The Kick-Butt Guide to Kicking Butts

menshealthfoundation

A Guy’s Guide to Going Smoke-free

THE KICK-BUTT GUIDE TO

KICKING

BUTTS


Table of

Contents

Preparing to Butt Out:

Am I Ready to Quit Smoking?........................​.3

Be a “Man with a Quit Plan!”...................​........ 5

Arm Yourself to Quit.................​....................... 9

Plan to Manage Your Cravings.......................11

Do’s..................................................................16

Don’ts...............................................................17

Winning the Fight............................................18

2


Preparing to Butt Out:

Am I Ready

to Quit

Smoking?

You’ve downloaded this ebook, so you

must be itching to take your smoking

habit to the cleaners. So far, so good!

Now ask yourself the all-important

question: “Am I ready to start moving

toward a smoke-free life?”

3


If your

answer is

hell yeah!

Or even maaaaaybe, then write down the

No. 1 thing that will keep you on track.

For example:

I DON’T WANT MY KI DS TO SMOKE.

Many dads go with this for a good reason. Research

shows that teenagers whose parents are addicted to

cigarettes are three times more likely to become

addicted themselves.

I WANT THE MAN CAVE OF MY DREAMS.

If you’re smoking a pack a day, you’re shelling out

more than $5,000 a year on cigarettes, which

are only getting pricier. Just think what you could do

with all that extra cash!

MY SOLDIER HAS TROUBLE SALUTING.

Smoking puts you at a higher risk of erectile dysfunction

and low testosterone. Want more sex? Does a bear shit

in the woods? Yep, it’s time to quit smoking.

I’M ABOUT TO GO UNDER THE KNIFE.

Quitting smoking even a few weeks before surgery

can reduce your chances of a heart attack and infection,

and speed up recovery.

The good news:

smoking is on the ropes

BIG TIME! You, too, can

give smoking the knockout

punch and join the legions

of battle-scarred champions

who have successfully quit.

What is your why?

Write it down.

Click here to download

a Quit Plan you can fill out

and use to stay on track.

I WANT TO LI VE LONGER.

Smoking cigarettes shortens guys’ lives by 10 years

on average.

4



BE a

MAN WITH a

Quit Plan!


Your smoking habit has a wicked uppercut

in the form of nicotine. The intense cravings

caused by the addictive chemical may make

smoking feel like an old friend you just can’t

say goodbye to, but you can’t beat your

smoking habit if you’re a slave to nicotine.

As your body gets used to not having nicotine,

withdrawal will make you crave cigarettes

and may leave you feeling grumpy, miserable,

or even like you’ve come down with the flu.

You may also have trouble sleeping.

No one said quitting would be easy,

but the following are some tried-andtrue

strategies to make you more

likely to succeed.

5


UNDERSTANDING

The typical

quitting

experience

Knowing when cravings tend to

strike can help you stay mentally

strong. If you’re two days in and

climbing the walls, remember

that the first three days of

quitting smoking can be the

worst and that you’ll be over

the hump by Day 4. A slight

uptick in cravings may occur

around your seventh day. By

the 10th day, there’s light at the

end of the tunnel. You’re really

going smoke-free!

6


FREQUENCY OF YOUR CRAVES

Average Number of

Coping Episodes

Figure.1 – Estimated # of coping episodes in the first 10

days of quitting smoking (Source available upon request)

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

DAYS

No crave episode will last longer than 3

minutes but time distortion is very real so

keep a clock handy.

Strong urges to smoke gradually taper

off over the next 3 to 4 weeks. Stay

focused on the 1-month milestone.

That’s when most urges and withdrawal

symptoms finally F-off. You won’t suffer

forever — keep going and you’ll win the

epic slugfest against cravings!

7


Know your

triggers

Certain people, places, situations, or feelings can trigger your

need to smoke. Waking up in the morning with coffee, for instance,

or having drinks with buddies during the big game. Other

common triggers include meals, parties, social events, and breaks

at work. Knowing what your “triggers” are will help you find ways

to handle them.

Dodge your triggers.

If downtime has always meant “smoke time,”

switching up your daily and social routines

can send your triggers to the showers.

For example:

• Play a game on your phone when buddies

go for a smoke.

• Replace smoking with showering before

your first cup of joe.

• Instead of taking a smoke break at work,

head to the lunchroom and chat with

whoever is there. You might be surprised

how cool (and hot) the lunchroom crowd is.

• Fidgeting on your own? Time to buff

your banana, jerk the one-eyed trouser

snake, test-fire your meat missile...you

get the idea. Who said quitting

smoking can’t be fun?

8


Choose your path and

arm yourself

to quit

You’ve got plenty of help in your corner.

Ask other guys how they quit smoking or

where they relapsed. There’s more than

one journey to the champions’ podium.

Cold turkey: If you suddenly stop smoking

the first few days of nicotine withdrawal may

be intense, but may disappear more quickly

than if you try to wean slowly off cigarettes.

If you have a single cigarette after going

cold turkey, you have a 90% chance of

returning to smoking regularly.

Cut back and count down: It doesn’t have

to be all or nothing. Try smoking one cigarette

at a time until you find yourself counting down

the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.

If you smoke like a chimney, tapering off will

help you prepare for going cold turkey.

Mix it up: By combining the use of

nicotine replacement products with

going cold turkey, you improve your

chances of success by 50-60 percent.

9


Get help

from the

experts:

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about nicotine

replacement patches, chewing gum, lozenges,

nasal sprays or inhalers. Many of these options may

be covered by your provincial health insurance.

Click on your province to learn more:

Figure 2.

Availability of

nicotine replacement

therapy (NRT) in

Canadian provinces

and territories.

