Quitting is something that I don’t usually suggest unless it is a harmful habit like smoking. With no offence to the one who smoke, I admit that I also find it to be a disgusting habit. You may not notice it, but you stink all the time if you smoke! Read more
I used to be a smoker. It was a long time ago, but I do remember it well.
I had no idea that I reeked so. I had no idea it was making me sick. I was clueless.
Sure, I tried to quit every year as a New Year's resolution and failed every year. I even tried a few times in the middle of a year to quit, but something would always happen to stress me out and I'd start back up. Somebody dies? Smoke. Getting divorced? Smoke. Lose a job. Gotta have a smoke, right? And there I'd go again. Smoking those stinking cancer sticks.
I didn't think of them that way then. I didn't really even think of them as a bad habit. I thought that I was an adult and I could smoke if I wanted to. I actually wasn't an adult when I started. I was fifteen and stole my first cigarette from my stepdad. It gave me bed spins. I should have stopped then.
But nooooo, not me! I have to learn things the hard way!
I smoked menthol cigarettes for ten years. I thought I was cool. What a waste of cool points that was!
I ended up with my cool butt getting very sick. I couldn't stop coughing. No, you don't understand. I mean I literally coughed for about 3 months straight, almost non-stop.
My co-workers kept saying, "Go to the doctor!" I kept telling them, "I am!"
The doctor gave me breathing treatments, inhalers, nasal sprays, and antibiotics – all to no avail. I could suck down enough NyQuil to put an elephant down and still cough like a Saint Bernard all night long. Sitting up didn't help. Lying down didn't help. Round after round of various treatments didn't help. That awful dry cough was out to kill me.
Finally, the doctor yelled at me. "You have to stop smoking if you want to get well!"
I listened. I quit… for a week… then smoked one pack of cigarettes over one week's time and I got it again — the dreaded Bronchial Spasm!
I literally couldn't breathe in air without coughing. It was so miserable. I actually bruised my ribs from coughing so much over those months. I would sit in the bed, doubled over in pain, feeling like I was dying. It's one of those illnesses I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
It was time to take action. I had to quit. But how? I tried every year and failed. What would work?
I dug down deep and pulled something out that I hadn't used much before. Well, what was this little item tucked away in my disposition?
It was willpower.
The doctor was right. I was making myself sick. I had to stop. Period. End of story. I never smoked again because not only did the doctor yell at me, but I told myself matter-of-factly, "You cannot smoke."
Did I still crave them? You bet! I craved cigarettes for about five years after I quit. But as my health and senses returned, I realized the benefits and it got easier and easier.
I realized that all the time I had smoked, I smelled like an ashtray! My clothes, my house, my car… all smelled like an ashtray. I couldn't believe I had smelled like that for ten whole years and didn't even know it!
Soon, it got to the point that I couldn't even remain in a smoke-filled bar for long without going out for fresh air. Wow. Fresh air! Without a cigarette in my hand. What would I do with myself? Well, I stood there and took in the beauty of life as a healthier person.
Finally, my cravings for cigarettes went away. I substituted for a while with chocolate, but broke that habit as well.
Today, you might catch me eating a chocolate truffle, but you sure as heck won't catch me with a cigarette in my hand.
Keep trying, keep strong, and know that you can be an ex-smoker too someday. I conquered the cancer sticks… so can you!
If you haven't read my first post post "What Motivated Me to Quit Smoking", please do. You can click here to find it. In a nutshell, I smoked for 36 years. It was a love-hate relationship. And, obviously, not a very healthy one! finally, I decided, ENOUGH! I want to emphasize that unless you have health issues or are pregnant and time is of the essence, you should wait until you reach that "enough" stage. It will go much easier for you. For me, the first step was convincing myself that I would be okay without my cigarettes. I'm not going to lie, that was pretty difficult and I'm not sure that I was fully convinced of that when I actually started! That being said, once I had made the decision, I decided to make a plan. These are my suggestions to get you started:
- Pick a date
- Pick a method
- Decide on a support system
Some people like to pick a specific date because it has meaning to them. Others will pick an arbitrary date. I recommend picking a date that works with your schedule and activities. Quitting is challenge enough, you have the ability to ensure an easier path by setting the stage.
Picking a method is critical. There are so many different aids to quitting smoking from over-the-counter aids,prescription medications, hypnotists, cold turkey, etc. Before you quit, think about what will work best for you? Do some research. Talk to your doctor. Talk to others who have successfully quit. Visit a site like this one, Breathing Happy.
Some people prefer the buddy system. Others like to be in groups. Some people enjoy giving daily or weekly updates on their facebook status. And some people prefer to keep it to themselves. It's all a matter of preference. Every individual should choose what they think would work best for themselves.
When I decided to finally kick the habit, I did a bit of research. Because of health reasons, I did not want to use any oral medications or patches. It was my inclination to go cold turkey, but I was afraid of the weight gain and decided to go to a hypnotist that also did a weight loss session. It was easy to pick a date after that because it had to coincide when one of the sessions was being held. My decision for a support system was very simple. I didn't tell anyone except my daughter. And I only told her because she lived with me. I didn't want people asking me how I was doing. I didn't want to be reminded about it if I had forgotten and, most of all, I didn't want anyone to see me fail if I failed. I know, that's not very positive, but there was a part of me that felt like I was giving up a very dear friend or lover and even if it was an abusive one, I still didn't want to say Good Bye.
Stayetuned for the "gory details" and more tips and ideas to help you quit and stay smoke free!
