This year I decided to finally quit smoking.
What began as a social habit at 16 where I swore, “I only smoke occasionally,” soon turned into a daily habit involving a pack of cigarettes every four days. Eight years down the line I have finally decided to change my habits and quit the cig. It isn’t an easy process and I know each method works differently for each individual, but here are some tips that have helped me kick the habit:
SET A CONCRETE GOAL
Speaking to other former smokers, one of the first things that helps is to actually write down or note down a date you want to quit by. And better yet share that goal with a vina so that you’re held accountable for your progress!
GET OUT OF THE HABIT OF BUYING WHOLE CARTONS
In the beginning of the quitting cycle, it’s better to stick to single packs and then carry only one or two cigarettes on you. That way, when you want to smoke you won’t have a whole pack of cigarettes available to you. An out of sight out of mind attitude will help with the weaning off process!
HAVE ALTERNATIVES AT YOUR DISPOSAL
Having a list of activities, especially simple ones, such as taking a walk, cleaning dishes, organizing your closet, brewing some tea, painting, chewing a piece of gum – all definitely help in distracting the itch for nicotine.
CREATE A $$$ JAR
A friend of mine did this to see how much money he’d spend on cigarettes in 3 months. Anytime he’d feel like buying a pack he’d instead put the cash in a mason jar. In 3 months he had collected almost $700. This jar helps visualizing how much money you physically spend on cigs which can be spent on other activities and treats! Reward yourself for doing so well!
SHAKE UP YOUR ROUTINE
My morning routine included sipping on coffee and smoking a cigarette side by side. Changing up my routine to eating an actual breakfast instead of starting the morning with a cigarette helped curb my nicotine cravings. It’s all about creating NEW habits!
I know this method isn’t for everyone, but with a lot of focus and sheer willpower you can kick the habit by quitting cold turkey. This involves a complete cleanup of any smoking paraphernalia — leftover cigarettes, matches, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette holders, even the lighter in your car! For some people, this is the best option because you’ll completely get rid of any temptation.
Sometimes shaking up a routine and pure willpower are not enough to seriously quit the smoker lifestyle. Sometimes you need additional help, that’s where nicotine patches come in. Addiction to nicotine in tobacco is the main reason why people continue to smoke. The patch works by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally inhale from cigarettes. You wear the patch on your skin, where it slowly releases nicotine, which is absorbed into your body. This is a good alternative for those of us with addictions that are especially hard to overcome.
Vaping is a great method for those who are not only addicted to the spurts of nicotine but also the oral fixation that develops over time with smoking. Like nicotine patches, some vapes include small doses of nicotine that act as a daily fix! However, other vape therapies include aroma therapy vapes which are free of chemicals. I swear by the company MONQ – a brand that I recently discovered whose ingredients are both nicotine/tar free as well as consist of organic herbs.
DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH OVER A RELAPSE
Relapsing isn’t failure! It took me 5 years to successfully quit. Strive to do your best!
(Feature Image: http://www.katirlin.com)