Any smoker will know what this post is going to go like, even before reading it.
The mere THOUGHT of quitting probably makes you want to light one up right now. Believe me, I know. As a fifteen year smoker, I had toyed with the idea of quitting for years. Then, I was practicing quitting (about 5 times) and still struggle with not having nicotine in my system. But, I can proudly say I do not smoke cigarettes anymore.
It seems that the options of methods of quitting are 3 basic ways:
- Cold turkey. This was never an option for me. Some people can do it, but that was just never an option for me. I worked in the bar industry do watching people smoking constantly made that method impossible. Plus, others just have stronger will power than others. And that is okay.
- Weaning yourself down. This will definitely be a preferred method for first time quitters, in my opinion, because the withdrawal symptoms are much less severe. This also gives you practice with holding from your urges which will strengthen your will power against cigaretters. It takes practice that is for sure.
- Nicotine replacement methods: patches, gum, mints, medication, snuff pouches, electronic ciggs, etc.
I am no doctor, but am just sharing what has worked and what has not in my long journey of quitting smoking cigarettes. If you feel unsure of what to do or have health concerns, I would recommend going to your doctor for help. But, if you are searching for inspiration from others, that is exactly what I hope I can offer to you. Because quitting smoking has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. And that is after giving birth to my daughter.
What I tried:
My first few tries quitting, I replaced my urge for cigarettes with electronic cigarettes, and it worked pretty well. Kept me away from the actual ciggs. What the problem with this method (for ME) was that it keeps the habit and motion of smoking something still alive, so I was then just as addicted to the electronic cigarettes and vaporizers.
Tries four and five went much better with trying the nicotine patch and chewing gum. I never used them at the same time because that would be bad for my heart, but I alternated based on my craving. If I was feeling super anxious and aggravated I would go for the gum. And if I knew I had a long stressful day ahead of me I would go for the patch to help keep me calm. And they both help with cravings tremendously.
I have heard that any habit takes at least three months to break, and same seems true for smoking. The urges will get lighter and less often, but the urges will keep sneaking back into your life when things get stressful. So you have to have a plan. Or some new hobbies! Click around on this blog to find some new fun crafts like Acrylic Pouring, making jewelry out of metal washers, etc. Find something that is completely exciting and new to keep your mind off wanting to smoke. Crocheting is a great hobby to pick up because it keeps your hands and mind busy.
Gotta watch out for your vices connected to smoking…
But every time I had a drink I would cheat and have a couple to few cigarettes. To be honest, I did not feel that great after smoking. So, that was helpful to notice. And I realized how much I hated the smell of smoke and having everything I owned smell like that. So to have that outsider view of smoking helped me love it a little bit less. But this also made me realize I had to stop hanging out with friends that went out drinking all of the time because otherwise this would invite smoking back into my habits. Sucks, but you gotta make choices like that to really quit.
Here is what actually worked:
But this is the exact train of thought that made me really accept quitting smoking entirely. Just go with me on this and see if it can't help you too…
You are sitting down in your doctor's office, because he told you “you might want to sit…you have lung cancer.” The feeling of horror sinks to the pit of your stomach. It feels unreal. you start wondering why you waited to go to the doctor for so long. This is your absolute worst fear. period. What will your family think? How are you going to tell them?!
After HOURS of going back and forth in your head, you start thinking about all the choices you have made in your life. All the things you could have done better. And at this moment you realize that you would do ANYTHING to be able to go back and do it all over again. And give up smoking…
If you let yourself really imagine this mini scenario, to reeeeally feel it, it may help you realize that it could be true. You could be seeing into the future, and THIS is your chance to make up your mind, change your life course, and quit smoking cigarettes. Even if you don't want to. The thought of losing everything and how that life might be is a terrifying enough thought to get your inner strength in full drive.
Someone told me this scenario…had me shut my eyes and picture the entire thing in detail, and this is what changed my mind. This is what helped me see that it is not worth it. My addiction needed help, and choosing NOT to smoke could change my life for the better.
Just want you to know that you are not alone. I have tried quitting over and over. It will never be easy. I still get cravings all the time, but I have my nicotine replacements near me at all time. You just gotta remember this scenario and what it means to you.
Nicotine replacement products to try:
I will leave a link to all the nicotine replacement items that have helped me get through the day, but just know they are not a permanent solution. Your mind has to be made up to totally quit. You can do it. If I can, ANYONE can.
- MarkTen is a brand that I think hits the closest to a cigarette out there without having to deal with a vaporizer. This is the link to everything you will need to get going. Start with a “device kit” which will come with the battery, battery charger, and one cartridge (menthol or regular).They also sell them at some Shell stations, and QuickTrips (and possibly other stores, but these are the only things by my house that I have seen and shop at).
- Target Up and Up Nicotine Gum– best deal and quality out there…you can choose mint or cinnamon (cinnamon is by far my favorite!!), 2mg or 4mg nicotine (choose 4mg if you smoke a full pack a day or more), and come with 100 pieces for like $27.
- Target UP and Up Nicotine Patches– They come in step 1,2,or 3 (1 being the strongest) and 7-day or 14-day packs. Great price and great quality.
If you found this post helpful, please like, share, and comment below. Let me know if this helped you!