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How to Quit Smoking: An Easy Method for Quitting

Updated on October 2, 2010

Almost five months ago, I quit smoking after fifteen years as a smoker. I had tried and tried in the past to put the cigarettes down, but nothing worked. I hated the chiding that I received from family, and the unsupportive comments that my husband made about how it's "easy" to quit. He was never a smoker. I had read books, browsed websites, signed up for programs and talked to counselors. Nothing had helped. I'd been pregnant three times as a smoker, but it was my last birth that really pushed me over the edge and forced me to make a decision. She was born at less than six pounds, two large knots tied in her umbilical cord. My labor was induced due to fetal distress. I knew then that something had to change.

I spent three days in the hospital with no access to cigarettes. Three days later I lit back up. I was tied to my smoking. I thought that I couldn't quit. I believed what I had been hearing and telling myself for years: It was difficult to quit, I would be irritable, I would gain weight. There was such a great fear within me that I wouldn't be able to be successful as an ex-smoker. I gave up so many times.

Then I discovered that there really was an easy way to quit smoking!

The ban on smoking affected all smokers.
The ban on smoking affected all smokers.

The Ban on Smoking

In the interests of honesty, I want to express just how much the ban on smoking in public places helped me to quit. Many states in the US adopted laws that forced smokers to take it out of the buildings. In some states this even applied to bars and billiard rooms. The notices could be found on doors all around these states, though I am now beginning to see less and less of them (I believe people know the law now and the notices are less necessary).

I was never one for sitting in the smoking section at restaurants. I didn't want smoke in my face when I was trying to eat, so we would sit in the non-smoking section. But if we were at a card game or playing pool, or even at a bar (we aren't drinkers), I wanted to be able to smoke. This policy drove me crazy. At first.

Smoking is Addictive

We all know that nicotine is addictive, but did you know that the act of smoking is addictive? There are three different types of addiction that a smoker is dealing with, often without even knowing it!

The three kinds of addiction are:

1. Physical

2. Emotional

3. Habitual

For me, I had to determine which was my strongest addiction before I was able to successfully quit smoking. In my case, the emotional addiction was the worst. I felt that I needed that cigarette first thing in the morning, and that if I gave it up, I would be giving up something that was a part of me. I was allowing smoking to define me because of the emotional addiction that I had to cigarettes.

In my case, habitual addiction came next. With help, I was able to identify my habits and begin to work to change them (we will talk about habits in just a moment).

The physical addiction didn't bother me so much at all. The truth is that because I smoked hand-rolled cigarettes I wasn't bothered by the nicotine. I got less of it and I smoked significantly less than most of my friends did. I was a prime cantidate for a cold turkey quit (no meds).

Quitting is about Changing Habits

Regardless of the type of addiction you have, quitting smoking is going to be about changing your habits. Many of those cigarettes that you smoke are less out of need and more out of the habit of doing so. You might smoke in a social environment, or light up immediately after climbing out of bed in the morning. You may be the type who needs to have a cigarette after finishing a meal, or you might struggle with that last smoke before bed. For me it was all of these habits.

Quitting smoking is about more than just stopping something. It is about replacing that "something" with "something different." You will need to be able to change your habits if you are going to become a successful ex-smoker.

How to Quit Smoking: An Easy Method

I am telling you, ladies and gentlemen, quitting smoking was easy. Most ex-smokers that I talk to now, as an ex-smoker, agree: it was easy. I know you don't want to hear that right now. It's hard to wrap your brain around it, especially if you are dealing with emotional addiction. You're just going to have to trust me on this and then learn to fly on your own. Quitting smoking can be easy! Just follow my steps!

1. Seek Help

There is absolutely no shame whatsoever in seeking assistance in quitting smoking. I tried several different methods before I finally called 1-800-QUITNOW. This number works in all 50 United States as far as I am aware. If you don't live in the US, please seek out your own quitting assistance line.

This organization sent me a ton of assitance materials as well as a free box of nicotine gum (which I didn't need for but three days). Their quit coaches are always there to help you, as well. If you are ever feeling like you can't do it, call them!