NU

YT

NT

BC AB SK MB

ON

QC

NL

NB

PE

NS


PLAN TO

MANAGE

YOUR

CRAVINGS

Practicing the four D’s

is a tried-and-true way

to keep cravings at bay.

11


1.

Delay

your

CRAVINGS

Resist the urge to suck on a tar stick

for 5 min and the feeling may pass.

12


2.

DRINK

A GLASS

OF WATER

This will change the feeling and

taste in your mouth and help reduce

cravings. At the same time, your

body needs plenty of H 2 O to flush

out cigarette toxins. Plus, you’re

replacing the smoking habit with a

healthy one. Water for the win!

13


3.

TAKE

A Deep

breath

Inhale through your nose

and hold it for a count

of 5. Slowly breathe out

through your mouth

for a count of 7. This will

help you relax and stave

off cravings. If your urges

get really bad, take deep

breaths as if you’re smoking

a cigarette.

14


4.

DISTRACT

yourself

There are lots of great ways to take your

mind off smoking. For example:

Get busy: Chewing gum or sucking on hard candies keeps

your mouth busy, while toothpicks or straws do the same for

your hands and mouth. Doodle while on the phone at work,

and take frequent walks. Eat more slowly and savour the

flavours of your food.

Load up the fridge: Snacking is another great way

to cope with nicotine cravings and the habit of always

having something in your mouth. Try to fill the fridge with

healthy snacks, such as ripe fruit and crisp veggies,

to prevent weight gain.

Exercise: Go for a walk when you usually have a

cigarette. Distract yourself by taking someone with you,

listening to your favourite tunes, or making a phone call.

Routinely getting your ass in gear will curb cravings and

make you feel better.

Make a plan: Last but not least, keep your Quit Plan

handy, so you can find it quickly in times of need!

Click here to download a Quit Plan you

can fill out and use to stay on track.

15


DO’s

DO prepare for battle. Cigarette cravings,

or what many call a “nicotine fit,” have been

described as “walking through the Sahara Desert

while someone shoves a pound of salt into your

mouth.” Work to build your mental toughness,

which in turn can go a long way towards beating

those cravings.

DO get enough sleep. When the going gets

tough, the tough get snoozing. It’s harder to skip

a smoke break when you’re tired. Solid shut-eye

has been linked to self-control and focus, with the

U.S.-based National Sleep Foundation reporting

that most guys between the ages of 26 and 65

need between 7 to 9 hours a night. Mentally

tough men make quality sleep a priority by

practicing good sleep hygiene.

DO laugh about it. When the going gets

tough, the tough laugh: Try to build some

humour and fun into your Quit Plan. One way

to make it “interesting” is to put something on

the line with a buddy! A recent study revealed

that smokers with $150 at stake were much more

likely to kick the habit. Some stakes are worth

more than money. Habit-kicking bets have ranged

from winners being called “Your Majesty” for a

month to paying up by doing jumping jacks on

Instagram. Of course, everyone’s a winner when it

comes to quitting smoking.

DO hang out with family and friends.

Chances are there are people around you who

love and respect you. Their encouraging words

can work wonders, as can sharing their own

struggles and successes when they kicked the

habit. They’re in your corner to provide the

support you need to quit smoking for good.

DO use an app. Digital tools for quitting, such as

MyQuit Coach and QuitNow!, provide roundthe-clock

encouragement and tips. Research

shows that supportive text messages can double

your chances of quitting. There really is an app for

that!

DO save cigarette money. To the victor goes

the spoils! Reward yourself once in a while with

next-level snacks on game night, a new big-screen

TV, or even the vacation you always wanted!

You’ll be shocked at how much money you

save by quitting, so maybe now you can afford

these rewards.

DO Share your goal. If all of your buddies

smoke and you’re a very social guy, let them

know you’re trying to quit smoking. On one hand,

they’ll likely support you — they’ve probably tried

themselves and realize they should try again. On

the other hand, it will explain why you’re hanging

out with non-smokers while battling cravings.

16


DON’Ts

DON’T think that binging will get it out

of your system. It won’t.

Setting the Guinness World Record for smoking

the most cigarettes at once won’t get you any

closer to your goal.

DON’T beat yourself up if relapse occurs.

Very few smokers kick the habit on their first try.

In fact, research shows that more than half of

smokers have tried to quit in the past year, with

one-third trying more than once. No titleholder

got there without practice, so aborted attempts

shouldn’t be seen as failures. You’ve had a taste

of the cigarette cravings you must beat. Maybe

it’s time to go back to your main reason for

quitting. Does it still light a fire under your ass?

Has it changed? Update your Quit Plan and

get back in the ring.

17


WINNING

THE

FIGHT

No matter how many times you get knocked down,

or how bloody and bruised you may feel, you’ve got

to stay in the ring and NEVER throw in the towel when

quitting smoking.

This isn’t a fight for a trophy, belt or medal, after all.

You are fighting for your health, your kids, or any other

awesome “why I’m quitting” reason you wrote down.

So let’s wrap things up with one final “do”:

DO yourself proud!

Quitting smoking is a big deal! Tell your smoker

buddies and coworkers you’re quitting so they:

a) don’t think you’re snubbing them,

b) decide to quit smoking, too, and

c) marvel at your courage.

There’s nothing wrong with getting a little braggy about

how long you’ve gone without lighting up. Then when

you achieve your goal, you’ll look and feel like what

you are: a champion!

18


This guy’s Guide provides you with straight forward

health tips to quit smoking. Consult your doctor

or healthcare provider if you have any questions.

AND Visit

to learn about

small changes you can make to improve your health.

AND Take your confidential all-in-one men’s

health assessment.

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