Cigarette smoking is a very tough habit to break. I have heard it said that nicotine is more addictive than heroin. This may or may not be true; I’ve never tried heroin, but I can sure tell you it is not an easy thing to do to quit smoking. However, you don’t have to quit smoking today. There are steps to make the process easier.
I have been recently diagnosed with COPD, which has given me an extra reason to quit smoking, but my quitting process actually began a few years ago and has happened in stages. This process could be helpful to anyone who really wants to quit smoking. If you currently suffer from COPD and are wanting to quit but you smoke a pack a day or more, then trying to quit is like an unrelenting, ever increasing, constant nagging pull that just does not let go until you give in. You can start off using TBX Free or Pavlok to make quitting easier.
Here is where the process begins. Several years ago when we decided to start remodeling our old Victorian home, I was smoking two packs a day and I realize what the smell of smoke would do to our remodeled home. So I made a decision, I was no longer going to smoke inside the house. This is step one. Make the decision that you will not smoke inside your home and anytime you want a cigarette you have to go outside to smoke it. Be sure to check out our practical tips to quit smoking post from last week.
During the summertime, I went from two packs a day to about three-quarters of a pack to one pack a day. Amazingly I did this without suffering any effects of that nagging to go have another cigarette. When winter time came and it got cold outside, sometimes the desire to have a cigarette was not as strong as the thought of having to put on my coat and other winter clothes so I could enjoy a cigarette. Again without the irresistible urges to have another cigarette, my cigarette smoking reduced to eight to 10 cigarettes per day.
That was step one, and dropping from two packs a day to less than half a pack a day came painlessly. The next phase came when I started having breathing problems. I noticed if I went outside and smoked a cigarette, it made my breathing a little more difficult for a while. This time instead of reducing the number of times I would go and have a cigarette, I reduced how much of the cigarette I smoked. I would smoke half the cigarette, knock the cherry off, and save the other half for later. At first, I still smoked just as many cigarettes, I just went out a little more often. After a surprisingly short period of time, however, I found that half a cigarette satisfied me and I would go out about 10 times a day and smoke half a cigarette each time. Now I was down to five cigarettes a day.
Being at five cigarettes a day the nicotine drive is nowhere near what it used to be so I cut back again. This time I cut back to counting my puffs, two to three hits each time I went out. Once again at the very beginning, I found myself going out more often, but without even noticing it I began to find satisfaction in just those few hits and within about a week’s time I had reduced my smoking to two cigarettes a day.
Another important tip to quit smoking is to quit smoking commercially packaged cigarettes. Buy a roller and tube’s and purchase the light blue container of American Spirit tobacco. I have noticed from my own experience that when I’m cutting back or trying to quit, just take a few hits of commercially packaged cigarettes seem to give me a greater nicotine rush than what is contained in American Spirit tobacco. When smoking commercially packaged cigarettes, I find my tobacco use begins the increase again as the desire to smoke more strengthens. If you want to quit smoking then increased levels of nicotine are the last thing you need.
The day before yesterday I purchased what I believe will be my last pack of tobacco. I had nothing to smoke until four o’clock in the afternoon and even at that, the urge was not overpowering. I have all but quit smoking at this point already, now all I have left is to overcome the four times I go out for a few hits.
Quit smoking step four. The urge to smoke has diminished to such a degree that the most important thing to do is not to go outside at every urge, but rather to find something to occupy your hands, your mind, and your time. I can work on my computer, write an article, work a jigsaw puzzle, or just about anything that engages me and within a few minutes of feeling an urge I forget all about it and will literally go four hours or more in between going out for two or three hits. I am now down to about one cigarette a day. If you want to quit smoking altogether and you have reached this point, finding something to occupy your time and energy is key to success.
I am confident by the way I felt before I purchased this last pack of tobacco and the way I feel now when this pack is gone or maybe even before, I will be able to walk away from the habit without the irresistible urges that are beyond my control. I’m not saying the desire to take a hit now and again will disappear, but they will be tolerable desires and will fade with time.
So if you smoke a pack a day or more and want to quit smoking, I know where you’re coming from when trying to quit. It is not an easy thing to do, but even if you do not quit you can at least cut down to a point that is not so damaging to your health. So give it a try, quit smoking beginning now, step outside for that cigarette and a month from now you may be glad you did.