Last month, when I nearly broke down and ran to the drug store to buy a pack of cigarettes, I called them. I'd been quit for four months. They talked me down and I didn't smoke. I am successful because of this program!

I'm serious, people: Get help to quit smoking!

2. Set a Date

If you do the program I suggested above, you are going to be asked to set a date within two weeks from the time of your first call. Try to choose a date that doesn't correspond with any stressful or exciting time of your life. Don't quit during a time you are getting used to a new job, or around a birthday. Don't quit when your wife is about to have your third child or when you're in the middle of divorcing. These things will set you up for failure.

Set a reasonable quit date. Don't push it too far into the future or you will have too much time to work yourself up and talk yourself out of it. Two weeks is reasonable, but any time within one month will work.

3. Find Support

Support and help aren't quite the same thing. You need to have someone who you know personally who you can call or who can encourage you in quitting. Best case scenario, this person is a former smoker themselves. I had one person on whom I could rely for help, but I would recommend having two or three people to talk to when you feel as though you aren't going to make it.

Support could be the key to your success!

4. Identify your Triggers

A "trigger" is a time or a behavior that causes you to want to smoke (or to smoke). Some people (like me) are triggered by talking on the phone while others light up every time they drink a cup of coffee. Identifying your triggers will make it much easier to follow step 5!

5. Change Those Habits!

If you're to be successful, you need to change your habits. For me, I began cutting out my first thing in the morning cigarette about three months before I set my quit date. I knew that I was becoming dependent on that cigarette and I didn't want to be dependent any more. I started waiting fifteen minutes before smoking in the morning, and then half an hour. Finally I got to the point where my first morning cigarette was right after lunch!

You need to identify what your habits are and begin to work at changing them. Do something different after you eat (I brushed my teeth!) instead of smoking. Don't smoke in the car, whether you are driving or being driven. This one can be a toughie if you are used to smoking while you drive, but you can do it!

For me the hard one was smoking on the phone. I never did break that one until the day I quit smoking!

6. Educate Yourself about Smoking

We all think that we know it all. After all, we know that smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease, even mouth cancer. We know that it is bad for our unborn babies. We know it is bad for the people around us. These things haven't stopped us from smoking yet.

The reason is because we aren't educated enough.

Seek out information about how nicotine affects the body and brain chemistry. Read up on the facts about the length of time that nitocine stays in the system and how long it takes it to leave your body. Learn about detoxification from nitocine.

Be informed! Information is your best weapon against your habit!

7. Quit

I know, I know, that sounds over simplified, but it isn't. If you've followed the steps I've given you up to this point, you will very likely be relieved when you're quite date arrives. If you're feeling tense or uncomfortable, contact your support people and talk to them. You might need to reset your date. I did it once, and I'm still a happy X!

I wish to add that there is nothing wrong with using medication if you need to. I used the gum for three days and after that I didn't need it and switched to sugar-free gum.

8. Get Support

It will take up to two months for you to be fully "quit." Continue to seek support from your support network during this time period. Keep your friends and allies up to date about your quit and what has happened. If you slip, tell them! Most ex-smokers have slipped a time or two! Don't worry! Just get back on the wagon and continue with your effort.

In the end it's worth it!

You Can Do It!

You can do this! I have absolute faith in you that if I can do this, so can you! It just takes faith and confidence and sometimes a darned good reason to quit (increased taxes on cigarettes, anyone?).

I believe in you!

A Personal Conclusion from Everyday Miracles

I quit almost five months ago now and I have never felt better. I didn't even realize that I had stopped coughing until I got a cold and started to cough. The feeling was unfamiliar! It only took about a month before that happened and I noticed a significant difference! My husband tells me that I smell better and is a good deal more affectionate with me. My teeth are getting whiter by the day with proper care (though I brush about four times most days) and I feel better about myself! I am not constantly looking for an "out" so that I can get outside and smoke a cigarette.

The best part is that my daughter is healthier. As a child who is allergic to cigarette smoke, I can now rest assured that she is getting the best that I can give her, because I was willing to give up my habit!

This Hub is a Hubnuggets Nominee!

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    • Emma Johnson1 profile image

      Emma Johnson 

      4 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Very informative, thanks!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      11 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Dear Everyday Miracles~

      Congratulations to you on your success!

