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How To Quit Smoking

Updated on July 7, 2011
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Roselyn has been a freelancer for 40 years. She had been a street vendor, a baker, and a cook—until she found her niche: writing. :)

Why Stop Smoking?

You've been wanting to quit smoking for quite some time but you're always finding reasons to postphone the big date. You heard that smokers are known to gain weight when they stopped smoking. And you don't want a large waistline so you decided not to quit yet.

Then you noticed that hacking sound of your dry cough. You get tired easily. You get out of breath when you run a short distance. You have unsightly stains on your teeth and dark dots on your lips. Your skin looks dry and prematurely old. Your eyes bloodshot and some of your nails dark yellowish with nicotine stains.

Which do you want: a weight gain that you can control or an ageing look that's brought by your controllable smoking habit? There's also a host of other smoking-related fatal diseases. Even your non-smoker loved ones are also prone to get ill because of your smoke. Smoking is destructive to the environment, too.

So you must choose the first option. QUIT smoking. But how? You're actually trying to attempt several times now but still a failure.

Have you tried all methods out there? There are a variety of ways on quitting smoking. Some ideas sound crazy and silly but they worked great with a number of ex-smokers.

Don't get discouraged because it is just normal for quitters to slip back to their old smoking habit after stopping for a year or so. Hey, don't be dismayed. Trying to quit is not a waste of time. Kicking the habit of smoking is not easy but not impossible. A survey says, about 3 million Americans quit smoking each year. And even when some of them slipped back, many of those have succeeded after several attempts of quitting. It's just a matter of time and will power.

Photos from Flickr
Photos from Flickr

Kill Old Habit with New Habits

Smoking is a habit, a really bad habit. And many smokers have been able to kick off this old habit with new habits. You don't have to suffer from 'cold turkey' or go through a rehabilitation program or seek medical help. Because smoking is not an addiction. It's just a habit.

If you smoke a pack of cigarettes daily, you'll be repeating the smoking ritual 20 times a day. You'll be hunting out for your cigarette case and lighter, putting one stick between your lips, puffing at it several times while lighting the tip, inhaling the white smoke into your lungs and exhaling with your eyes half-closed. This is the ritual that you perform automatically every time you smoke.

If you're a chain smoker, you'll be consuming 2 to 3 packs a day or 40 to 60 cigarette sticks a day. Your eyes will surely bulge if you'd also compute how much money they're worth. 3 packs a day is equivalent to 90 packs a month. Isn't that a bad joke? You're paying that much money to have your lungs and other body parts messed up with tobacco poisons: nicotine and tar. (My apologies to all smokers. I don't mean to sound harsh or judgmental. I just speak from experience:)

Greatest Inspiration (Flickr)
Greatest Inspiration (Flickr)

I was a former smoker myself. I started smoking cigarettes at the young age of 15. I won't put the blame on those macho and sexy advertisements or to peer pressure. My school friends are all non-smokers. My late father was a smoker though. He stopped when he discovered my smoking. He tried to set a good example but it was too late.

I was able to quit when I turned 28. For 13 years, I've been smoking on and off. I stopped when I didn't have enough funds for cigarettes. I slipped back when I have the money to buy them. Good thing for my kids, I was also a non-smoker during my three pregnancies because I hated the smell of smoke. Unfortunately, I promptly acquired back the habit after several months of fighting off the temptation.

On my third pregnancy, I started building a harder resolve in my mind. Because I chain smoke, my cigarette fund was giving a big dent on our family budget. My husband was also a smoker (but not as worse as I). So after giving birth to my youngest, I haven't tasted a cigarette up till now. For the past 15 years, I still feel tempted to light up a stick but the spark was always extinguished at once. Raising 3 kids created a series of routine: bathing, feeding, playing, etcetera. Being a mother and a wife occupied every minute of my day. I didn't have time to think of smoking, except when I saw a billboard or watched TV ads of cigarettes.

