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Quit Smoking Index


Stamp it Out

Now that you are thoroughly mentally prepared,
 the time has come to stamp out the cigarette once and for all.

Picking a date

Set a target date for quitting. 
Choose a time when you won't be under a lot of stress. 
Not a bad idea to select a week end.

Enter into a contract

To help you stick to your quit date, write "I will quit smoking on (fill in the date)" on a piece of paper and have someone sign it with you. Now you have a contract. Make your contract as comprehensive as possible. Include your reasons for quitting, the triggers that you have to overcome, the methods you will employ to do the same and even list on your contract how you'll reward yourself for each week and month of not smoking. Ask the person who cosigns your contract — or another friend or family member — to give you special support in your efforts to quit. Read the article You Can Make The Difference with him or her. Plan to talk with your supporter regularly to share your progress and to ask for encouragement. If possible, quit with a relative or friend.

The Evening before

On the evening before your quit day, concentrate hard on your anti smoking crusade and all the activities you can engage yourself in to break free. Throw away all cigarettes, cigars, pipes, butts, matches, lighters, and ashtrays anything that was considered smoking paraphernalia. If cigarettes are not there they cannot be smoked. Make some signs saying "No Smoking" to put on your office desk, study, living room (place one atop the TV), bedroom, bathroom (get a towel with a no smoking sign) and anywhere you can think of. Change the wallpaper of your home and office PC, something that reminds you of your pledge or why you have made up your mind to quit. Plan some special activities for the next day to keep you busy, such as a long walk, a movie, or an outing with a friend. Ask family members and friends not to offer you cigarettes or to smoke in front of you. Your goal is to get through that first important day smoke-free — which will help you succeed on each day after that. When you go to sleep, congratulate yourself for making the right decision. Give your sweetheart a big hug and remind her that from tomorrow onwards you will be a free man.

Surviving "Day One" 

Wake up, give yourself a big smile cause the much awaited day of freedom is here. Open the bedroom window and feel the morning freshness. It must have been ages since you have experienced the purity of the morning breeze. Sit down and take a couple of deep breaths. Tell yourself just for this day you will not smoke. 

When first quitting, the concept of ONE DAY AT A TIME is clearly superior to the smoker thinking that he will never smoke again for the rest of his life.  For when the smoker is first giving up smoking, he does not know whether or not he wants to go the rest of his life without smoking.  Most of the time the smoker envisions life as a non-smoker as more stressful, painful, and less fun. You have read about all this in the previous articles but you would be able to internalize the fact, that your thoughts of what life is like as a non-smoker were wrong, only when you quit smoking. 

Once you  quit you will  realize that there is life after smoking. It is a cleaner, calmer, fuller and, most important, healthier life.  Once you get through with the physical and psychological withdrawal, the thought of returning to smoking will become a repulsive concept.  Even though the fears have reversed, the ONE DAY AT A TIME technique should still be maintained. When you become an ex-smoker, you will still have bad moments every now and then.  Sometimes due to stress at home or work, or pleasant social situations, or to some other indefinable trigger situation, the desire for a cigarette will surface.  All you need to do is say to yourself, I won't smoke for the rest of today; tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow.  The urge will be over in seconds, and the next day you probably won't even think of a cigarette.

So the first day shouldn't be anything different. Activate all those alternative behaviors that you have thought of to counter the triggers. Get involved in projects that require you to use your hands, such as sewing, gardening, or jigsaw puzzles. Be as physically active as you can. When you feel the urge to put something in your mouth, have low-calorie substitutes ready, such as vegetable sticks, apple slices, or sugarless gum. Once you manage to scrape through your first day it will give you the confidence to take on the days to follow. Remember one day at a time and, surely at bedtime as you put aside the money that you saved don't forget to pat yourself on the back cause what you have done is no mean achievement. Doze of looking forward to tomorrow, and when you  wake up tell yourself again JUST FOR TODAY I AM NOT GOING TO SMOKE.

Know What To Expect

Physical withdrawal may be rough or very mild.  Shortly after quitting, you may experience headaches, irritability, tiredness, constipation, or trouble concentrating. While these symptoms are not pleasant, it is important to know that they are signs that your body is recovering from smoking. The symptoms will be overcome by making it through the first few days without taking a puff.  Within three days the physical withdrawal will peak and by two weeks will cease altogether.

Avoid Pharmacological crutches

The market today is flooded with innumerable nicotine products, from gums to sprays to inhalers to patches. In our opinion it is best to avoid these as all that they do is prolong withdrawal. It is much better to stamp out nicotine at one go and face the full wrath of the withdrawal rather than suffer the same over a prolonged period. Many try smoking fewer cigarettes i.e. quitting by gradual withdrawal, but you're likely to end up smoking just as many as you used to. And even if you succeed all that you manage to do is remain in a prolonged state of withdrawal just like the pharmacological aids. Also avoid switching to "low-tar, low-nicotine" cigarettes. They usually do little good. Because nicotine is so addictive, most smokers who switch brands automatically compensate by puffing on each cigarette harder and more often. Just because a cigarette is listed as low-tar or low-nicotine, doesn't mean the smoker is inhaling less nicotine. By inhaling more deeply smokers can get as much nicotine (and tar) out of a low-nicotine cigarette as from a regular one. The only safe choice is to quit completely.

Be good to yourself. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and eat three balanced, healthful meals each day. If you are not as cheerful or energetic as usual during the first couple of weeks after quitting, don't feel guilty. You are making a major change in your life, and for that you deserve a lot of credit. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!


The final countdown

Quit smoking index page