Regardless of whether you choose to implement one of the above aids, we are going to help you address the root cause of your addiction and then move onto solutions to breaking free. Do you enjoy it? What reasons do you have to continue smoking? What objections come up when you think about quitting? Think about these reasons. Write down a potential list of reasons why you still smoke. Here are some common examples:. Now, look deeply at each of the reasons you came up with. Many of these reasons are likely based on one of two things: Even though one part of your brain knows you should quit, another part of your brain wants you to keep smoking, so it is going to create every barrier that it can.
Understanding the reasons why you continue to smoke, that they are the addiction speaking, accepting that you have an addiction, and that you are afraid to quit are big steps to move towards being able to quit, and the first step you need to take to be able to dispel your concerns and fears about quitting. We all knew it was something that could kill us and drain our bank accounts when we started, yet we tried anyway.
About ten years ago, I went to visit my Great Aunt in a nursing home, where she was dying from lung cancer caused by smoking, and lit up a cigarette on the way home. One Nerd Fitness Rebel told me that they quit smoking because it was too expensive. They got paid and could afford food for their children OR their cigarettes, so they quit smoking. If they had the money for both, they would have continued to smoke. You need a DAMN good why. So really think about it. If you think this could be helpful — paste that big why everywhere you go.
One great example would be to put a picture of your child in the cigarette box, so you have to look at it every time you go to get a cigarette. We talked a bit earlier about how when you smoke a cigarette, it releases dopamine in your brain, which is setting off a reward center in your brain and reinforcing the idea that smoking is something that is pleasurable. We need to start fighting that.
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You are freeing yourself from a life of enslavement to your cigarettes. When he says jump, you jump. Sometimes in the middle of a blizzard or storm, he wants you to come to the store and pick him up. Sometimes, when you are out at a movie or play he says he wants you to go stand in the lobby with him and miss important scenes. Since he calls all the shots in your life, you go. Think about how quickly you would have the money for a new Nintendo Switch.
Think about all of the health benefits and how nice it will be to be able to see in full color again, to smell again. Think about being alive to hold your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Think about how you have to stand out in the cold, in the rain. Think about the coughing fit and the black phlegm you coughed up the last time you tried to go for a run. Think about cleaning out all of the ashtrays around your house, from inside your car, from outside.
If you think of a cigarette at the end of the night as a reward for going all day without one, you will have pleasant thoughts when it comes to smoking. Next, we need to determine what our smoking habits are and what triggers us to smoke. Without making any other changes, start keeping track of when and where you smoke. You can do this using a note-taking app in your phone, in a notebook, or even just a spare piece of paper that you keep in your pocket.
It should look something like this:. The next step is determining if there are any areas where you can make an easy cut. Can you smoke one less on your way to work? What about ONLY smoking one at the end of your lunch break instead of at both the beginning and the end? I know that smoking one less for an entire week really seems like a tiny step and maybe pointless when you smoke 20 a day. When I was trying to quit, I would get physically upset and have nightmares if I picked a date, I was that attached to smoking. I ended up picking my date about a week beforehand.
Instead, look forward to it. Think about how much better your life will be. When picking a date, use timing to help you. While I was working on quitting, I started a new job, and I made it a hard fast rule that I was not to smoke at work. I never mentioned to anyone that I smoked, and never took smoke breaks. This was a huge success for my progress towards quitting smoking. It helped me believe in myself: Sooner is always better. You are never alone. This includes anyone who you smoke around, or with, including your smoking friends at work.
It would mean a lot to me if you could support me by not giving me shit every time I say no to going outside with you for a smoking break. If there is one day of the week that is more stressful and where your kids need to be in a million places at once and you normally smoke more, or feel more stress, see if a friend or parent can help out that day for a week or two.
They would likely not only be glad to help, but knowing that others are putting in effort to help your success will help hold you accountable. Ask your friends who smoke to tell you no if you ask to bum a cigarette, even if you pressure them and get upset. Just like when making changes to your diet, you may see resistance, especially from friends and family members who smoke. Figure out what will keep you personally accountable and put that system in place.
This is one of the best and most supportive communities on the internet, IMHO. I joined before I quit smoking and was afraid to post for a while about the fact that I was smoking, and when I finally admitted it, no one judged me and everyone was so helpful and supportive of my desire to quit. The NF Facebook group about quitting smoking: Look back at that journal you made about your triggered moments and when you smoke: For example, start by setting a concrete rule that you must not smoke inside your house any longer, you must go outside to smoke.
This way, if you want to smoke, you need to do so outside, before you get in the car, or after you get out.
