We won’t sugarcoat it. Quitting smoking is hard. In fact, we suspect it will be one of the hardest things you have ever done in your life. But before we scare you away, let us say this: it can be done. Many have done it before you, and you will, too, if you commit yourself fully to the healthier life you desire. And that’s what we’re here for: to help show you the way. Because, honestly, a willing spirit isn’t enough when it comes to smoking. You need to arm yourself with knowledge and a specific game plan to carry you through temptation and moments of weakness. Without the advice of those who have walked this path before you, you will stumble. So, if you’re ready to take to heart our best advice on how to quit smoking, read on.
Truly decide to quit. How many times have you tried before? And how many of those quits took place spur of the moment? You felt sudden pangs of disgust with your habit, or you were seized with fear of lung cancer and dying young, and you vowed never to smoke again. While disgust and fear are powerful motivators, they come and go. You can’t expect them to carry you through weeks, months, and years of not smoking. Quitting can’t be done on a whim. You must think about everything cigarettes mean to you and be willing to surrender all of it. For instance, you use cigarettes to relieve stress. That’s gone if you quit; you’ll have to find another, healthier way. You use smoking as a conversation piece, a way to socialize with other smokers, a way to manage your social anxiety. That’ll be gone, too. You’ll need to find other ways. You smoke to treat yourself throughout the day. You won’t have that treat anymore; you’ll have to learn to live without it or replace it with something healthy. Of course, socially smoking while you’re having a night out on the town is extremely common but don’t you want to quit waking up the next day and swearing to yourself you’ll never do it again, only to repeat these antics the following weekend?
Giving up smoking means surrendering a whole lifestyle and replacing it gradually with something else. Truly deciding to quit means you have chosen this surrender, have acknowledged it as what’s best for your life. Making this decision with honestly and conviction is, in our opinion, more than half the work of quitting.
Ask for help. Chances are you started smoking in a community of people who already smoked. They gave you your first smoke, encouraged you through the coughing and the retching, and told you it would get better. They were your cheerleaders, and they helped you suffer through the strangeness of inhaling smoke on purpose until it seemed normal to you. You’ll need the same as you quit because, now, what once was normal to you (not smoking) has become over the years strange. Make contact with others who have quit smoking. Let them cheer you on. Let them answer your questions. Let their phone numbers be the ones you call when temptation hits you like a punch to the gut. And it will, believe us.
Another part of asking for help can involving leaning on nicotine substitutes like the patch, gum, or e-cigarettes. We especially find options like the NJOY e-cig starter pack helpful. They’re cost effective, and unlike the gum or the patch, they mimic the physical habit of smoking, administer an easily adjustable dose of nicotine, and carry none of the terrible health concerns that traditional cigarettes do.
Don’t get discouraged by setbacks. We’re big believers in the motto, “progress not perfection,” not just when it comes to quitting smoking but for life in general. Think about it. If you’ve smoked a pack a day for ten years, that’s 20 smokes per day, 140 per week, 560 per month, etc. (you get the idea). That’s a lot of smokes. Now, say you make it just seven days without a single cigarette before, in a moment of weakness, you break down and light up. Disappointing, yes, but force yourself to consider it from another perspective than just failure. Instead of 140 cigarettes in a week, you had one. That’s significant progress, even if it isn’t perfection. There are actually apps that exist, like My Last Cigarette, that calculate this sort of thing, as well as money you’ve saved, how much your lungs have improved, etc. Now, get right back up on the wagon, talk to someone about what happened, and develop a strategy for the next time you feel weak. Whatever you do, don’t let one cigarette be an excuse to give up.
There you have it. Our best advice on how to quit smoking and quit now. Only with a real decision to quit, help on your side, and optimism in the face of setbacks will you kick the habit for good.