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How to Finish Smoking and Stay Smoke Free

Updated on August 8, 2014
JT Walters profile image

JT Walters has a Master's of Science in Behavoralism from Florida State University. A former Campaign Manager in a Senate Race.

Finish Smoking


Reason to Quit Smoking


As a reformed smoker, I feel I can attempt to guide you through an opinion editorial on quiting smoking. I know it sounds impossible. It is worse then a heroine addiction to beat but I am here to write to you. I have been smoke free for 17 years now and I am so glad I quit. It was the best present I could have ever given to myself.

The first step in quiting smoking is deciding you are ready. You will stop smoking it is inevitable. Your decision is quiting before you die or quiting when you die. Smokers have horrific deaths. I am not trying to scare you but I have just witnessed a die hard smoker die and it was grizzly. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

This article will attempt to help you investigate why you smoke because for every behavior there is a pay off. It will give you some insights into how to quit. Some of the ideas aren't particularly nice but better then lung cancer. Smoking impulses on average last 60 seconds. If you can resist the impulse to smoke for 60 seconds you can avoid the cigarette. And finally I will try to provide some practical pointers on how to stay smoke free. I must admit it took me twice to quit and I did use a support system but now that I have been smoke free for all these years I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke. It always amazes me, in the smoke free state of Florida, how many people violate that particular law. As an x-smoker I feel I shouldn't have to breath other peoples' addictions and you will feel the same once you have quit as well.

For physical withdraw, I would say it takes about a week. For psychological withdraw it can be a bit longer. The key to limit the psychological withdraw is to understand why you smoke. There are many reasons to smoke. For instance;

  1. Some people believe smoking calms them down which is not true.
  2. Some people smoke to take breaks because they can't recognize that they are stressed and need a breather. Smoking only creates more anxiety.
  3. People smoke to keep their weight down. While it is true you gain weight after quiting as your body's metabolism slows down. Your body is also healing. Usually by the end of your first year smoke free you have lost all the weight you have gained.
  4. And there is the rare individual that smokes socially either with wine or coffee. If you drop the wine and coffee out of your diet then the cigarettes are easy to avoid. This is the gateway smoker and is a rare phenomena.

Smoker's Lungs

Why do yo smoke?

Why Do You Smoke?

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Do you think you could quit smoking?

Do you think you could quit smoking?

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What Happens When You Quit Smoking

How to Replace Smoking Behavior

Once you have identified why you smoke you must find an alternative behavior to replace smoking. For instance if you smoke because you're stressed then take a walk. If you smoke because you are bored then play a game of backgammon. Just resist the impulse to smoke and change your behavior.

The Economic Costs of Smoking

Do the Math

Cigarettes are what $4 a pack? If you smoke one pack a day then that is $28 a week which doesn't sound like you could buy a lot. When you consider that adds up to $1456 a year or a cruise to Alaska or a trip to Europe just after one year of quiting smoking, it is much easier to see the financial incentives to quit. It is very financially rewarding to quit. I used a mason jar and every day I went without a cigarette I'd put in a $1.50. After the first three months I bought myself something and then after a year I bought a new car.

When initially written this article was not well researched generic cigarettes are over $7.50 cents a pack her. That is almost $3,000 a year. Who couldn't use better health and an extra $3,000 a year and yet, I am certain I still haven't convinced a lot of people to quit. To be clear since writing this article I am now twenty years without a cigarette. I recently had a cancer scare but it was not lung cancer and it actually was not cancer at all. I am so glad I quit smoking and for each and everyone who reads this article I wise you success at smoking cessation.

Rewards and Supports

Reward Yourself.

I already warned you withdraw from smoking would physically suck for a week. I used a rubber band and snapped it every time I got the urge to smoke. I had welts on my wrist but after a week I was physically over withdraw. Psychologically it does take longer because you have to replace your smoking behavior with another behavior (preferably one that is not addictive but good for you.). But at the end of the first year you will be psychologically free of cigarettes. You will be able to cope with life without a cigarette and your body will be on its way to healing itself.

And if the rubber band thing isn't for you, I suggest you spend Saturday volunteering at your local hospice center and watch people die of cancers of the lung, colon and rectum and see just how grizzly their deaths are and the devastating impact it has on their families. Because if you don't quit smoking it can be you and you will be doing it to your loved ones.

Benefits of Quiting Smoking


This was one of my first articles. I am still so happy to be smoke free and still can not stand the smell of cigarettes. I think I am now almost 20 years without a cigarette and wouldn't smoke if my life depended on it. But I am around people who are struggling to buy cigarettes and smoke daily. I would never have paid $7.50 for a pack of generic cigarettes. I quit because they were a $1.50. I also quit because I know life is a series of progressive losses and giving up cigarettes was only a matter of time. I could do it while I was young and healthy or I could do it as I died. Either way I was going to give up smoking. I preferred to do it on my terms. Sadly, my Mother did not and she did an exceptionally grizzly death. While they claimed the rectal cancer had nothing to do with the smoking before she died it was in her lungs too. She had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and would stop breathing at night. I would have to wake her to make her breath. I am glad I quit so my son never has to care for me when I am in that condition.

I do reccomend every smoker volunteer in a cancer ward or at Hospice so they can see just what they are doing tot heir bodies.

Once I stopped smoking, I gained energy, confidence, I could breath easier and the quality of my life in general improved. It is very simple to quit if you follow my plan and stick to it. If you get through the first week, you can quit for life. The choice is yours.

I also had a recent cancer scare and it turned out not to be cancer. Now not all cancers are caused by smoking the probability of me having cancer was significantly reduced when I told the oncologist I quit smoking twenty years ago. I will always be glad I quit smoking and I wish the same for each and everyone of my readers.


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    • JT Walters profile imageAUTHOR

      JT Walters 

      6 years ago from Florida

      It defintely will as the skin is the largest organ in yoru body and it is breathing all the smoke in as well. I am following you so I will wait for you to post/boast about your journey. It will be very inspirational for others who wish to quit.


    • EuroNinila profile image

      Fotinoula Gypsyy 

      6 years ago from NYC BABY

      JT, thanks for the idea to write a journal. I will definetely do that. One of my motivations is to improve my skintone so hopefully quitting smoking helps

    • JT Walters profile imageAUTHOR

      JT Walters 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Great EruoNinila,

      Not only will you be saving money but your health and skin will improve. Remember it takes about a week to get over the physical symptoms when you quit. And then it take about 6-12 months to get over the psychological dependency. But in a year you are free. I am almost 18 years smoke free now.

      Let me know how you do and keep in touch. Great for you!!


    • EuroNinila profile image

      Fotinoula Gypsyy 

      6 years ago from NYC BABY

      Great hub! I'm actually trying to quit now and it is a pain but I know I can do it! And I don't know when you wrote this hub, but $4 a pack?! I was paying 11-12$ here in NY, so I will be saving a lot more money now. Thanks for sharing:)


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