When you finally decide to quit smoking, and truly want it, set a quit date. Make it a few weeks in advance so that you can prepare for the big day. Mark the quit smoking date on a calendar and tell people close to you when you plan to quit smoking. Pick a special date or the first day of the week. I actually chose to quit smoking cigarettes on a Friday because weekends are easier to get through smoke-free rather than dealing with the stresses at work, for me.
Make a list of your reasons for quitting smoking. Do you want to have more money? Smell better and breathe better? Have more energy to play with your children? Whatever your reasons for quitting smoking, write them all down. Keep the list visible at all times. Make a copy to hang all over your house, car, and office. You will use this later to look at when you have a craving to smoke…it’ll remind you of why you are choosing to quit smoking.
Come up with ways to deal with your cravings. What triggers you to smoke? Is is stress, drinking coffee or alcohol, or certain times a day? Make a list of all your smoking triggers. Next to each trigger, create a solution. What can you do instead of smoking a cigarette to help you get through this hard time? Can you do something else with your hands like use a stress ball? Could you chew on a straw to reduce tension and cravings? Come up with any solution to cravings that would help you to avoid smoking. Keep this list handy at all times to review when a craving hits.
Prepare yourself for quitting smoking. Spend the next few weeks cleaning out your home, car, and any other place you normally smoke. Look into supportive items that will help you to quit smoking such as Chantix, Nicoderm, or Nicorette Gum. If you are planning on quitting ‘cold turkey’, be sure to have lots of sugarless gums and sugar free candies on hand. Don’t wait until the night before to prepare yourself or you will not be as ready as you need to be to completely quit smoking.
The night before the big quit smoking day, throw out any ashtrays that you’ve been using and be sure to smoke your last cigarettes or throw them out before going to bed. Don’t give yourself any reason to want to smoke a cigarette first thing the next morning. Change your usual habits if necessary. For example: if you drink coffee in the morning, avoid it; if you smoke when you first get into the car, put a stick of chewing gum in your mouth…etc. Try doing things differently and you will be able to overcome the habit to smoke.
Enjoy your new life as a non-smoker. Notice how much better you can breath, how good food tastes, and how you can play with your children or even exercise better. Drink lots of water to fill the void of wanting to eat because you no longer have cigarettes to put in your mouth. Chew gum and sugar free candies constantly if you worry about gaining weight from eating more. Take deep breaths when things become difficult and your urge to smoke will pass.