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How to Stop Smoking (Or anything bad for that matter)

Updated on February 26, 2011

The Decision

Most every smoker stands in front of the decision at some stage or the other : I have to stop smoking. The decision is not always prompted for the same reasons. The reason might be financial, health, or just a wish to make a positive change in our lives. The decision can also be a negative factor in our chances to succeed i.e. where we make a decision based on pressure. If you start deciding because your physician tells you it is a must, or even your partner who ,nags you into kicking the habit, then our chances of success becomes a little gloomy.

Any decision we make, must preferably be self-prompted. Any changes made under 'duress' are difficult. The motivational factor between must and want , are two totally different drives. So the best advice is, become self-motivated in kicking any bad-habit, be it smoking, drinking or whatever.

Positive Action

So yes, we have come to a decision, now what? First most important factor to keep in mind when a decision has been made to stop smoking or kick a bad habit. It is fatal to tell yourself or anybody else for that matter ' I am going to stop smoking next week'. Even the well meant new-years resolutions of 'This year I am going to stop', will cruise for doom. Any decision made must be carried through at that moment.

'Does this guy know what he is talking about!?' is the first question that comes to mind. Let me put your mind at rest. I would not make such a comment if I haven't been there myself. I have been smoking for 35 years and averaged 40-60 cigarettes a day. 120 Cigarettes lasted me at the most three days. Even when I spent time in hospital, I never went without a cigarette for longer periods than 12 hours. I have been of it for three years now without feeling robbed, hurt or punished in any way.

A little psychology: If a child has a favorite toy and you take away that toy, the child will throw tantrums. Not because the child was addicted to the toy, but because of the habit. Most kids have a favorite blanket or pillow to sleep with. Take it away and you have hell unleashed on your hands. The habit.

The moment you make the decision, take action. If you tell yourself 'I am going to cut down and then stop', you are lying to yourself. Use is use, addiction is addiction. There is nothing like a little addicted. It is total or nothing. The biggest draw-back is that our smoking habits are linked to certain actions and reactions. We eat, then we smoke. We stress, then we smoke. You lose your temper, you don't smoke, you eat the cigarettes!!

When you stop (I don't say try), change your habits. Never though exchange one bad habit for another. Find something to keep your hands busy. Idleness prompts us to reach for a cigarette. Find other distractions. Do not count the hours or the days. Do not force yourself to keep a wide berth from cigarettes or other smokers. The moment you feel you force yourself, you will start to lose the battle. Be motivated. Tell yourself 'I am not going to stink anymore. I am going to feel better. I am going to be more healthy', whatever makes you tick.

Do Not!

Do not think you are going to safe up a lot of money when you stop smoking. That is trying a false motivational. Should you stop and then decide to safe the money, good. Never think about saving beforehand. A good alternative is spending the money on something worthwhile. Spend it on a hobby or other interest. Spend it on fruits etc. (Not sweets and cakes) As I warned earlier, do not exchange one bad habit for another.

To Cap Up:

  • Do not try to stop. Just do it.
  • Do not set a time in future. The time is the moment when you have reached your decision.
  • Do not use false motivations.
  • Do not feel forced.
  • Change your mind-frame from must ┬áto want to.
  • Do not swap a bad habit for another bad habit.
  • Last but not least: After you stopped (not quit), never look down on other smokers. You were one of them. Rather offer positive advice.


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    • Thys Du Plessis profile image

      Thys Du Plessis 7 years ago from Senekal, Free State, ZA

      I guess, as with medicines, nobody actually suffers the same side-effects. I hear what you say, but then even with the help of patches, it remains a matter of 'I want to' and not 'must'. Thank you for your input on this subject. I always advocated my standpoint of 'non-stop'. But the decision remains with the smoker.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I agree with your premise in theory, and applaud any long-time smoker who can simply stop all at once. The physical reality, however, is tapering off over a period of time is sometimes the better option. A friend who stopped "cold turkey" suffered severe withdrawal headaches for almost six months. This is why nicotine patches in the U.S. are available in decreasing strengths - to allow the body to "step down" its dependence on nicotine over a period of several days or weeks.


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