I was able to quit smoking so easily because I grabbed the last opportunity that I had. I hated smoke whenever I get pregnant so I did not suffer from any withdrawal symptoms or relapses, which occur within the first 3 months as a quitter. The hardest part for me was to persuade my husband to quit smoking, too. He had to do it the 'cold turkey' way and he always postponed stopping. After several attempts, he succeeded. Our youngest child was already 6 years old then. She would scream shrilly every time her father lights up a cigarette. It was like having a firefighter truck inside the house but it helped:)

Why Stop Smoking

More Tips on How to Stop Smoking:

  1. List down all the benefits you'll get if you stop.
  2. Compute your smoking expenses for a week, a month, and a year. If possible, get a total and post the figure everywhere.
  3. If possible, take a vacation on your chosen ‘stop smoking' date. New surroundings and routines will give you a fresh start.
  4. If impossible to go away, pamper yourself: have your teeth cleaned, enjoy a body and facial spa, get a new haircut and color, or anything that make you feel good.
  5. Throw away all your cigarette paraphernalia: lighter, ash trays, pipe. Spray air freshener around your home. Put fresh flowers in your room and place of work.
  6. Expect to suffer from withdrawal symptoms and relapses, so that you'll be ready to fight the temptation.
  7. Do not replace smoking habit with eating.
  8. Jot down the times of day when you usually smoke. Think of activities to fill up those times. (If you smoke after every meal, take a short walk or load your washing machine.)
  9. As much as possible, avoid places where smoking is allowed. Avoid the things you do while smoking: drinking alcohol or coffee, driving, watching tv, or while lounging on a chair.
  10. Lastly, if you find yourself lighting a cigarette, throw it away at once.


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    • queen cleopatra profile image

      Roselyn Mendoza 7 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for sharing a tip on motivation. I hope you will continue the fight until the craving has gone.

    • queen cleopatra profile image

      Roselyn Mendoza 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hmmm... that's a tricky question. Here's my suggestion: search for benzene. It's a widely-used chemical but quite harmful to human health. It is also a major component to cigarette smoke. Everytime you're tempted to smoke, click on the 'benzene' tab instead. Surely, this reminder will be enough to stop you from reaching for your cigarette and lighter? Hope you'll succeed on quitting. This is for yourself. :)

    • BirteEdwards profile image

      BirteEdwards 8 years ago

      I am a long timer smoker, don't even want to think about how long. I have quit several times, and always thought: I beat it this time, until that day when I think: Just one, one wont make a difference. Funny thing is, I don't like that first one, and so to prove how bad it is, I take no. two...

      Thanks for talking about stopping and starting. I like you tips. I will have a hard time with 9, as I do most of my smoking when I work on my computer. Any suggestions?

    • queen cleopatra profile image

      Roselyn Mendoza 8 years ago from Philippines

      Maybe you could bring your own jar of coffee? LOL :D

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      Coffee-wise I'm hoping for the best and preparing for the worst ;)

    • queen cleopatra profile image

      Roselyn Mendoza 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hello to both of you, Ananta65 and Amanda Severn :) Thank you for dropping by and sharing all your valuable thoughts.

      Yes, you're right, Amanda Severn. Willpower is really the key. My parents managed to quit smoking because they wanted to do so. Mom and Dad started smoking at the young age of 15 and they stopped at the age of 28 and 26, respectively. They haven't touched a cigarette for about 16 years now and that's because they don't want to smoke anymore.

      Oh, bon voyage to you, Ananta65. I hope you'll find great-tasting coffee there. :D

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      Maybe I will, Amanda. For now (you got that right) I first have to work on my determination. Once I've got that right, I may not need any external assistance at all.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Ananta, see a hypnotherapist. He or she will have you sorted in no time!

      Queen Cleopatra, this is good, sensible advice. Trouble is smoking can be a very deep-seated habit and difficult to break. The determination to succeed is the most important factor, as I've discovered with many of my hypnotherapy clients. People need to really want to quit, or the hypnosis won't stick. For many, however, hypnosis can be the final piece in the jigsaw, and it's great to be able to help someone with such an important health issue.

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      I still have to have a go at making my final attempt to quit, but these last few weeks I have been considering stopping smoking more seriously. And when I do I will keep your tips in mind. All, but one: number nine. I’m not going to punish myself for making the attempt. Avoiding the places where smoking is allowed means avoiding being around people I like and have fun with. No coffee is an absolute no go. I MUST have my coffee, it’s as simple as that. Although… This June I’ll be going on a vacation to the US and as we all know Americans make the worst coffee possible, so who knows? *smile*

    • queen cleopatra profile image

      Roselyn Mendoza 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi, Jeremy! Thank you for leaving such nice and inspiring words. :)

    • profile image

      Jeremy 8 years ago

      I've tried just about every method there is out there and there is only one I can recommend - NLP! It eliminates the cravings. Gum patches and all the other just did not cut it for me, not to mention cold turkey which was the hardest, I even tried the electric cig and it is just no match to the real thing.

      Check out this article: it’s the one that got me off the cigs and smoke free for GOOD even without gaining weight! :)

      Good luck kicking the habit!