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Step 2: Prepare yourself mentally and physically to quit smoking.

Dr. Oz says it's imperative to set a "quit date"—your first day of breathing free—between two weeks and a month ahead of time. During those last few weeks before your quit date, Dr. Oz says you should prepare yourself for a life without cigarettes.

An addiction to smoking has physical, social and emotional components, Dr. Oz says, so it's important to have a battle plan on all fronts. To begin your strategy, Dr. Oz suggests writing a list of all the reasons why you want to keep smoking and a list of the reasons why you want to quit. "Help that reptilian brain that Dr. Seidman was talking about at least retreat a little bit so the smart, higher brain can start to do its job, which is to get you to do the right things," he says.

Get some ideas for your smoke-free strategy.

If you smoke out of habit, Dr. Oz suggests taking up a healthy, new habit—like walking—in its place. "The most common reason women give for not stopping smoking when they're young is weight gain," he says. "So the first thing we want you to do is start walking, because if you don't get on a weight reduction program, if you stop the cigarettes, you will gain weight."

In addition to preventing weight gain, Dr. Oz says walking has other benefits in your battle to breathe free. "If you've got a program that makes sense for you, and you're feeding your brain the right nutrients … you'll lose weight, and you'll be alert and ready to make these difficult moves like stopping cigarettes."
FROM: Dr. Oz: The Latest Secrets to Quit Smoking
Published on March 14, 2008