"First, I would change the time that I would have my first 'smoke' of the day."
"First I would change the time that I would have my first "smoke" of the day, starting at 9:00am for the first month, then 11:30 for a couple weeks, then 1:00. Once I got to that point, I'd go to bed around 9:00pm, therefore only smoking 8 hours a day and only allowing myself one per hour, thus smoking 8 cigarettes a day.
The next step, I just stopped, but I always kept a pack in my pocket. It was the psychological effect of knowing that I could smoke at anytime, but I choose not to. You see, in the past if I broke down and bought a pack I would feel obligated to smoke it since I bought it, but this way made it easier. After two months of carrying the pack with me, never having smoked from it, I threw it away and I have now been nicotine-free since February 12, 1999." — Michael P.
"The next time I had a craving, I would say to myself, 'I can wait another 15 minutes and do this chore before I have another cigarette.'"
"First, I changed my habits. If I was used to having a cigarette after eating, then right after finishing a meal, I would get up and get busy doing something to distract me from wanting to sit there and smoke. The next time I had a craving, I would say to myself, 'I can wait another 15 minutes and do this chore first before I have a cigarette.' After a while, I started to skip the usual times I would smoke because my body was no longer craving them at those times. It eventually got down to where I was only smoking three to two cigarettes a day. At that point, I figured I could give up a couple of cigarettes as it did not seem the big deal as when I started with trying to give up 1-1/2 packs a day. So basically, I took it in steps and did not give up when I would back slide and have more cigarettes than I had the day before. I just acknowledged the slip-up and went on trying from there. It took me about two months." — J.
"Start smoking in places that are not your usual places to smoke."
- Pick a date to actually quit. Be realistic. (Don't pick tomorrow) Set your "I QUIT" date down the road at least two weeks from the day you really decide to quit.
- Consciously think about the goal date you have picked each time you think about lighting up.
- Start smoking in places that are not your usual places to (outside on the porch; in the bathroom; standing up in front of your house or apartment, etc.)
- Remove your ashtrays from the places where you normally light up, and dispose of them.
- (This a hard one.) Tell everyone you know that you are going to quit smoking, and them them your "I Quit" date. (The key words here are "going to quit" not "going to try to quit")
- Start leaving your cigarettes in a place that you have to go get them instead of in your pocket or purse.
- Start asking yourself 'Do I really need this smoke now or can I put it off for a little later?
- As your "I Quit" date grows closer, set up a schedule of times during the day to light up. If you miss the time, wait for the next one. (Setting up a time every 20 or 30 minutes during the day is not going to help at all.)
- Cut down on doing things that you do when you usally have a smoke. (Taking a drink; Driving your vehicle; Having that extra cup of coffee, etc.) Really think about this one.
- Ask your friends to help you quit, or get into a quit-smoking program. Your HMO and other medical coverage plans may offer this type of service.
— Joe B.