Don't be fooled by the fact that cigarettes are legal: the chemical they contain (nicotine) is as addictive as hardcore drugs. At least one stop-smoking program (Smokenders) equates the difficulty of quitting smoking to the difficulty of quitting heroin. (Though part of the reason may be the lack of treatment of nicotine addiction as a "real" addiction.)
Quitting cigarettes will likely be the most difficult challenge you'll ever face in your life - though perhaps also the best decision you'll ever make. If you are able to quit (even for a while) or simply reduce the amount you smoke, you deserve respect and admiration, and you certainly have mine. If you are serious about quitting, first off, don't do it alone. It's going to be harder than hell to firm up your resolve when your other friends continue in their smokey ways, so having a quitting buddy (I hear) helps enormously.
Remember to be especially kind to yourself during the transition period. (Don't, however, "treat" yourself to a cigarette as a reward for going off for a while!) One way to be kind to yourself might be to "ramp down" your intake of cigarettes rather than going cold turkey. Take it slowly and gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.
Check out the helpful hints on (before and while quitting) under Get Started on phlex.org.
Quickly, some tips include:
- Pick up your QuitNet Calendar for Quitting. Then get a quitting buddy.
- Switch to a different brand now - preferably one you don't like.
- Write down at what time and why you smoke each cigarette.
- Put off having a cigarette when you get the urge.
- Make your cigarettes as inconvenient as possible to get.
- The day before you quit, clean out your car ashtray and throw away empty packs.
- Have your nicotine patch, gum or spray on hand (but safely out of reach of children).
- Buy things you can safely snack on (like carrot sticks, apples, or chewing gum).
- Watch your coffee intake.
Ladies! If you are concerned about your boyfriend's/husband's smoking habit and want him to quit, you are in a particularly powerful position to help your boyfriend/husband stop smoking. It's called the NO SEX TIL YOU QUIT method! Watch those cigs go bye-bye faster than you can say fuckmanigottagetlaidlikerightnow!