Yesterday I posted about quitting smoking. It was a quick little post that listed some reasons why I quit — even though before I quit I didn’t even know I really wanted to.
Here’s exactly how I did it. Some of you may not agree with it, or you may think it’s cheating… but this is how I did it.
I can tell a difference in all aspects of my life. I can breath. I can run farther. Everything I own doesn’t smell like smoke. I don’t have to stand outside while my whole family is inside, not smoking.
Here’s what worked for me.
1. I am Not Around Smokers.
When the boyfriend and I were both smoking, it was easy to keep smoking. When there’s always someone else who will confirm that you actually do need a cigarette and that it’s okay that you are smoking you will find that it’s impossible to quit.
At my old job, everyone smoked and it was a welcome break from the desk to get up, go outside, and smoke and complain with other people. I’m at a much smaller company now and the people who are in the office with me don’t smoke. So there’s never any interesting conversation or short breaks happening outside.
It reminds me of that Friends episode where Rachel pretends to smoke so her boss will like her. I definitely would have been left out at my old job had I not been a smoker. I had many a conversation with the boss of my boss outside, both of us chain-smoking cigarettes.
I’m not around anyone who smokes anymore so I never feel the pressure to smoke. I’m not saying that if you want to quit, and your friends smoke, you should totally drop them from your life. I’m just saying – either surround yourself with non-smokers or prepare yourself mentally to turn down the cigarette when offered.
2. I Didn’t Completely Give Up Nicotine
This is where I may get some naysayers and skeptics chiming in. But, in the spirit of honesty, I want to explain that I stopped smoking cigarettes and started vaping.
This is what I use right here. <—- We use that site for all our stuff.
I smoked cigarettes for 10 years. Before vaping was a thing, I tried to quit smoking cold turkey. I just stopped smoking. One morning, I couldn’t get my alarm clock to work and I burst into tears and could not get myself in control. I knew then, as someone who is not extremely emotional, that I could not just stop smoking cold turkey.
The boyfriend suggested that we try to vape to quit, and I watched him switch from cigarettes to vaping with minimal issues. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s still really, really, really hard. Vaping is not the same as smoking cigarettes. If anyone tells you it’s the same – they are lying to you.
Vaping tastes good (you used flavored liquids, or you can get cigarette flavors) and you can get liquids that have nicotine in them.
Then, you can slowly work down your nicotine level without going totally cold turkey. We started using 18mg nicotine liquid and are down to 8mg. I didn’t have to face all the terrible and nearly unbearable side effects of nicotine withdrawal all at once.
I was grumpier and quick to be irritated in the beginning, but nothing like when I tried to stop cold turkey. It was manageable.
3. I Didn’t Stop All At Once
Once I bought the stuff to vape, I still smoked cigarettes. I would have a set number a day, and I worked myself down. I was honestly smoking between 10-15 cigarettes a day before quitting. That’s a lot. When I mixed in the vaping, I started with 7 a day and worked down from there. I remember thinking – when I get to one a day, I will never make it.
The crazy thing is, when I hit 3 a day, the cigarettes were starting to taste disgusting. I noticed the smell lingering on me when I would come in from outside. My hair stunk like an ashtray. My mouth felt gross and I couldn’t wash my hands enough.
I was on 2 a day when I stopped completely. I hadn’t even run out yet; I had half a pack left. I went onto the back porch of our apartment to have one of my two for the day, and I couldn’t finish smoking it. When I put it out, I knew I was done.
Stepping down lets your body and mind break the smoking habit. Some things, for me, always went with a cigarette. Talk on the phone, smoke a cigarette. Cook dinner, then go smoke a cigarette. Walk the dog, smoke a cigarette. Drive in the car, smoke a cigarette. Stepping down let me tackle and break each little habit one at a time, which led me to breaking all the habits.
4. I Didn’t Tell Anyone I was Quitting
The boyfriend knew I was quitting, of course. But I didn’t tell anyone else because that’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot of pressure for people to know you are trying to quit because — what if you fail? Also, you have to want to quit because you want to quit, not because of what other people will say.
Other times I tried to quit I made a big announcement about it and everyone was super excited and would ask me all the time how quitting was going. But I couldn’t quit. So I would have to sneak and smoke until I finally had to make another big announcement that I was still smoking. And that sucks.
Other quitters might disagree and say they needed the accountability. For me, it was better that no one knew. I needed to know I could do it and that I wanted to do it before I broadcasted it to family and friends.
This is what worked for me. I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore and I can’t stand the smell of them and I don’t want them. Vaping was the key difference in my success. If you don’t think that’s a good route, you should still consider stepping down. Quitting cold turkey made me feel like a crazy person, and no one can succeed that way.
I don’t advise that you quit things that are important to you — unless they are detrimental to your health. In that case, quitting is a-okay.