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Quitting Cigarettes Slowly Yet Effectively: The Antonio Method

Updated on December 26, 2007

I’m not a smoker or ex-smoker, nor will I pretend to be. However, cigarettes bug me, and they were probably the main reason my father died long before his time. So I’m no friend to that drug, nicotine, especially when I see people ignorantly smoking next to other people, often children, throwing their butts carelessly to the ground, often still lit and spewing that noxious, obnoxious smoke, and even the occasional burning other people, even if accidentally. I won’t expand upon the sickening sight of a pregnant woman smoking. Am I a “Smoking Nazi”? Maybe. Read on to find out.

This article is not meant to cover the political or social ramifications of smoking, smoking in public, or anything of this nature. Its aim is merely to present a slow (not a quick-fix) method that 3 people I’ve known have used to quit cigarettes and, to date, have been able to stay away from the habit, for quite a few years now. The person who first told me about this was named Antonio, a “Chilango” I knew from Mexico, and thus I’ve made this method the namesake for this fellow.

The first step towards eliminating any habit from your life is to get negative about it, even derogatory. For an example of this, reread the first paragraph of this hub and think about how you yourself could describe cigarettes and smoking, only make your description uglier, grittier, and even downright nasty. Consider examples in your own life as to how smoking has affected you badly. Negativity towards cigarettes is possibly one of the few attitudes in life where it’s actually a positive trait to be negative about something. Getting upset about tobacco is also the first step towards quitting. After all, if a person doesn’t really mind something, why quit, right?

Step 2 is to record -either mentally or on paper, the time that you awake each day, and beside this number write the time that you have your first cigarette each day, and do this for about 4 days in a row. So your tabulations might read something like this: “I awake at 7 am every day. I have my first death spike (negativity, right?) at approximately 7:15.” Once you’ve ascertained the approximate time that you light up for the first time, stick to that specific time for about a week, and don’t smoke any time before 7:15. That’s right, even 7:14 is too early to have a smoke. The key and only difference here is that you’re making yourself aware of when you have your first cigarette

What you’re doing here is establishing awareness and self-control, the two major keys to all change.

Next, after you’ve maintained this attitude of control and awareness for a week, you’re ready to bench-press a slightly heavier weight. Just as weight lifters will increase their weight by only a slim margin each time they advance their weight, you’re now going to strengthen your “kicking cigarette resolve.” Each morning, beginning your second week, wait until 7:30 before having your first cigarette. Or if this is too much of a wait, have your cig at 7:20. You decide the increments (as opposed to letting your desires control you).

Each week or every 2 or 3 weeks, depending upon your level of willpower, push the time back by a mere 15 minutes. Or jump it up by half an hour if you’re so inclined. Eventually you’ll find that you’re having your first cigarette at 1 or 2 in the afternoon.

Keep going with this until cigarettes simply don’t have the hold on you that they once did. This feeling will definitely come; I’m assured by all 3 of my friends who’ve succeeded at quitting by the Antonio Method.

Good luck. Better still: may great resolve and success be yours!

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