Stop Smoking

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Smoking is Habitual

The only way to stop smoking is to force discipline on yourself. Here's how to do it.

Throw your cigarettes away. The best way to do this is to take a carton of cigarettes, brand new or partially open, take out the individual packs, open the packs like you're going to smoke every cigarette one at a time, then flush them down the toilet by the handful (try to break them as you flush; breakin' the habit, aye).

Sure, it might bring tears to your eyes if you like to smoke, or if you're Ms. or Mr. Frugal. But you probably want to stop smoking, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this, plus, money isn't an issue if you're dead from lung cancer.

If you can do the above - half the battle is won.

Next, go through your car, house, and workplace to make sure you find every single cigarette, to ensure you throw them all away (don't stop up the toilet at work if you keep a lot of cigs there).

When you finally decide you've had enough - and quit smoking - you can't have any cigarettes hidden in your home - not even one for emergencies - otherwise you defeat your purpose.

Most people try to stop smoking by cutting back, or they keep one cigarette or pack around in case they are suddenly overwhelmed by a nicotine fit. That's a great way to start smoking again, so that's not allowed.

You have to rid yourself of the reminders that cause you to start smoking again (out of sight, out of mind). You don't have to join a nudist colony to accomplish this. However, smoking is a habitual difficulty, and you must eliminate the availability of cigarettes as much as is physcially possible.

If you don't have a reason to quit - find one. Most people have a reason to quit smoking when the finally do it. Be it ...

  • Personal health.
  • A general dislike for the stinkiness associated with smokers (yes, you smell bad).
  • Second-hand smoke (think of your family and friends).
  • Or fire safety - a percentage of home fires are caused by cigarettes.
Thus, if you instinctively want to stop smoking, but don't know why - find a reason. There's one lurking, trust me.

I, for example, quit in the 90s while stationed in Germany because I noticed at festivals that the cigarettes that myself and others held while walking were at about the same height as my children's eyes.

Don't hang out with other smokers. You will have to change your social environment if you truly want to stop smoking. You may have to take a different exit or stairwell on the way out of a building to avoid your smoker buddies - the ones you see standing outside of buildings these days because second-hand smoke is deadly (the workers who aren’t working during their smoke breaks). If you live with a smoker, encourage them to shift their smoking outside, or forward them this HubPage so they can quit.

You may actually experience peer pressure or even ridicule from people who know you, especially if you've tried to stop smoking in the past. If someone is your friend, she or he will support your desire to stop smoking, regardless of whether the person is personally a smoker or not.

Nicotine gum. The nicotine gum and patches actually work. You are addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes, and nothing more (everything else associated with smoking is habitual or ritualistic). If you replace the nicotine in a healthy way, you won't have the constant desire for cigarettes, because the nicotine is already in your system.

Spend some time examining gum and patch package information to ensure that you select a safe level of milligrams for your particular body, but keep in mind that the various products are developed for average citizens, and you can experiment if you opt for less nicotine, rather than more, when you begin your program.

Again, while I worked for the U.S. Army in Germany, the local commissary had a limited supply of nicotine gum and only in certain milligrams, which were usually wrong for my height and weight. I used a lesser amount of nicotine gum milligrams and it still did the trick.

New Year's resolutions actually clash with accomplishments. The best way to stop jogging for the rest of your life is to make a New Year's resolution to start jogging on January 1st (because most people run, like, one day and then never run again).

Similarly, don't push off kicking the habit until a specific date. If it's December 23rd, do it now. Don't quit at the end of a carton or after the pack that's in your pocket. Do the toilet-flush thing as described above - right now.

The timing associated with ridding yourself of one of the nastiest habits known to mankind does not rest on a particular calendar day. The timing rests on your decision to stop smoking and the associated reason(s).

Whatever day you finally make the big decision is the day you place everything in motion.

Booze. Alcohol has a tendency to create the desire to smoke. If you are not an alcoholic, consider avoiding drinking environments. If you are an alcoholic, it's not that hard to quit drinking, you just need to establish similar forced-discipline as noted throughout this article.

Boredom. Once you've quit for the long-term, boredom will be your enemy.

Find a new hobby. Write Hubs. Create a cool walking fitness regime. Maybe you could write some Hubs on how you quit (a new twist on this Hub). Take up knitting. Or, write some Hubs. Start collecting DVD comedy movies. Did I say "Write some Hubs" yet?

You need a life-altering habitual change to ensure that you forget about the "good old days" when you were trying to shorten your life with cancer sticks.

Enjoy your newfound freedom from cigarettes. They smell nasty, and so did you when you smoked.

You may need to find at least one new friend, if your old "friends" blow smoke in your face. Cigarettes may be hindering career upward-mobility if you spend a lot of time hanging around the outside buildings not doing your job.

Or, they may preclude you from getting a new job if you show up for an interview with that wonderful smoky smell attached to your pantsuit (I've heard this actually happens sometimes, don't know).

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