      I, too, am a former smoker and love to hear stories such as yours. Miracle is the only word that really fits when discussing such a powerful addiction.

      My only concern with your 'take' on quitting smoking is the emphasis on 'easy'. I feel that may be a bit misleading to some smokers facing this life and death choice. I like the idea of problem-free quitting, but I have found tobacco to be the most insidious substance of all to stop. Like some other of your 'commenters', I have had multiple addictions and so far have been successful in becoming substance-free!

      I was impressed with my own experience as a relatively no-stress victory over a 37 1/2 year habit but have to be aware of its continued power daily!

      Smoking is an activity that is still a cultural draw in the movies, etc., and when we see ads for cigarettes in the print media, smokers are invariably 'cool' and socially adept. At least that is what 'big tobacco' wants us to think of when we light up.

      I am not certain of the laws regarding tobacco ads but I do see them in magazines to this day, even though our society is phasing this pro-smoking image out slowly.

      This comment is not an attempt to rain on your parade, I hope it doesn't seem like that to you, Everyday Miracles!

      It is evident that you put alot of thought into this hub and I am grateful to have found it.

      Thanks again and continued success!

      Laurel Rogers

      Bishop, Ca

    • consdr profile image


      11 years ago

      I quit when my 16 year old son asked me if I wanted him to smoke. Without hesitation I said in two years you will make that decision on your own. He said, "If you quit dad, I'll never start". How can you pass up on a deal like that? I quit and he never started. God Bless. That was 30 years ago.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Congratulations! You made it to top 5! Way to go! Yipppeeeee! :-)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I have always spoken out about the psychological addictions for smokers being the reason that nicotine based treatments have such a high failure rate. Thanks for providing such a well laid out source of information for those looking to quit.

    • Dorrene R profile image

      Dorrene R 

      11 years ago

      I'm not a smoker, but I lived with a husband who still smokes like a chimney! This will be very helpful for many who are addicted. Thanks for sharing.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      That's the psychological addiction you're referring to, and yes, it sucks. For me the emotional was the worst (who am I without smoking?!?) but for others it's the psychological. I don't know many people who are truly that affected by the physical element. It took less than three days to kiss that goodbye!

    • thinking out loud profile image

      thinking out loud 

      11 years ago

      Good for you. I have been a smoker for over 40 years. I always say when i get that lousy cough i'll quit. But lately for other reasons ( Not liking feeling hooked etc) I have tried to quit. I think the physical part is easiest to deal with. It's those moments of boredom or waiting for something that the cigarette always filled in. Today i received my first order of E-Cigs. Not a great taste, but does the trick, and i think i can finally use this to give them up once and for all. Very expensive now, and still a dangerous habit to have. Good luck, you can do it once and for all.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Hmmm... I was thinking about that, the "why rip somebody off" hub. I'm currently working on another one but that was one of my plans!

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      11 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I have added a link to your hub on mine. I love that yours focuses specifically on nicotine whereas mine is more general about quitting from drugs/alcohol. Much the same process, but in some ways, not the same.

      Now that you don't have the cheap knock-off artist to worry about anymore, you can "tweaking" this one -- or how about a hub about how it feels to be ripped off???? Ciao bella, MM

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      MM -- It's fine to call me EM. Everybody who doesn't use my real name does :)

      I would love the link! I'll have a look at your hub and when I get around to "sprucing up" this one I'll probably reciprocate. I was thinking earlier that this is one that could do with a little bit of a tweak :)

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      11 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I am reading this hub now because of your post on the Forum about having it ripped off. Well, I can see why someone would want to rip it off -- it's excellent! Very helpful, practical info and your personal success story really makes it believable!!

      I am glad you were able to quit, Everyday Miracles (EM -- can I call you that?).

      If it's ok with you I would like to link your hub -- this on, not the plagiarized on -- to my hub about living drink, drug and smoke free? Is that ok with you? Thanks! MM

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      If you don't start you never have to stop, aniketgore! ;)

    • aniketgore profile image


      11 years ago from India

      I never smoked till date will never but will direct my friends to this hub. Thanks miracle.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Thank you for your comments!

