Everyone knows that smoking is a deadly, expensive habit. The bad news is that people start it when they are too young to know better, then find themselves with a hard habit to break. The good news is that many people have kicked the habit, and if you really want to, you can, too.
First, it’s all right to wean yourself off cigarettes over a period of weeks, but you must decide from the start that your ultimate goal is no smoking at all. If you manage to quit completely for a few weeks and then decide just to have a puff, there is a good chance that all your desire for cigarettes will come back with a vengeance. Once you give them up, hang onto that clean feeling for good!
It might help you to do some journaling about your attitude toward smoking. Just why would you like to quit? There are many reasons. Which ones mean the most to you? Do you want to save money by no longer having to feel compelled to buy cigarettes? Are you more interested in avoiding cancer? Do you want to have stronger lungs for physical activities, so you’re not always huffing and puffing? List those reasons and refer to your list often as you battle it out.
It’s estimated that the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are usually over by the time you’ve been off cigarettes for a month. In fact, they might only last a week or two. If you can remember this, you can encourage yourself to tough it out when the symptoms are bad. It won’t last forever. Things will get better, and you’ll eventually feel great!
Get some support. Maybe you’d like to join an online group that features message boards populated by others who are in the process of kicking the habit. Or maybe you can quit with a friend or family member. Support always helps when trying to change an ingrained habit. You may even be able to find a telephone counseling hotline you can call when you are severely tempted.
It helps to choose a quit date and make it stick. While you are cutting back, there are some definite things you can do to help make the resolution a reality. For one thing, try smoking a different brand of cigarettes. Make yourself smoke a lower tar brand that you don’t really like. If you’re smoking a brand with less nicotine, make sure you don’t just smoke more cigarettes.
Here are a few more tips for quitting smoking. When you’ve reached your quit day, spend some time in the local library, museum, or other places where you wouldn’t be allowed to smoke anyway. Exercising, drinking water, and staying busy are all good ways to stay healthy and distracted. You can fiddle with a pencil or something if you miss having a cigarette to handle.
You can do it! Just don’t give up. Watch out for situational smoking cues, like when you sit down with a cup of coffee, or when you’ve just finished a meal. Change your tactics. Get up and start cleaning the table off instead of lighting up that after dinner smoke. The trial won’t last forever and you’ll be so glad you joined the ranks of non-smokers.