Choose a Plan or Create Your Own to Quit Smoking (<i>cont'd</i>)
"I started out by telling myself that I was buying only one more carton..."
"I started out by telling myself that I was buying only one more carton and then I was quitting. I stopped smoking at work and stayed away from people at breaks who where smoking. When I would get home I'd smoke as much as I wanted. When I started not to crave cigarettes at work, I decided to cut back on how much I would smoke at home. Eventually I was smoking one or two cigarettes a day. So when the carton ran out I didn't really need them. I did have days when I would want one, but it wasn't like I would die without them. All I needed was a little willpower and support from my family and friends!" — Marie F.
"Set aside a weekend or a few days away from the daily grind."
"When I quit smoking five years ago, I created a plan that went as follows:
- Set aside a weekend or a few days away from the 'daily grind.' Most smokers know that stressful situations only tempt one to smoke even more than they usually do.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Other drugs such as these only lessen one's will-power and self control.
- Tell your friends and family. They should support you. If they also smoke and they are (for some reason) unsupportive, then try to avoid them for a few days.
- Breathe! Take deep breaths when the withdrawal symptoms really kick in. Go for short walks, too. This will help clear one's "system" from nicotine.
- Eat sensibly, drink plenty of fluids, and take a vitamin supplement. This will allow the body to flush the nicotine drug from the "system" and shorten the withdrawal period.
- Chew gum or use mints, if one thinks it beneficial.
- Remember that the withdrawal period will last only a few days and will grow gradually weaker as time progresses. Forget any horror stories that one might recall from those who failed to quit. They will only serve to discourage prospective quitters.
Having a plan helped me to quit smoking on my first attempt, but smokers who fail at this first attempt should not become discouraged. Try again. Remember, the smoker does not have to do anything to quit; quitting is about not doing something. Get rid of any cigarettes that are around the home, and 'take it one minute at a time.' Pretty soon the cravings will subside, and one will finally become free from this dangerous drug addiction." — Geoffrey M.
"I didn't empty my ashtrays the final week, and dumped all my butts in a jar on 'D-Day'..."
"Patches worked best for me. I quit previously using Smoke Enders, Nicorette, cold turkey — never stayed off them more than three years. Now it's been almost ten years.
- I didn't empty my ashtrays the final week, and dumped all my butts in a jar on "D-day", added a little water and took the lid for a good sniff when I wanted to smoke.
- I also took some work clothes, put them in dry-cleaning bags, and when I wanted to smoke, I unveiled the clothes so I could remember what I smelled like.
I also employed other previous tactics I learned:
- changing brands
- changing from regular to menthol
- changing to a brand with lower nicotine
- changing smoking hand
- not smoking in the car
- not smoking on the phone
- not smoking after meals
- (Some folks may want to only smoke outside, but I was already doing that.)
- I avoided spots where people were smoking, such as bars or smoking sections of restaurants.
- I bought a huge box of Tootsie Pops and when I normally smoked a cigarette, I had a Tootsie Pop.
I've heard time and time again what a powerful addiction nicotine is. However, I found changing my habitual behavior helped tremendously in succeeding. — Wendy N.