    • flread45 profile image


      11 years ago from Montana

      I was lucky as I quit smoking after 30 years,COLD,never started again,thank god,

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley Marks 

      11 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I'm a firm believer in the slowly-cutting-down method, counting your cigs, if you must, in order to let your system readjust to the change. None of the other methods have consistency with most folks. Also, you never "try" to quit; you either do it or you don't. Great hub!!!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Congratulations on quitting! You'll never regret your decision to become a NON smoker. I quit 12 years ago, but my husband struggled to give up cigarettes. He was finally able to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes when he switched to e cigarettes. I don't think it's the perfect solution, but I'm certain they're better for him than smoking a pack a day. He can still have the experience of "smoking" without actually lighting up. He tried the patch but it didn't satisfy the emotional comfort of holding a cigarette and taking a puff. I wish they had been around when I quit, I think it would have been a lot easier. However you do it though, the important thing is to quit!

    • hindu squats profile image

      hindu squats 

      11 years ago from Sth Brisbane

      congratulation on your success, I wish you all the best health for your future :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Your daughter will appreciate your sacrifice. My father smoked around his entire family causing us all problems and he died of emphysema at 83 years old. He was lucky to have lived that long but his quality of life was awful. He could have paid for one more of his children to go to college with the money he spent too. It's all a choice and I'm glad to read your story.

    • profile image

      quit smoking info 

      11 years ago

      I gave up several months ago, it was a very satisfying experience,even now i'm proud of quitting

    • profile image

      quit smoking info 

      11 years ago

      Hey great hub ,I myself have been in very close situations, really inspiring ,info ,thanks for sharing

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Good one, Monique! Thank you for sharing!

    • MoniqueAttinger profile image


      11 years ago from Georgetown, ON

      I quit over 15 years ago. I had quit many times - but would go back to it. When I finally quit for good, I made a bet with a friend (who I knew wouldn't let me off the hook) for $50 in shares of the company for which he was president and CEO. I had to stay off for a year to collect. Over the course of the year, the stock price went up, so the cost of that one cigarette went up and up and up... It worked. I made the year and collected on the bet. I've never gone back.

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Thanks, Kari! Truthfully, I honestly say that if I can do it, so can *anyone* lol

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      First, let me say congratulations! Second, this is a very inspiring hub, thanks for the information!

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Thank you! It means a lot to me to know that something I have written inspires someone!

      Weight gain is a problem. I don't care how much you're promised you won't gain, just wait until you taste the food! It's controllable though. I drink a lot of water and that is beginning to help to boost my metabolism again!

    • Eaglekiwi profile image


      11 years ago from -Oceania

      Thumbs up ! wow I need to get this sub ( oops food voice ,get out) hub printed off and stick it all over my home!

      So many similar situations except you have and still overcoming the demons!

      I am inspired, thankyou thankyou!

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Kelsey, I *dream* about smoking, would you believe it? I dreamed last night that I bummed a few because it "wasn't that bad."

      LOL! Yes it is!

    • Kelsey Tallis profile image

      Kelsey Tallis 

      11 years ago from USA-Ohio

      Great hub EM! I actually decided to quit at the beginning of the year because a friend I'd met online had just quit--I was already trying to help her though it and I'd been wanting to quit anyway, so I figured, why not! Having a support system of some kind makes ALL the difference. The price of cigarettes definitiely helps too *rolls eyes*. My worst temptation is actually wanting to "bum" a cigarette off people because I keep thinking, well if I don't buy a whole pack, it's not that bad, right? Luckily I've resisted temptation and haven't had even one since I quit, and I hope to keep that record... So, if you're thinking about quitting:

      JUST. DO. IT!

      [That phrase worked for Nike for a reason, you know :-)]

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      You *can* do it!

      I gained about fifteen pounds. It wasn't expected, and it had nothing to do with eating candy. The problem that recent quitters usually experience is that when you're smoking, you only *think* you're tasting your food. Suddenly it is THAT MUCH BETTER and it can be somewhat difficult to stop eating when you know you should. All in all, it's a good thing. The weight an be lost much more easily than a lung can be replaced, or in my case, my daughter. Keep hydrated and you should be fine.

