I smoked for years, and have been smoke-free now for over 2 years. Find out how I accomplished this feat and feel happier than I have ever felt in my life, and how you can too. And no, I don’t crave cigarettes at all in my life, not even a little bit.
Treat quitting like a breakup
Quitting smoking feels like a breakup anyway, you may as well treat it like one. I bawled and cried my remorse and loneliness when I first quit smoking, and then did the classic “who needs it?” reaction once I realized my cigarettes weren’t coming back. Why does this help me stay smoke-free? Because it allowed me to see all the ‘bad’ in my smoking relationship, which cancelled out the ‘good’ by a long shot. There’s a reason once you get over a relationship, you move on to bigger and better things. it’s because you realize you actually deserve more. I would have gone crawling back to my Camels if I hadn’t focused on the horrible aspects of my smoking life.
Pick up a better habit
Shortly after I quit smoking, I actually quit drinking coffee as well. I learned that I just didn’t like the feeling of being jittery all the time, which led me to wanting to go for more walks. Which led to jogging. Which led to whole grains… you get the drift. Once you quit smoking and realize that your lungs can actually breathe, let yourself choose a healthier habit you can enjoy. It’s that fun pick-me-up to help you get over the guilt of treating your lungs like an ashtray for years.
Put that cigarette money to good use
Here’s the fun part- when I realized I actually had over $200 a month in my pocket by not buying cigarettes, I began to store the cash in a change jar so I could count it whenever I started to miss my old friend, Camel Wides. Seriously. Nothing like a little cash to make you miss your ‘friend’ just a little less.
Keep an emergency pack on hand
I didn’t keep a pack of my go-to brand on hand, but I did buy an herbal cigarette pack that tasted like crap and burned so slow you couldn’t taste anything but burning paper. But when it became a matter of ‘I have to have a smoke or I will die!’, I was able to light up one of these imposters and smoke it until I grossed myself out. I know a lot of people do this with the real deal, but I chose not to. I can say it works, though. I would have re-started smoking a hundred times over if I didn’t have a stash for emergencies those first few months.
Keep doing what you’re doing
This means keep hanging out with your smoking friends, still frequent your favorite hangouts, heck, it even means taking a ‘smoke break’ when you normally do, just sans a cigarette. I know a lot of people suggest staying away from the people, places, and things that bring back your habits, but for me, being around those same things and realizing I didn’t need a cigarette to enjoy them was what keeps me smoke-free today. I say, if it works for you, go for it.
Don’t beat yourself up over it
Just like any bad breakup, you’re going to have those moments of regret, absolute misery, and *gasp* giving in to temptation. If you light up a few days after quitting, then quit again. If you light a cigarette just so you can smell it, go ahead. Just because you broke up with your favorite smokes doesn’t mean you have to be perfect- and it also doesn’t mean you can’t be 100% successful eventually. I slipped up a time or two, it’s not the end of the world.
Celebrate any time you want
Whether you have been a non-smoker for a day or a year, take the time to celebrate your accomplishment. Nothing keeps you on the right track more than knowing you did it!