Have you ever tried to quit smoking for good, but found it to be super difficult, if not impossible? How many times have you tried and tried, only to pick up another pack again, or make excuses such as “I only smoke when I drink,” or “Sometimes I just need a break”?
On June 1, 2014, my husband and I decided to quit smoking. After a year of being smoke-free, we celebrated by going on vacation with our cigarette money! We had both tried to quit in the past, by either “cutting back”, or trying other methods, but ultimately, we were not able to efficiently quit smoking until we were serious about it. My doctor prescribed me a generic of Wellbutrin to help me quit smoking at first, but I stopped taking it early on. My husband quit cold turkey.
7 Tips to Help you Quit Smoking for Good
Make up your mind that you want to quit smoking
If you don’t want to quit smoking, you’re not going to quit. Make sure you are 100% ready to say goodbye to cigarettes forever!
Plan your quit date!
Don’t just say “I’m going to quit smoking today.” Give yourself time, properly say goodbye to cigarettes, and then on your specific day, stop smoking. Don’t wean yourself off…just stop! Preferably make your quit date on a weekend day or an off-day from work, a day where you can lock yourself in your house and stay away from everyone else and temptation. My quit date was the longest day of my life. But it eventually ended, and after that first day, it got a lot easier!
Rip up your cigarettes
When we quit, I wanted to finish my pack before my quit date. I wound up only smoking 2 or so out of my final pack. I wanted to keep it…just in case! My husband convinced me to take that almost whole pack and rip it up and throw them in the trash. I thought, “what a waste!!” But, it was so therapeutic to rip up all those cigarettes. It was a very physical way to say “goodbye; I’m finished with you!” In the coming days and weeks, if I was ever tempted to buy a pack, I thought about that almost whole pack I wasted. But I didn’t really waste them after all!
Stock up on gum and lollipops
During those first few weeks, we chewed a LOT of gum. That hand-to-mouth gesture is a tough habit to break! Gum is great because it keeps you from eating as well as distracting you from smoking, not to mention it gives you fresh breath!
Replace your bad habits with good habits
My favorite cigarette of the day used to be the 3:00 PM cigarette. 3:00 was the time right between getting back from lunch and going home from work, and I felt like breaking up those last hours at work gave me time to go outside, clear my head, and recharge my brain batteries. It can make you feel like a zombie staring at a computer screen for so long! I loved this cigarette break, and I worried how I would be able to let it go.
When I first quit smoking, I switched to a 3:00 “Lollipop Walk”, where I would go outside, eat a DumDum, and walk around for about 10 minutes, the time it would take me to smoke a cigarette. Now I just have a 3:00 pm walk with no lollipop to recharge mentally. I’ve replaced a bad habit with a good one! After dinner cigarette? Now I have an after-dinner MealEnders, a gummy vitamin, or a piece of gum instead.
Download an app like Cessation Nation
It’s always nice to find a support network of others who are going through the same thing, and it can be extremely rewarding to see how much time has passed since your very last cigarette, as well as how many cigarettes you have NOT smoked, and how much time and money you have saved! It also gives you a list of your health benefits, once you quit.
You can let your Cessation Nation app know, “Today I am Smoke-Free”, and you will get trophies like, “No Ifs, Ands, or Butts: You haven’t smoked 2000 cigarettes”. You can even use this app to make money!
Calculate how much money you spent on cigarettes and put it into a savings account
We learned that we spent approximately $36.75/week on cigarettes. We started saving that amount weekly, and for our 1-year no-smoking anniversary, we used the almost $2000 to reward ourselves with a beach vacation! Thinking about this vacation, this goal, definitely helped us resist being tempted.
Having a partner or friend you can talk to who is going through the same thing you are is also very helpful. Have you quit smoking for good, or do you want to quit? What have you tried that worked? What have you tried that didn’t? Let us know in the comments section below!
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