Perhaps you have heard of first aid kits or survival kits, or even travel kits. But have you ever heard of a “quit kit"? Being prepared—whether for travel, medical emergencies, quitting smoking or otherwise—is essential for getting you through tough situations. A quit kit can serve as a tangible reminder of your commitment to a tobacco-free lifestyle. It can be particuarly helpful in the early weeks of quitting when cravings are toughest. In other words, before you turn to light up, turn to your quit kit. It should be filled with useful things that help you stay quit.
Here are some ideas to get you started on putting together your own personal quit quit:
Step 1: Obtain a container(s). Some useful sized quit kit containers might include: an empty mint tin, index card box, tea box, shoe box or paper box. Size doesn’t matter as long as it’s something easily accessible to you. You might even consider emptying the entire contents of a desk drawer or bedside table drawer and devote that space as your “quit kit.”
Step 2: Decorate your quit kit. This is the fun part! Decorating your quit kit with slogans, stickers, drawings or photos, cutouts from magazines, comics, etc. adds not only a personal touch to your quit kit but adds meaning. A photo of a loved one, a mantra like “One day at a time” just might be all it takes to help you stay motivated in your quit even before opening your kit and making use of what’s inside.
Step 3: Fill your quit kit. Think about what might be most helpful to you. Need an oral substitute? Fill your quit kit with toothpicks, straws, sugar-free candies, gum, sunflower seeds, bottled water or a toothbrush. Need something to keep your hands busy? How about rubber bands, a worry stone, play-doh, dice, coins, or a stress ball. Looking for support? Write down some positive affirmations on index cards, write out your reasons for quitting, or keep a list of phone number of friends and family members you can call. Print inspirational profiles, Qmails andtestimonials of QuitNet members and look them over when you need a lift. Keep a journal in your quit kit. Record your quit journey—the ups and downs.
Step 4: Put your quit kit where you need it most. Maybe it’s someplace highly visible like on your kitchen table. Or maybe it’s in your car glove box or a desk drawer at work. Make multiple quit kits designated for different triggers—keep one on your beside table, beside your computer desk, or carry one in your briefcase, purse, or backpack.
You don't have to follow all of these steps or incorporate all of the suggested items into your quit quit. But do make sure that your “quit kit" works for you. Take the time and effort now to prepare for any potential challenges you may face in your quit. You may find you never have a need for your quit kit, but it will be there just in case….
Master Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist