Quitting Smoking

Tips for kicking your cigarette habit

No one starts smoking with the intention of getting addicted, but that’s where almost everyone ends up. Essentially, you’re helpless to fight it. Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug. If you’re going to willingly put it into your body, you have to be prepared to face the consequences.

You know you should quit smoking, but you also know it won’t be easy. Don’t let this dissuade you. Just because you’ve seen your friends try and fail doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. Are you really as big of a wuss as your friends? Didn’t think so. Now put down that cigarette and show them how to quit like a champ.

Strategies That Work

Quitting smoking sucks a lot, but there are a few things you can do to make the whole process a little easier to endure and thus greatly increase your chance of success. They are:

  • Make a strong commitment. Write down your intention to quit, as well as all the reasons why you want to do so. Sign the piece of paper and put it on the fridge in your apartment. Look at it every day.
  • Don’t give yourself an out. Throw out all of your cigarettes. Even throw out the secret emergency pack that you keep hidden under your mattress. Throw out your lighters. If you leave the possibility of smoking open, you’re going to take it. Don’t give yourself the chance to fail.
  • Set a deadline. Pick a drop-dead date when you want your life to be completely free of cigarettes. Everyone caves once or twice while trying to quit, but at some point, you’ll have to kiss the pack goodbye forever. Mark that day on your calendar.
  • Tell your friends and family about your plan. Quitting is a lot easier if you have the support of others. They can offer  encouragement and help keep you on track. Plus, you’ll be extra-motivated to succeed, so you won’t have to announce to everyone that your quitting attempt was a failure and you’re basically just a huge loser.
  • Avoid situations that make you want to smoke. If you smoke when you’re out drinking, don’t go out drinking for a while. If you smoke while chatting with friends, tell your friends you need to take a break from seeing them. If you can’t avoid situations that trigger your craving for cigarettes, substitute something else for the cigarettes. If you used to smoke after every meal, switch to sucking on a lollipop after every meal (just don’t get addicted to their sugary deliciousness or you’ll have a whole new problem to deal with).
  • Be prepared to feel like crap. The first few days after you give up smoking won’t be fun. Your body will go through withdrawal. You’re likely to experience headaches, stomachaches and a sore throat. You’ll feel depressed, angry and lethargic. You may also experience a temporary increase in appetite. Don’t let any of this scare you back to smoking. Just wait it out, and your body will start to feel good after a while (in fact, it will feel a lot better than ever before because you’ll no longer be pumping it full of toxic smoke).
  • Get help. If you don’t think you can quit cold turkey, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for a nicotine replacement. Many people have had success with products like the patch, gum and inhalers.
  • Don’t give up! Even if you cave once or twice, stick with your plan. Remember that in the long run, you’ll look back and be really glad you had the resolve to make it through these trying times.
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