What Worked For Me
I was a heavy smoker for 30 years. I tried and failed to quit smoking close to a dozen times. Most of my attempts were cold turkey, but I also tried hypnosis, acupucture, nicotine gum, cutting back gradually, smoking cigars instead of cigarettes and various behavioral programs and therapies. .In the end it was Smokenders along with the nicotine patch that did it for me. I haven't had a cigarette since the year 2000. I have no cravings and no desire to smoke. I don't miss it and wouldn't go back to it for anything. Believe me, if I can do it anybody can.
Different things work for different people and some people have a harder time quitting than others. Here are my tips for success:
Don't Give up Giving Up --Each time you manage to quit, even for a few days or weeks, you learn something and you get stronger. I hate to tell you this, but very few hard core smokers are able to kick the habit the first time out. The main thing is to realize that just because you didn't make it, doesn't mean you can't. Use the time after a failed attempt to gather your thoughts and come up with new strategies for the next time.
Pick a Quit Date and Do It. Smoke that last cigarette and then get all the cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia out of the house. Don't let friends and family members smoke around you. Surround yourself with people who either don't smoke or have already quit. Stay away from smokers--just for a little while. Whether they know it or not they have a vested interest in keeping you hooked. Don't even stand next to a smoker at a party or watch a movie in which people are smoking. One day it won't bother you, but in the beginning you are very vulnerable so be strict and don't go anywhere near smoking of any kind. This is a serious addiction and you need to take it seriously in order to kick it. To expect yourself to be able to be around smoke and smokers when you have just quit is unreasonable. It isn't a matter of weakness, it's a matter of addiction. The further away you get from the addiction, the weaker it will become. You'll increase your chances of success by not letting anyone( including a spouse or roommate) smoke in your house or anywhere around you for several months after you have quit.
Just One Cigarette is Not an Option
Don't Think You can Have Just One. We all know former smokers who can have the occasional cigarette. They are the exception not the rule and the beginning stages of giving up smoking are no time to find out if you are one of them. Sad to say, you probably aren't. I can't tell you how many times after weeks or months of not smoking I impulsively picked up just one and was off to the races. Do not have even a puff. I promise you that for most smokers, there is no such thing as just one cigarette. One puff will have you thinking about cigarettes like a long lost friend, which will lead to bumming one every now and then, which will eventually lead to buying a pack and then you are on the merrygoround again and telling yourself that you just can't quit because it is too too hard and you are just too weak.
Use Every Bit of Help You Can Get Get a support group. There are lots of them online. In the real world both the American Lung Association and Smokenders run wonderful seminars that are really helpful in defusing behavioral triggers like smoking after meals, with alcohol and coffee, under stress, when you are happy, when you are sad, when you are talking on the phone--well you get the idea.. Check out online support groups with chats and forums you can become a part of. Read some stop smoking blogs or start your own. You are not alone!
Get Moving to Fight Cravings
Tips to Get You Through Nicotine Withdrawal
Talk to your physician. Wellbutrin helps some people and there are new drugs out all the time. Chantix is the latest and works well for many people. Use nicotine lozanges, gum or patches if you want to ease withdrawal. I would suggest that you have a supply on hand in advance of your quit date and let them help you through those first few days especially. Nicotine in gum, patch or lozenge form can really help you make it. But be careful. It is easy to get hooked on the nicotine in gum and patches too. Also, do not under any circumstances use gum patches or lozenges while you are still smoking. It is dangerous, so don't even think about it.
Ride through cravings. You will have them and they can be intense but they rarely last more than 15 minutes. I used to set a timer. If you can get through three weeks without even one cigarette it should get a lot easier.
Start Walking Even before your quit date, try to walk at least half an hour a day. Getting regular exercise will help you through those early days and will always help lessen cravings, but there is another benefit as well. Smoking raises your metabolism. Even if you don't eat one bite more after you quit, you will probably gain some weight as your body will require a couple of hundred calories less per day to function. 30 minutes of walking every day will go a long way towards minimizing this inevitable lowering of your metabolism, plus it's fun. Don't worry about weight gain and don't try to diet while you are trying to quit smoking. That's a sure way to sabotage both efforts. Most people gain some weight. A few gain quite a lot. The good news is that once you have been off cigarettes for a year or so your body will re-adjust and you will either lose the weight spontaneously or find it comes off easily when you watch what you eat and exercise a bit more.
Think of the Money You'll Save I got a big jar and every day I put the amount of money I usually spent on cigarettes in it. After six weeks I had quite a bit of cash and as I remember I used it to buy some very expensive designer boots. Whatever you save--spend it on yourself. You deserve it.
I wish I could tell you it's easy to quit smoking and stay quit. It isn't. Getting off cigarettes and quitting smoking for good was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but now that I can run up and down stairs without getting winded, now that I don't get bronchitis every winter, now that my skin and gums are healthy and my house and hair don't reek of stale smoke I can say that it was well worth the effort..Just think--I never have to go rooting through an ashtray late at night, looking for a long enough butt to smoke. I'm free. Isn't that fabulous?
Watch the video below. It will give you an idea of just what a powerful addiction nicotine is. It is not meant to scare or discourage you, but to help you by letting you know what you are dealing with. Quitting is simple, but not easy, but you CAN do it. If I can do it, anybody can.
A Video to Help Not Scare You:-)
More Quit Smoking Hubs by Robie2
- Are You Addicted to Nicotine Gum Or Lozenges ?
Nicotine gum and lozenges can be useful quit smoking aids, but can create a new, hard to kick addiction themselves. Are you addicted?
- The Truth About Gaining Weight When You Quit Smoking
If you smoke a pack a day or more, you will probably gain weight when you quit. But don't let that stop you. You can minimize or even avoid extra weight by planning for it and being smoke free is well worth the effort.
- Why Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey Is So Hard And Tips For Success
Quitting smoking cold turkey is tough, but you can maximize your chance of success by planning ahead
- Five Reasons to Quit Smoking You May Not Have Thought Of
If you are like most smokers, you want to quit, but, are not motivated by pictures of diseased lungs, and scary warnings on cigarette packs. Here are five things about smoking that affect your life today that will make you want to quit
Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on March 19, 2016:
Hi Eva and thanks for reading and commenting..... every attenpt at giving up smoking counts.... don't look at it as failure, see it as a learning experience instead and really look at what tripped yyou up so you can avoid it next time. Most of us don't realize how hard quitting really is until we try it a few times. It is no joke so give yourself a pat on the back, gather your strength and get ready for the next attempt... maybe an onine support group would help. Staying away from cigarettes and other smokers will certainly help...... and as always, being honest wiht yourself ( no you cannot have even one puff on somebody else's cig at a party) will help. Congratulations on trying twice. Hope that third time is the charm for you. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Eva swatek on March 18, 2016:
Wishing i would have seen this before smoking today. I have tried quitting twice now. The first time was easier it lasted for 4 months. This time it lasted for all of four days and the cravings/thoughts were horrible! And i gave into them! I felt horrible but im feeling a bit better after having read this. I know im human but im feeling like i let myself down. I will definitely be using your advice next time.