Earlier this week I posted the following on Facebook:
I have now stopped smoking for 13 years, 5 months, 1 week, 1 day, 4 hours, 17 minutes, 7 seconds.
That translates into 196,327 cigarettes NOT smoked, for a savings of $49,081.79!
At 5 minutes per cigarette I have increased my life expectancy by 1 year, 10 months, 1 week, 2 days, 16 hours, 35 minutes, 42 seconds.
And people had questions!
You hear all the time how hard it is to quit smoking. Nicotine addiction being compared to an opioid addition-there isn’t any getting over it. Excuse me, I call BS. I smoked for close to 20 years. I smoked A LOT.
I quit cold turkey.
Now, that isn’t to say I just to up one day and said “Damn these cancer sticks!” and never picked up another butt ever.
I planned and prepared.
So, here is my step by step plan for what I did and why I think it worked.
- I visited whyquit.com
read. read a lot. read it all.
knowledge is power.
- Set a quit date.
-far enough into the future that you have plenty of time to tell yourself and EVERY ONE you know that is when you are doing it. write it down. post it on social.
- Change your routine. (plan a vacay to coincide if possible)
-i was out of town on vacation for a week when i quit. i stopped smoking Christmas night and left the very next morning. if you fly, you can’t smoke-consider flying FAR FAR away.
-this helps trick your brain into not thinking about triggers- always smoking when you take a certain route to work, or eat.
-being somewhere different and on vacation also removes day to day stress that can make you want to puff your head off.
- Write down your why-
do you want to quit so you can walk with your honey and not get out of breath?
do you want to see your babies or grand babies grow up?
do you want non-gray dull skin?
(no WHY is too petty or meaningless if it is important to YOU)
- Change your diet.
i used to smoke with a Coke or beer. i didn’t drink soda for about 5 years at all because of the possible trigger. now i have one occasionally. the association has been broken.
- Arrange to have your home thoroughly cleaned (if possible) while you are gone.
if not possible, then clean as well as you can while still smoking but only smoke outside and leave loads of air freshener out when you are gone.
THE DAY BEFORE/OF:
- Buy loads of cigarettes.
if you normally smoke 2 packs, buy 3
- Stock up on tooth picks, gum, mints and something to do with your hands, a fidget spinner or a stress ball.
- Make copies of your WHY(s) and post them everywhere (and keep one in your wallet)
- Smoke yourself sick.
a nicotine hangover is the WORST and you will feel like a wet sock on hot pavement for a good 30 hours when you wake up on your new day one. (but you won’t want to smoke!)
- Stay up as late as you can (smoking yourself sick)
- Right before bed, take whatever cigs you have left and tear them up-shred them, put them in water so that you won’t even try to put those bad boys back together if you have a moment of weakness.
- While you are destroying all the tobacco pray (serious as snot about this part)-ask God (or whatever higher power) to remove your desire- help you with this issue, whatever you need to do, but be SERIOUS in your request.
YOU HAVE GOT TO WANT IT.
- Take a long shower-scrub the fire out of your skin and your nails…lord clean up your fingers-scrub off all those nicotine stains!
- Wash and deep condition your hair.
- Brush your teeth, gums and tongue.
- Start your laundry with the last load of dirty smell smoke stained clothes.
- Go to sleep.
get a good long sleep because when you wake up, you will be a non-smoker!
The Big Day- DAY ONE (and the ever after)
- Record your stats:
(and keep track of them, it is good information to sprinkle on all your friends)
- Get out of town!
or at least out of your normal routine.
- Be prepared for cravings and know that you only have to deal with REAL with drawl for 72 hours.
anything after that is just your noodle tricking you.
YOU ARE STRONGER than your noodle.
- Visit whyquit.com OFTEN
- If cravings hit, go for a walk.
call a buddy.
chew some gum.
- Pay attention to odd cravings.
after I got over the initial nicotine/smoke craving, I would want things like chocolate or cinnamon.
See this list– tobacco companies are sneaky bastards.
- Arm yourself with food knowledge:
Here is a list of foods that contain nicotine (and they helped me with cravings)
- Drink water, loads and loads of water.
on the beach is preferable, nothing like a good emotional salt air cleanse.
- Reduce stress as much as possible the first week or two.
And that is basically it.
- 72 hours and then I am free. (hell, start a timer on your phone)
- I am stronger than my addiction.
- I am healthy.
- I am a non smoker.
Do not be discouraged if you get a super nasty respiratory infection or your allergies are worse for the first season or so after you quit. Your lungs are filtering.
Also, don’t be surprised if you suddenly have high blood pressure or another circulatory ailment- smoking suppressed healthy system function and a full reset takes time, just be patient.
DO NOT GIVE INTO THE MYTH that you WERE healthier SMOKING than not.
It is only a temporary truth.
Read this often.
I hope this helps.
let me know if you need any support or have any questions.
I quit because I got an ulcer, and was told I needed to quit. I smoked my last cigarette in the car after my endoscopy, went straight to the drug store for the nicotine patch and followed that routine. The pain from the ulcer was enough motivation for me to quit.
I’ve had occasional desires to go back, but every drag on someone’s cancer stick makes me rethink that. They’re disgusting.
I am a non smoker.
It is disgusting. But on a fall day when the air is crisp and the sky is a particular shade of blue…I get a whiff of cigarette smoke. Still one of my favorite experiences/smells-but only rarely. 😉