How I Quit Smoking
I actually quit smoking in 1985. Since smoking was everywhere at that time, it was much harder to quit than it is now, but I’ll impart the story anyway.
At the time I was working in a retail store and my work hours were 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. And to make it even harder, back then people were allowed to smoke inside the business.
So even during the quitting process I was still subjected to some of what is now called secondhand smoke.
At home my wife also smoked, so you might think the odds of my quitting actually happening would be slim to none.
Getting In The Right Mind Set
I decided on a plan that would slowly wean me off smoking rather than just stopping cold turkey. A program that I had done numerous times without success.
There is no way to know if my plan would work for you, but the point is, you need some kind of plan in order to stop.
And most importantly you must put yourself is the right mindset that you are going to stop. Cigarettes are highly addictive.
Even after all these years every now and then there is a trigger that gives me that urge to light up.
You need to be prepared for at least a year or more of commitment.
The physical need of nicotine will leave in a month or so but the psychological need is every bit as powerful and only a change in lifestyle will conquer that.
My Three-Part Plan
I broke my day down into three parts. Part one was getting up and driving to work. Part two was the workday, and part three was after work until bedtime.
My first plan was to not smoke until I got to work. So from the time I got up until I was physically at work I didn’t smoke.
For me that was the easiest part. Smoking really didn’t taste all that great in the morning until I had breakfast and a cup of coffee. I know many of you probably light up sitting on the edge of the bed.
I did that plan for two weeks and found that I really didn’t have a problem, because I knew I could smoke as soon as I got to work.
The next part was to quit while at work. This was tough being around other smokers in the building. So during slow times where I might have previously taken a smoke break I would keep myself busy.
That took about two to thee weeks before I had replaced smoking with new, more productive work habits.
Part three was the hardest because I was living with a smoker. During that time, I again broke the hours down into manageable segments.
As I said, I got off work at 7:30 p.m, probably home around 8 p.m., so about three to three and a half hours before bedtime.
I started a plan to not smoke for the first hour after getting home then two hours after getting home and then not at all.
Some Final Thoughts
All in all I would say the whole plan took 6 to 8 months before I was not smoking at all during any 24-hour period.
Did I still have cravings? You bet I did. But by then it was one day at a time. I still wanted to smoke but looking back on how far I had come I was motivated to stay strong and resist those temptations.
I also felt much better.
Over time those temptations subsided. And each day became a little easier.
As I asked earlier, “Would this plan work for you?” There is no way to tell, but having some kind of plan to quit will increase your chances dramatically.
Even something as simple as adding one “non-smoking hour” to your day will work over time.
If you are quitting smoking — stick with it. One day at a time. I got your back.