Quit-Smoking Aids: Know Your Options
This means you have to leave early to get places if you want a cigarette, and if you live in colder climates, you have to stand out in the cold. Make smoking not only an annoyance, but something you need to consciously put effort into doing, while still giving your brain what it really wants the cigarette. In short, use your laziness to your advantage. Let your environment do the work for you: Lock your cigarettes up in a box that you keep in your car.
Every time you want to smoke, you have to get up, put pants on, get your car keys, go out to your car, unlock the box, get the cigarettes, etc. Ugh, that sounds exhausting, probably easier not to smoke! My friend once broke a TV addiction by actually putting his in the closet! It was too much work to take it out and set it up every time he wanted to watch reruns, so he just read books instead. Do you have kids? Do I want an extra 10 minutes of sleep, or do I want my cigarette?
Which one is worth more to me today? And as time went on, the cigarette won less and less. Some people use smoking in secret telling people you quit when you are really still smoking as a final barrier between them and smoking, because if no one knows you smoke, or thinks that you quit, you have to do a lot of work to hide the smoking from everyone around you, and the cost of getting caught is definitely higher than the benefits of actually smoking the cigarette. So please think twice before you attempt to smoke in secret.
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For some things that include a smoking habit, we remove the cigarette from that habit like, for example, if you habitually light up every time you get in your car. This is a great time to start implementing new fitness changes too. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A randomized phase II clinical trial of high-dose nicotine patch therapy for smokeless tobacco users. Association of electronic cigarette use with initiation of combustible tobacco product smoking in early adolescence. Do placebo response rates from cessation trials inform on strength of addictions?
Smokeless Tobacco and Cancer.
How to Quit Smoking: Tips to Stop Smoking and Kick Your Cigarette Habit for Good
National Institute for Drug Abuse. A Report of the Surgeon General. US National Library of Medicine. Effects of an anger management and stress control program on smoking cessation: A randomized controlled trial. J Am Board Fam Med. November 13, Last Revised: For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy. Who is most likely to become addicted?
Most of these young people never considered the long-term health consequences associated with tobacco use when they started smoking; and nicotine, a highly addictive drug, causes many to continue smoking well into adulthood, often with deadly consequences. How nicotine affects you Nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco smoke are easily absorbed into the blood through the lungs.
From there, nicotine quickly spreads throughout the body. When taken in small amounts, nicotine causes pleasant feelings and distracts the user from unpleasant feelings. This makes the tobacco user want to use more. Nicotine also gives a little bit of an adrenaline rush — not enough to notice, but enough to speed up the heart and raise blood pressure. Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds after taking a puff, and its effects start to wear off within a few minutes.
The user may start to feel irritated and edgy. This is what most often leads the smoker to light up again. At some point, the person uses tobacco, the unpleasant feelings go away, and the cycle continues. As the body adapts to nicotine, smokers tend to increase the amount of tobacco they use. This raises the amount of nicotine in their blood, and more tobacco is needed to get the same effect. This is called tolerance. Over time, a smoker reaches a certain nicotine level and then will need to keep up the usage to keep the level of nicotine within a comfortable range.
Smokers can quickly become dependent on nicotine and suffer physical and emotional mental or psychological withdrawal symptoms when they stop smoking. These symptoms include irritability, nervousness, headaches, and trouble sleeping. The true mark of addiction, though, is that people still smoke even though they know smoking is bad for them — affecting their lives, their health, and their families in unhealthy ways.
In fact, most people who smoke want to quit. Other non-nicotine medication can help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms by mimicking how nicotine functions in your body. Treatment with these drugs, such as bupropion Zyban and varenicline Chantix , should begin one to two weeks before your quit day.
Individual, group or telephone counseling can provide you with needed support and help you develop coping skills. Combining counseling and medication is the most effective way to reach success with smoking cessation. Your doctor may refer you to local resources or support groups. Tell your family, friends and co-workers that you are going to quit smoking. Let them know how they might best support you.
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For example, you might consider the following ideas:. Stress and anxiety can increase your urge to smoke and derail your effort to quit smoking. Consider the following strategies for managing stress:. Made it through the day without a cigarette? Treat yourself to something special.
Made it through the week? Count how much you've saved by not buying cigarettes. Use the savings for a special treat or invest the money for the future. Reward yourself for not smoking by doing something you enjoy every day, such as spending extra time with your children or grandchildren, going to a ball game, taking a walk, soaking in the tub, or watching a movie. All of your small successes can help you reach your goal to quit smoking for good.