of
Positive Self-Talk and have written my
It’s odd, but to continue to be asuccessful nonsmoker all you have to do
I’ve visited my doctor and am
following prescription advice. (If you’ve
Doing nothing means you’re not longingfor a cigarette, you’re not buying any
cigarettes, you’re not asking anyone for
smoking your next step is to set the date
cigarette, you’re just doing nothing
If you have questions about any part of this workbook or questions aboutthe process of quitting please email
No part of this workbook is meant to replace the medical advice of your healthcare provider. Thisinformation is presented as peer education and support. Consult your physician if you ever becomeconcerned about any recovery symptom you experience. You can become a nonsmoker!
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