You do not need any medication to get to your desired destination and going cold turkey is the most effective method of doing this. Before you embark on this journey you should arm yourself with some information that will help you along the way:
- Want to stop. Only you can determine the outcome of your challenge. Millions have done it before you and so can you. Stamp out the loser mentality that you are not going to make it and that life is going to be miserable. Believing in you is the most important thing.
- Never give up. Irrespective of whether this is your first or your fiftieth attempt you should not look at previous attempts as another failure but rather as proof of how unhappy you are to be a smoker. You should also use prior attempts to your advantage; learn from them.
- Weighty issues. Don’t be put off quitting because you fear gaining weight. Understand that gaining weight is far less damaging to your health than smoking. Any weight gain you may experience can be addressed later and is far less difficult to fix than smoking.
- Set yourself a quit date (Q-Date). This is a date when you will stop smoking. The night before, don’t over smoke. Also before you head to bed remove all ash trays, lighters and anything associated with the habit. Destroy all unused cigarettes.
- Share your Q-Date. Let others know that you are embarking on the journey and seek their support. Ask them not to smoke near you and to be kinder to you. Many more people than you think would be more than willing to help you get rid of a problem that bothers them.
- Talk to others. The internet has many free support groups and web sites who help one quit the habit. http://www.quitnet.net is one of the better known sites with a wealth of resources and a support group that is second to none. Use these facilities before and during your transition to an ex-smoker. Check out your local community for similar programs and eagerly use them.
- Break the chain. During the first two weeks try changing your schedule. You may have to give certain smoking friends a rest (after informing them) and take on other activities such as going out with family or friends on walks or to the movie or on some other enjoyable outing. Take a few days off work if this helps.
- Reward yourself. Reward yourself for each day you stay smoke free. Do something really special when you hit one week, two weeks and one month smoke free. Although the money you would have saved is a reward in itself, nothing beats celebrating a victory.
- Take it an hour at a time. Whenever you get the urge to smoke say “For the time being I’ll not smoke”. Urges are instantaneous and normally pass quickly. If, occasionally, an urge lingers, occupy yourself; once you stop thinking about it vaporises into nothingness.
- Forgive yourself. Although you should work not to smoke; if you do accept an offer or find that you are getting pleasure taking in the second hand smoke of others; you should not interpret this as a sign that you are too weak to arrive at your desired goal. Instead you should use all resources available to you to overcome the problem.
- You are an ex-smoker. It is important that you realise that you are an ex-smoker not a non-smoker. The difference between the two is that the latter never had a desire to smoke while you once had. You should never be tempted to try one out; it would probably rewind all the effort you put into what you set out to achieve.
The true benefits of quitting manifest themselves when you and those close to you start noticing that you are leading a more enjoyable and active lifestyle. The exclusions induced by smoking simply evaporate.