PACKETS of conventional cigarettes don’t lie: “SMOKING KILLS”. The words scream out like no other public health warning but still millions risk their lives by continuing with their daily habit. It’s a harsh fact that smoking tobacco is one of the main causes of cancer, especially lung cancer Read more
For anyone who has decided to stop smoking for good, they have made one of the best choices for a healthier life. The first few days may seem to fly by. After this, time may be challenging to say the least. You may need someone around with postiive words of encouragement or just to help you through the times you think of lighting up.
It is important as well to make sure you keep your mind on positive things such as the money you will be saving, the fact that clothing and your home will be free of smoke, etc. Find a hobby that will make use of the time otherwise spent smoking, such as a favorite hobby, creating something, writing, whatever. Find what you can do to keep your mind and hands busy. When you complete a project, reward yourself with a compliment!
Another way to stay positive, is when you feel the urge to smoke, take a small amount of change such as a quarter or a dollar, and put it aside for a week or two. Add up the total once the time comes and see how much you have saved. This will give you such a lift that you will want to continue putting that money aside. Before you know it, you will be bragging to family and friends!
The more you can do to stay positive, the more you can keep a positive mindset by doing other things. You will find a lot of support and postives all around. Create & post signs or encouragement around your home. Keep a diary. Congratulate yourself when you reach another milestone day of not smoking. Pretty soon you will find it becomes easier and your life will be brighter each and every day!
If you have children cigarette smoking can be a real problem for them. Second hand smoke can cause ear infections and bring on asthma attacks. These attacks can be so serious they may need to be hospitalized. For the love of our children lets keep the second hand smoke away. Read more
Happy faces shine, especially when your teeth are bright and not stained from cigarettes and coffee.
Along with outward estetics, healty smiles require good hygene and abstinence from harmful substances like tar and nicotene and the umteen toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke.
Smoking casues gum disease, which leads to tooth and bone loss. . Although, it may not be possible to reverse the damages ceasing from this unsightly and wastefull habit will immediately improve your health.
Treat yourself to a deep cleaning with your dental hygenist and enjoy fresher breath and a happy smile from the inside out!
Quit smoking now. You CAN do it!
Last Friday, I did some research and talked a little about nicotine gum and the potential advantages. One of my fellow bloggers, RachelInIdaho, pointed out that you need more than one factor to help you quit smoking, that this gum by itself won't help you.
So, I wanted to make sure that I hadn't mislead anybody by my previous post. You can not depend solely on a product like Nicorette.
I know that everybody is mentally and physically different, so perhaps there are those few souls who can accomplish this. Maybe, you think you can be one of those people and you want to give it a shot; that's your choice, but I think it would be wiser to factor in other things that might help you.
This post is titled "Buddy System" because I think that has the potential to be a very important factor in someone's path to quitting cigarettes.
Either find someone you know who also wants to quit, or find a friend or family number who help keep you accountable. It can be so hard to do things on your own. You need people to talk with and share both your struggles and joyful moments.
Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston
I think is book would be of extreme help to anyone trying to quit smoking. The author of this book had tried every thing available to help her quit the habit. She talks about all the ways people attempt to quit smoking and while what works for some does not always work for everyone.
Kathy Freston, was addicted to nicotine. She tried wearing the patch and acupuncture, hypnosis and attending smoking cessation classes,guided meditation and breathing exercises, and these things did not work for her because she was not paying attention to her feelings and observations of her own body. Then she began noticing how nicotine affects the body by aging your skin and hurting your lungs and hurting the immune system.
She then realized that unless she decided to want a healthy body and was willing to reach out and get help in the right ways, she would be dependant on nicotine for the rest of her life.
She began a plan which included, recognize you have a problem and be willing to change, connect spiritually and replace old habits, make yourself useful and start your path of healing, and rid your self of grudges.
In the book she explains in a easy to read manner how to lose addictive habits. It begins with many helpful choices as in prayer and meditation, nature walks and journaling, gardening and good books or movies, going to church or a temple, or any house of worship and breathing exercises, dancing or singing, doing artwork or going to a study retreat, or studying with a spiritual teacher, and lastly just talking with your friends and sharing your desire for quiting smoking.
One quote from this book you might find helpful is:
"We know we have an addiction when we find ourselves unhealthfully preoccupied by a substance, behavior, or person in such a way that our relationships, work, and health begin to suffer. You know you are addicted when your life revolves around something that severely diminishes your energy and yet you can't (or won't) stop it."
The book goes chapter by chapter, explaining how to break your dependance on bad habits and how to rebuild your health with good long lasting habits. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about trying to stop smoking.
Although, I have never smoked cigarettes, I know how it feels to crave something of which I know is not good for me, but I want it anyways. Whether it be food like chocolate or potato chips, or something stronger to drink, when the urge is there it is very hard to control it and tell myself "NO."
It has been said that smoking cigarettes removes vitamin C, an important antioxidant, from the body and there-by lowers your diease fighting immune system.
However, you can combat the cravings for a cigarette and increase your vitamin C, by buying chewable vitamin C tablets and choosing the vitamin over the cigarette. One can also choose fruits that are high in vitamin C, as well as, eating fresh vegetables and drinking homemade fruit and vegetable juices.
I am not saying beating that urge to smoke is going to be easy, we all know it is hard to break bad habits. But by improving your diet and choosing healthy snacks to avoid that chance at weight gain, that comes from not smoking, you will be on your way toward quiting smoking all together and improving your over-all health.