Set your 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 rather than less precious.
Look forward to stopping. Rather than assume you are going to feel deprived and miserable – just look forward to finally being free.
Remember – you are not “giving up” or “quitting” – these terms are so negative – who wants to be labelled a quitter? Instead decide that you are going to stop. You are going to be a HAPPY non-smoker, not an ex-smoker!
Don’t feel deprived. If someone offers you a cigarette at a social event just say “no thanks – I don’t smoke” – this will take the focus off of you and probably lead the stranger to wax lyrical about how lucky you are not to smoke and how they wish they could stop. To you this will feel very satisfying and confirm that you have made the right decision in stopping.
Don’t aspire to be a ‘casual or social smoker’. Never be fooled into thinking you could have the odd cigarette just to be social; you will either return to smoking at your old level immediately or gradually build up to it over a period of time. Never think in terms of one cigarette, always think of 100,000.
Avoid turning into a “reformed smoker”, someone who nags other smokers. You will make smokers feel miserable or annoyed with you and become incredibly unpopular! Live and let live and always remember how angry or annoyed reformed smokers made you feel when you smoked. Don’t be a whinging stopper!
Inspire smokers around you. They will see how relaxed and laid back you are and see you as a shining example.
Avoid any form of substitution. If you replace cigarettes with chocolate, you’ll gain weight and be miserable. Even the use of seemingly innocent substitutes such as carrot/celery sticks create and then perpetuate a feeling of deprivation. Remember you are not giving up anything, you are getting rid of smoking. Looking for a replacement would be like getting rid of a terrible cold and wanting to replace it with the flu!
Pat yourself on the back! You have done a fantastic, courageous and wonderful thing by stopping. Think of all the benefits. Your health will improve, as will your energy levels; your family and loved ones will be so proud of you; you will smell better, breathe better, not have to endure the social stigma anymore. You will have achieved what most smokers would love to achieve….freedom from the slavery of smoking!