      You CAN do this!

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 

      11 years ago from Namibia

      I'm sitting reading this with a cigarette clutched between my fingers while typing. ironic isn't it.

      Ive been smoking for 20 years and scared if I stop now I'll grow fat for doing something else, or eating candy instead of smoking.

      But, I need to stop, and you just convinced me, you quit after 15 years, so can I... I'll keep you posted.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I hope so too. :-) To creative visualizations and life changing habits!

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Creative visualization *works*! My husband was reading something by Scott Adams that talked about how he used positive affirmations to become rich. I don't know how much of that is true and how much of it is comedy, but it's an interesting thought, regardless!

      I hope that your friend makes the right decision for her health. One thing that I was told that had a negative effect on my quitting was that I was going to gain weight and get sick. Some quitters I have known got very sick when they quit, and for a long time. The lung damage was already there.

      It wasn't that way for me, but then I smoked hand-rolled cigarettes. If she *really* wants to quit, getting her to switch might help!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thank you for sharing that.  I needed to hear that from you.  Also, I will continue to visualize and believe that my friend will be able to get past this addiction so I will add good energy.  I believe when we truly desire something, it will be so!  So I pray and hope she will desire it as much as I do...not only for my health but for hers as well. Thanks Everyday Miracles.  :-)

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      You know, it's a tough thing... I wasn't ready, but my daughter was allergic and I wanted to have another baby. Because she was so small when she was born I didn't want to smoke through another pregnancy, but the harder I tried to quit, the more emotionally dependent I got on the cigarettes. In the end, I got SO ANGRY that I let it go. I was going to prove to the world that I was better than they thought I was.

      And I had broken a lot of habits.

      I had a friend like yours. I let the friendship go, not because she smokes still, but because she lied to me about quitting. Now I'm like you, the smell of the stuff is repugnant and gives me headaches. I can't believe I did that to my family for as long as I did.

      My husband lectured a LOT. That didn't help. He felt that it should be easy, or simple. It is simple, *if you know the secret*. Some methods work better for some people and others work better for others, but all in all, you really do have to want it!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Everyday Miracles, like your husband I don't smoke. I have avoided people who smoke because I have sinusitis and it gives me headaches. In fact my allergies have made me lose my sense of smell. I applaud you for quitting and sharing this hub about it. It does sound so simple...and yet I know extremely difficult. Could you say that the reason you finally quit was because emotionally you were ready to quit?

      I have a very close friend who smokes and we fight a lot about that. I guess I feel she chooses not to quit so silently I am "mad" at her. It doesn't help her I know. So since I don't smoke I could never empathize with how it feels like to crave for it and letting it go. I have forwarded this hub to her and quietly pray that she will have it in her heart and choice to quit smoking. Thank you for this hub!

      And the most important thing: CONGRATULATIONS for being a HUBNUGGET nominee! To all those who like this hub, vote by clicking on this link:

    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      My Hubby has that naturally!

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      11 years ago from Earth

      Thanks Everyday, for another excellent and useful Hub. =)

      One of these days I'll set a date, and when that date comes, I'll actually stick to it. ;)

      I've been in situations where cigarettes weren't an option for me, so I know I *don't* have to smoke and I *can* quit. But wanting, as you say, is an entirely different matter...besides, it helps me keep that death metal voice for my heavier music tracks. ;)


    • Everyday Miracles profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      11 years ago from Indiana, USA

      I wonder, Anna Marie, did you have sufficient support?

      The biggest thing for me was understanding the emotional addiction. I've long been like that with weight loss, too. I'm not addicted to food (far from it!) but I am addicted to my current weight. It makes it harder to lose weight when you simply don't *want* to.

      And that, too, is a big thing. You really do have to want to quit. I didn't, but I got so angry with DH that I was going to *prove* to him that I could do it lol

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      11 years ago from Florida

      Excellent information, and you related it well to your own experience!! I am a smoker who has tried several times to quit. I have tried the patch, the gum, cold turkey. Congrats to you for quitting!!!! You should be proud of yourself!! I think I will be putting some of this to use very soon!!


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