If you’ve finally reached a point in your life where you are ready to stop smoking, well done for making that decision!
For most smokers, tobacco cravings or urges to smoke can be powerful but it's important that you know that you are not at the mercy of these cravings.
When an urge to smoke strikes, remember that although it may be intense, it will probably pass within five to 10 minutes whether or not you smoke a cigarette. Each time you resist a craving successfully, you're one step closer to stopping smoking for good.
1. Set a date and time to stop
Set a date and time to stop and carry on smoking as usual right up to that time, don’t try to cut down beforehand, that just makes cigarettes seem more precious than they really are.
2. Look forward
Always bear in mind that you’re not giving up anything because cigarettes do absolutely nothing for you at all. They provide you with no genuine pleasure or crutch, they simply keep you addicted.
Get this thought into your head: you are losing nothing and you are making marvellous positive gains not only in health, energy and money but also in confidence, self-respect, freedom and, most important of all, in the length and quality of your future life.
3. Have one final cigarette
Light your final cigarette and make a solemn vow that regardless of what highs or lows may befall you in future, you will never puff on another cigarette or take nicotine in any form again.
This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make because the length and quality of your future life critically depend on it.
4. Understand you will suffer withdrawal but it will pass
Your body will continue to withdraw from nicotine for a few days but that does not mean you have to be miserable or crave cigarettes.
The physical withdrawal is very slight and it passes quickly. What’s more, it’s what smokers suffer all their smoking lives. Non-smokers do not suffer it. You are a non-smoker and so you’ll soon be free of it forever.
5. Socialise as normal and don't avoid other smokers
Do not try to avoid smoking situations or opt out of life. Go out and enjoy social occasions right from the start and do not envy smokers, pity them. Realise that they will be envying you because every single one of them will be wishing they could be like you: free from the whole filthy nightmare.
No smoker wants to see their children start smoking which means they wish they hadn’t started themselves. Remember it’s not you who are being deprived but those poor smokers. They’re being deprived of their health, energy, money, peace of mind, confidence, courage, self-respect and freedom. If you’re offered a cigarette, just say: “No thanks – I don’t smoke”, rather than start a long conversation about how long it has been since you stopped.
6. Think about it; don’t try to 'not to think' about smoking – it won't work
Don’t try to “not to think about” smoking – it doesn’t work. If I say: “Don’t think about a brick wall, what are you thinking about? Just make sure that whenever you are thinking about it, you’re not thinking: “I want a cigarette but I can’t have one” but instead: “Isn’t is marvellous: I don’t need to smoke anymore and I don’t want to smoke anymore. Yippee, I’m a non-smoker!” Then you can think about it all you like and you’ll still be happy.
7. There’s no such thing as “just one” cigarette once you have quit
Never be fooled into thinking you can have the odd cigarette just to be sociable or just to get over a difficult moment.
If you do, you’ll find yourself back in the trap in no time at all. Never think in terms of one cigarette, always think of the whole filthy lifetime’s chain. Remember: there is no such thing as just one cigarette.
8. Avoid Substitutes; patches, gums, nasal sprays and e-cigs, they just prolong the addiction
Do not use any substitutes. They all make it more difficult to stop because they perpetuate the illusion that you’re making a sacrifice.
Substitutes that contain nicotine such as e-cigarettes or so-called Nicotine Replacement Therapy; patches, gums, nasal sprays and inhalators – are particularly unhelpful as they simply keep the addiction to nicotine alive.
9. Ditch your cigarettes completely
Do not keep cigarettes on you or anywhere else in case of an emergency. If you do, it means you’re doubting your decision. Non-smokers do not need cigarettes.
You are already a non-smoker the moment you put out your final cigarette.
10. Enjoy your freedom; live a smoke-free life and be on your guard not to fall back into the trap
Life will soon go back to normal as a non-smoker but be on your guard not to fall back into the trap. If your brain ever starts playing tricks on you by thinking “Just one cigarette”, remember there is no such thing.