To all those people who want to quit: How I quit smoking forever

Subject: To all those people who want to quit: How I quit smoking forever
From: Mike Parsons - an ex-smoker
Date: 10 Sep 2020
Quit smoking

Smoking is a nasty, highly addictive habit that is quite difficult to quit. What’s more, people who smoke know that it is bad for their health and still can’t quit. This is so because cigarettes contain nicotine, which acts as a stimulant. However, even though it sounds impossible, it is in fact possible to quit smoking. What you need is to see and analyze the smoking and quitting experiences of some people and try to apply them to yourself. Most people agree on a few important things – you need to have support, you need to be motivated and have strong willpower. These things are crucial, and I had realized how important these were only when I decided to leave this disgusting habit behind me. The following pieces of advice are for those people who want to quit so badly but don't know how or where to start.

I made up my mind and I made a plan

The very first thing I did when considering my nasty smoking habit is that I made up my mind and decided that I didn’t want to allow for this addictive habit to ruin my health and life. Like most people, I have thought about quitting many times, but I was never really 100% sure I was ready. This time was different – I knew it was high time to quit smoking. And I was serious about it. Next, I considered how I was going to quit, gradually or at once. I have read so many blog posts on some effective ways to quit smoking. I tried to be honest with myself and decide on the best path to follow. I decided that I will gradually reduce the number of cigarettes I smoked daily – I smoked about 1,5 packs a day for 15 long years. This was hard, but I managed to come down to one pack a day, which was an improvement. Of course, it wasn’t a big move, but it was still a move in the right direction and I was proud of myself. I continued decreasing the number of cigarettes.  There were some difficult moments when I thought that I couldn’t do it, and that’s when support meant a lot to me. 

I found support in friends and family

When you decide to do something like I did or to make a drastic change in your life, in order to make your life better, you will get through that difficult period more easily with the support of your family and friends. You don’t have to be alone in your decision. I realized how important this was so I surrounded myself with positive, enthusiastic and loving people and they helped me overcome what I consider to be one of the most difficult periods in my life. I relied on their presence and attitudes; we spend hours and hours talking and engaging in some fun activities. They helped me feel occupied so I didn’t have much time to think about my addiction. I found that this support is crucial in the initial phases of quitting as that’s when we’re the most vulnerable.

I switched to e-cigarettes

However, I was still smoking, fewer cigarettes a day, but still smoking. I knew that if I decided to quit abruptly I would probably succumb to smoking again at some point and I didn’t want that. That’s why I was thinking about the next thing to do. While I was searching online for some useful tips and tricks, I came across something similar to smoking, which is in contrast a healthier alternative – vaping. And then it hit me, a new plan! I was thinking about smoking, and I concluded that besides being an addictive habit it is also a social habit. So, I figured even though I somehow did manage to resist the addiction, there is still the matter of social habit. I made up my mind, searched for e-cigarettes starter kits online and ordered one. This was my new plan – to move from regular cigarettes to vaping and eventually to quit the habit altogether.

I thought of some ways of relieving stress and relaxing

Nevertheless, I was aware that even though I was on the right track, I needed to find some ways to relieve stress and relax in addition to switching to vaping. I was getting my life in order and decided to try out being more physically active. I wasn’t ready for joining a sports club yet, but I took some steps. I walked more in nature and since I have always loved cycling, I got a bike and rode in adventures. I tried to be as much physically active as I could because I needed to get rid of all the stress and pressure we all face every day. I also found some beginner yoga tutorials on YouTube and decided to try that as well, as I had heard many times that practicing yoga relieves both our mind and muscles. This was exactly what I needed. As I was incorporating all these activities into my life, I didn’t have much time to think about smoking and how I missed it. I didn’t even vape so frequently at this point. Finally, I reached a point when I didn’t need it anymore, as I found some other ways of relieving stress. So, in the end, I stopped with the vaping too.

When you decide to quit smoking, don’t think it is going to be easy. No. You need to be prepared that this decision will take time, effort, motivation and willpower. Only if you truly want to quit, make a plan, stick to it, find support and new ways of relieving stress and eventually you will be able to quit. It is important to move gradually and not give up. This was the hardest thing I did in my life, and I am very proud of myself because I did it. I still sometime (though, very rarely) have the urge for a smoke, but I resist it as I don’t want all my long-term effort to be in vain. Keep that in mind.