Quiz: What Kind of Smoker Are You?
(VEER/CORBIS/GETTY/HEALTH.COM)The key to finally quitting is knowing why you smoke in the first place. Take our "What Kind of Smoker Are You?" quiz to find out what triggers your nicotine cravings and discover your smartest strategies for quitting.
1. How old were you when you first lit up?
A. Teens. You just wanted to be "cool."
B. 20s. It helped you pulled all-nighters.
C. 30s. It was either start smoking or tell your boss how you really feel.
D. 40s. Midlife crisis?
2. When does your worst nicotine craving hit?
A. Morning. Your alarm goes off and you're reaching for your lighter.
B. Evening. Nothing goes better with an after-work glass of pinot noir.
C. Sometime between your babysitter's cancellation and your boss's screaming fit.
D. Whenever your willpower flies out the window.
3. What song lyric describes your relationship with smoking?
A. "Without You" by Air Supply: "I can't live, if living is without you."
B. "Toxic" by Britney Spears: "There's no escape. I can't wait. I need a hit. Baby, give me it."
C. "Under Pressure" by Queen: "Pressure. Pushing down on me."
D. "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba: "I get knocked down, but I get up again."
4. Besides the impact on your health, which side effect alarms you the most?
A. Your wallet. You know it burns a whole in your pocket, and smoking costs the United States more than $160 billion a year in health-care costs and lost productivity.
B. Your appearance: Increased facial wrinkling, premature gray hair, and stained teeth. Looking like the Crypt Keeper isn't at the top of your to-do list.
C. Your social life. Can you say stigma? Plus, no one wants to stand around your cloud of smoke when approximately 3,400 nonsmokers die from lung cancer and 46,000 die from heart disease in the United States each year because of secondhand smoke.
D. Your family. It's hard to tell your kids not to start when you can't stop. Children whose parents smoke are more than twice as likely to begin smoking cigarettes on a daily basis between the ages of 13 and 21 than children whose parents don't smoke.
5. How many times have your tried to kick the habit?
A. 0-1. Just thinking about quitting makes you nauseous.
B. 2 -3. Sometime after the New Year's hangover has you swearing off all of your vices.
C. 4-6. The idea seems appealing in your 3.5 minutes of downtime each day.
D. Every time you see a "Truth" ad...or a picture of Amy Winehouse.
6. What is your biggest motivator in life?
A. Power. You like to hold the reins.
B. Peer pressure. It's so much easier to go with the flow.
C. Success. Why play the game if you don't win?
D. Incentives. You don't mind working hard if there's a reward at the end.
For every "A" answer, add one point; "B" answer, add two points; "C" answer, add three points; "D" answer, add four points. Then total your score.
Next Page: What your score means [ pagebreak ]Now the moment of truth: Do your nicotine habits resemble those found in the smoke-filled boardrooms of Mad Men or on the squeaky-clean set of High School Musical?
0-8: Serious Smoker
Face it, you're hooked.
Characteristics: Traditional and strong-willed, you may have heard the term control freak a time or two.
You Might Try: Youve already picked your poison; now its time to pick a replacement: nicotine gum, patch, lozenge, or inhaler. You will double your chances of quitting even if over-the-counter medication is the only treatment you use to quit, but your odds increase when you combine medication with other quitting strategies, such as counseling. You can also use bupropion or nortriptyline, antidepressants that offset some withdrawal symptoms.
9-16: Social Smoker
You met your best friend by bumming a cigarette.
Characteristics: Bubbly, outgoing, trendy, maybe even borderline ADHD.
You Might Try: Support groups. If you can make friends smoking, you can surely make friends quitting. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that smokers are more likely to quit in groups, so start the trend and encourage your friends to kick the habit.
17-22: Stressful Smoker
Instead of eating your emotions, you smoke them.
Characteristics: Type A, a perfectionist; some might say you have an addictive personality.
You Might Try: Gum. The average nicotine craving lasts for less than five minutes, so you need a quick fix. Every time you are stressed, instead of reaching for your cigarettes, try nicotine gum. It comes in a variety of flavors and two strengths: 2 milligrams or 4 milligrams. Though the nicotine takes longer to reach your brain than it does with cigarettes, you can control when you need the nicotine by chewing up to 24 pieces of gum each day.
23+: Serial Quitter
If smoking were a significant other, you'd have a love-hate relationship.
Characteristics: Free-spirited, well-intentioned, afraid of commitment.
You Might Try: Chances are youve tried all the behavioral tactics: setting a date, quitting with a friend, and cold turkey. It may be time to set some structure to your quitting plan. If nicotine-replacement therapies havent worked, consider the FDA-approved, non-nicotine options of bupropion (an antidepressant) and varenicline. Though you should consult your doctor about side effects, these drugs have proven to increase cessation rates compared with placebo groups.