Updated: Apr 9, 2019
You will quit smoking when you are ready. There are no shortcuts or life hacks to
substitute for your readiness and willingness to put the cigarettes down. You need
to be prepared mentally and physically for the challenges you will inevitably face
while on your journey. I can not really tell you exactly what will work for you, only
you will discover that. However, I can tell you what worked for me, and how I
became smoke free.
For me, quitting was part of an overall lifestyle change. I made ending my addiction
to nicotine part of my new year's resolutions for January, and decided that I would
start from there. I had attempted to quit multiple times in my life, but never lasted
more than about a week without smoking. This time, I recognized the opportunity in
the timing. Not only was it the beginning of the year, but I was also moving across
the country to start fresh in a brand new city that I had never been to before. It was
the perfect time to kick a bad habit that had been weighing me down for years.
I was an everyday smoker for about four years. I started off, like most people, just
smoking casually with friends at clubs and parties. Eventually I was consistently
smoking at least three packs per week. I spent thousands of dollars over the years
buying my vice only to end up with stinky breath and clothes, bad skin, inhale
carcinogens, and lose my sense of taste. It was time to take better care of myself
and honestly, grow the hell up. Right now, I’m nearly three months cigarette free for
the first time in five years. So, here are the tips I have for you if you are trying to kick the cancer sticks:
Change of Surroundings:
If you are about to move, start a new job, or have any other major life changes
about to happen, kicking this nasty habit about the same time may be helpful to the
cause. You will have less environmental triggers such as familiarity and habitual behavior.
If there are not any major life changes coming up in your life, try changing the
places, and people, you frequent. Stay out of all bars, clubs, and parties where you
know people will be smoking. This doesn’t mean you have to give up those places
forever, just try to steer clear while you’re trying to avoid relapsing and smoking a
whole pack in one night.
Start researching the facts
Public education made sure that we know the basic harms of cigarette smoke, but
they really don’t elaborate with true life scenarios or real stories from real people.
Look online for people sharing their stories on how smoking has impacted their
lives, families, and even careers, and how they kicked the habit. Reading real life
stories helped stay strong during really bad cravings.
Clean your car
My car is when I would enjoy smoking the most. Having a cigarette with my morning
coffee on my way to work was one of my favorite things. I loved chain smoking
while on long road trips, and my car smelled like it. I had lighters and empty
packages in my car, and film on the insides of my windows and even little pieces of
tobacco in my seats. I cleaned my car from top to bottom when I decided that I really
to commit to quitting. Having a clean, fresh car was less of a trigger than a car
stocked with supplies that helped feed my habit. When you decide it's time to quit,
go out and buy some of your favorite air fresheners and a cute mirror hanging to put
in your car. Some of my all time favorite air fresheners are the Bath and Body Works brand. You will begin to appreciate a clean and smoke free car.
Be open about quitting with your friends and family. More than likely they will be
supportive and encourage you to keep going. If you have friends that are also
smokers, be honest with them about your desire to quit. If they’re not supportive
and try to pressure you into smoking, they’re not your friends.
Trust the Process
No matter if you’ve avoiding smoking for one month or one hour, making the
decision to take better care of yourself by not smoking shows personal growth.
Maturing and becoming an actual adult isn’t one day waking up, being perfect, and
having it all together. Its taking baby steps, and trying to make the next day better
then the last. To wake up and make conscious decisions to try your best. That’s all
you can do. So on the rough days, don’t be too hard on yourself.
For more information on how you can stop smoking visit www.smokefree.gov