Are you ready to stop using tobacco? Are you thinking about it? Lark Tobacco Cessation is a 4-week program that can help you decide whether to quit and if so, how. During the program, you can make your Quit Plan so when you hit your Quit Date, you will be ready to go. Here are some ways to get more from Lark Tobacco Cessation to increase your chances of success.
Enroll in the Program.
Set your date!
Know Your Reasons.
Why do you smoke, and why do you want to quit? The reasons you started using tobacco may not even be valid anymore. If you started for social reasons, that may no longer be so much of a draw. Only 1 in 7 adults smoke today, and two-thirds want to quit. 
Consider your health.
You are probably invested in your health if you are using a Lark program already. One of the quickest and most dramatic ways to improve your health is to quit tobacco use. Blood pressure drops within minutes, and heart attack risk drops within a day. Your lungs get healthier within months, and cancer risk decreases.
Calculate the Cost Savings.
How much is your tobacco habit costing you, and what could you do with that money instead? Assuming you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day at $8 per pack, you are paying $2920 per year directly for tobacco. What could you do with that money instead?
Take a family of four out to dinner twice a month.
Get a massage every week.
Go on a week-long vacation, air-fare included.
Join a gym and buy workout shoes and clothes for a year.
The savings do not stop at the cost of tobacco. There are items such as life insurance, which can have a difference of $500 or more per year for younger adults or $3,000 for older adults compared non-smokers. That can be $15,000 to $30,000 over the life of a policy.
Other costs may be from missing more work due to extra illnesses each year compared to non-users, and from extra medical care.
Live more life.
Tobacco use may be making you take time-outs from life. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to smoke in restaurants, parks, sports venues, or even bus stops. Do you really enjoy separating yourself from everyone else to smoke one, five, or more times a day? Do you have to use your breaks at work to go smoke? Are you able to simply be in the moment when you are with friends and family, or do you spend the time worrying about your next smoke opportunity?
Even less pleasant is when you are leaving an air-conditioned building in summer, or a heated building in winter, so you can feed your habit. Being able to relax without worrying about your next tobacco break may be good motivation to quit.
Plan to Fight Cravings.
Cravings can hit hard and often when you are quitting tobacco. Overcoming cravings may be the most challenging part of the process. You can increase your chances of beating cravings by recognizing your triggers and having a plan each time you have a craving.
Recognize your triggers.
Triggers are situations or events that lead you to have the urge to use tobacco. They may be situations when you used to smoke, such as with friends, after dinner, or during work breaks. Other common triggers are feeling stressed, anxious, or angry. Boredom can be another trigger.
Your Lark coach can guide you through exercises to identify your triggers. Once you know what your personal triggers are, you can practice recognizing them when you encounter them. Eventually, you can work on avoiding them.
Have a plan.
Before quitting, you used tobacco when you had a craving. After quitting, you will need to deal with cravings in other ways. Anything you can do to pass time while the craving is present is a good idea. For example:
Phone a friend.
Go to the bathroom.
Pour yourself a glass of ice water or make a cup of decaf coffee.
Have a sugar-free mint or some sugar-free gum.
Go for a walk.
Chat with Lark.
Keep your hands busy with typing, washing dishes, knitting, or doodling.
Lark can help you come up with healthier ways to handle your cravings.
Remember that waiting it out works. Cravings last only a few minutes, so anything you can do to delay can help. Even telling yourself that you can have a cigarette or use tobacco in 10 minutes can work because the craving may have passed by the end of those 10 minutes.
Withdrawal symptoms can include headaches, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. They can be fierce, but try to approach them rationally. First, know that these symptoms peak at three days after your final use of tobacco, so do your best to wait them out. Also, know that these symptoms are normal and are your body’s signs that you are getting healthier.
Feel free to login to Lark and complain as often as you like. Lark cares. Log your cravings as they come. You get unlimited, compassionate support from a trusted coach. Use it!
Fight Weight Gain.
Fear of weight gain is a major concern for many people who are quitting their use of tobacco products. It even holds some people back from making the decision to quit. Weight gain can occur for a few reasons.
Smoking increases your metabolism so you burn more calories.
Smoking is an appetite suppressant.
Smoking occupies time and your hands, so you might be smoking instead of eating such as when you are bored or during appetizers or dessert.
You should know that any weight you gain as the result of quitting is likely to be far less unhealthy than using tobacco. Also, the amount of weight most people gain may be less than you think. It may be about 3 to 6 kg (6.5 to 13 lb.) on average, and not everyone gains weight. To keep things in perspective, a pack-a-day smoker may burn an extra 200 calories per day before quitting.
Take sensible steps.
You can fight weight gain with small steps.
Have sugar-free mints or chewing gum, or celery sticks on hand for when you have a craving for something in your mouth.
Add some physical activity to your day. You can dedicate some of the time you used to spend using tobacco to getting active.
Drink ice water instead of eating high-calorie appetizers or smoking before a meal.
Use mints or decaf coffee instead of dessert or a smoke to signal that the meal is over.
Choose more whole, fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruit, and fewer processed foods. Remember that your taste buds will improve when you stop using tobacco!
Each Lark program helps you adopt healthy behavior changes that can lead to weight loss or preventing weight gain. Tell Lark your weight goals, weigh yourself regularly and if your Lark coach prompts you, log your meals and snacks, and record your physical activity to take advantage of Lark’s nutrition coaching.
Get Ready for Setbacks.
It is hard to estimate, but research suggests that the average tobacco user who wants to quit tries to quit about 30 times before finding permanent success. That means that 29 of those times, the person went back to using tobacco.
It also means that you will probably not permanently quit on your first, second, or tenth try. If you let that get you down, you will fail. If you see those attempts as learning experiences and get right back at it, you will increase your chances of succeeding on the next attempt.
Work with Your Healthcare Provider.
The time when you are working on your Quit Plan with your Lark coach is an ideal time to get in touch with your healthcare provider to boost your support system. Your healthcare provider may be able to refer you to programs, from phone coaching to in-person coaching, that are covered by your health insurance plan.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an approach that has been proven to increase quit rates. Nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges, nicotine nasal sprays, and nicotine gum can help satisfy cravings. Your provider may also have ideas for non-nicotine medication.
Hit the Ground Running
Lark’s Tobacco Cessation program helps you create your Quit Plan. You will select a Quit Day that falls on a day 4 to 7 weeks after you start the program. As Quit Day approaches, you can do some extra preparation.
Plan to be busy on Quit Day. If you will not be at work, schedule some activities, preferably with friends or family members, to distract you and make sure you have no time to relapse.
Tell your friends and family about your plans to quit tobacco so you can increase your feelings of accountability.
Schedule a dental cleaning on Quit Day so you can start your new, tobacco-free life without tobacco stains on your teeth.
Make sure you know how to use Lark so when cravings hit, you can get the support you expect.
Stopping your use of tobacco can be one of the hardest and most rewarding things you ever do. Thorough preparation can help you succeed, and Lark Tobacco Cessation is ready to help.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking and Tobacco Use: Fast Facts. Reviewed February 6, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm
- Chaiton M, Diemert L, Cohen JE, et al. Estimating the number of quit attempts it takes to quit smoking successfully in a longitudinal cohort of smokers. BMJ Open. 2016;6(6):e011045. Published 2016 Jun 9. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011045