How Seniors Can Successfully Stop Smoking

Smoking in older adults

Smoking in older adults may be decreasing over the years, but 13% of the Canadian adult population still light up. Often, they start early and as they get older, they think there’s no point in quitting. After all, the damage is already done, right? But the fact is that some damage can be reversed almost immediately.

Your heart rate, circulation, and blood pressure start to return to normal levels after only a day or two of not smoking, your sense of smell and taste returns soon after, and you’ll find your breathing becomes easier within only a month or so! It only takes a few months to reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and lung cancer. You’ll see your energy levels increase, and you’ll have higher protection against colds and other respiratory issues within two to six months. And there are even more benefits to quitting smoking as an older adult that you can learn about here.

So, hopefully, you’ve decided to quit smoking to lead a healthier life. Here are some tips to help you successfully quit, even if you’ve tried before.

 

Know Your Triggers

Think about when and where you like to light up a cigarette. Maybe it’s while sitting on your deck with a cup of coffee, out with friends, talking on the phone, or having a drink. When you know your triggers, you can make changes to no longer associate them with having a cigarette. Make plans in advance — have your coffee in a different spot or while talking to someone, and have a pen ready to doodle while you’re on the phone to keep your hands busy. Avoid seeing friends you smoke with for a while or have them do it away from you to keep you accountable.

Stress can be a significant trigger, so find ways to decrease your stress levels through exercise, yoga, meditation, or chatting with trusted people in your life.

 

Find New Hobbies

Engaging in new hobbies can help keep your mind occupied in other ways. Taking up a new exercise routine, cooking, or doing other things to help your health may make it easier to take your mind off of needing to smoke.

Many people find that knitting, doing crafts, or painting helps keep their hands active and away from lighting up a cigarette.

 

Take It One Step at a Time

If you find yourself having a cigarette after not smoking for a few days, don’t be upset — and definitely don’t give up! Even smoking once a day is better than smoking an entire pack every day. Use these moments to learn from — figure out what caused you to smoke and make a plan to protect against that trigger in the future.

 

Have a Support Network

Enlist your friends, family, and medical professionals to offer advice and support to you in your smoking cessation.

At Trillium Boutique Community, we believe smoking in older adults can be a thing of the past! We’ll support residents on their journey to quit smoking by offering opportunities to try new activities and hobbies and provide accountability when needed. 

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you with this or any questions about our independent, assisted living, or long-term care housing.