Choose a Plan or Create Your Own to Quit Smoking (<i>cont'd</i>)
"Note the time of day you smoke, then the length of time between cigarettes."
"I have found two ways to quit smoking. One is to wait for the motivation and timing. The other is to cut down gradually. I did it successfully. Smoke one cigarette per normal cycle for a week. Note the time of day you smoke, then the length of time between cigarettes. Once you know your pattern it is necessary to lengthen the time in between cigarettes. If normally you smoke every half hour, then make the next week your 35-minute week. That means one cigarette every 35 minutes or less. This method satisfied my addictions while allowing me to control my usage. I quit in three months, two years ago." — Jeff W.
"Instead of smoking a whole cigarette I'd smoke only half of it and finish the rest the next time I wanted one."
When I decided to quit smoking I smoked 1 pack a day so I wanted to quit gradually. Instead of smoking a whole cigarette I'd smoke only half of it and finish the rest the next time I wanted one. The second one didn't taste as good as the first one so I started to smoke less. Also I started to chew sugarless gum to substitute cravings. I started to work out also so I had motivation to quit. After about 4 weeks I was down to 1/2 pack a day and was working out at least three times a week. Then I started to take just a few drags and put out my cigarette and keep going like that. By the time you relight the same smoke 5 times it really doesn't seem that great anymore.
After five months I was down to two cigarettes a day. I was chewing lots of gum but it helped curb the cravings. It took six months until I thought I could finally quit altogether. On October 31st, 1985, at 5 minutes to midnight I had my last cigarette and flushed the rest down the toilet. I've never smoked again. By the time the sixth month came around it seemed pointless to just have two cigarettes a day and not just quit, so it was easy. I still enjoy the aroma of a freshly lit cigarette from someone else, but I've never started again. — David M.
"The first thing I did was create a plan for what my life would look like as a nonsmoker..."
"The first thing I did was create a plan for what my life would look like as a non-smoker. I had always mistakenly believed that smoking somehow made me a bit "cooler" than those who didn't smoke. We had a club, we were rebels smoking in all forms of weather outside the building while everyone else was working. How could I ever walk into a bar and not want to smoke a cigarette? My smoker identity was so strong that I even had an extensive collection of cigarette cases, expensive lighters and kitschy ashtrays.
Once I realized that I wouldn't change intrinsically, I started to create healthy changes slowly as I prepared to quit smoking. I realized that it would be great to wake up and not smell like an ashtray. It would be even better to not taste like an ashtray all the time. Cigarette smoking permeates everything, your pores, your bloodstream, your hair, your clothing, your teeth, your car. Let alone the health risks of cancer and heart disease.
I looked at the calendar and chose a date three months away to give myself plenty of time to prepare. The date I chose was the day I returned from a vacation I had been looking forward to for quite sometime. That way I wouldn't have to worry about being irritable while traveling.
In the meantime, I set goals for decreasing the amount of cigarettes each week leading up towards my "Quit Date." Weaning myself from the nicotine gradually was a key to my success. I bought a box of nicotine patches about a month before and read through their helpful hint guidelines, which really helped me to get a sense of things I could prepare for now to help me fight the urge to smoke then. I used the patch for six weeks. — Marlene K.
"If normally I smoked twenty cigarettes a day, I would tell myself I'd only have eighteen..."
"I quit smoking by cutting back on a daily basis. If normally I smoked twenty cigarettes a day, I would tell myself I'd only have eighteen, and the next day fifteen, etc. I set goals I pretty much knew I could achieve, but when I felt daring I'd make them challenging. The important thing is to keep progressing toward your overall goal of quitting, for good. When the number of cigarettes I'd smoke per day got low (under ten per day for me, but it depends on your habits) I'd wait awhile after I woke up to have my first cigarette of the day. This is a good thing to do at the beginning of your path to quitting, too. It helps build your will. Wait an hour from the time you'd normally light your first smoke before burning one. Wait four hours after waiting an hour becomes easy. It's all about establishing new habits." — M.F.