December 31, 2008

Quit Smoking Tips


And now a message not fashion related, but very important:

If your New Year Resolution is QUITTING SMOKING, kudos to you! I quit smoking 6 years ago and never looked back. It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen overnight, but once I quit I made sure it stuck forever (so far, so good).

I would like to share with you what helped me quit and stay quit:

1) Desire to quit.
Nobody can make you quit, it is something that you have to want for yourself. So if you don't really want to quit, it's going to be very difficult for you to quit (sorry, but it's true). What you need to do then, is get really fed up with cigarettes, think about how they only hurt you, how they make you stink, how they rob you of your lung capacity, how they harm the people you love, how they cost a fortune, how they age you and wrinkle you, how they will probably give you a pulmonary disease, how no matter the problems in your life cigarettes won't make them go away, etc... If on the other hand you are ready to quit, then you have already won the first few battles. :)

2) Have a plan, and if that doesn't work, have another plan.
You need to be prepared to beat cigarettes. You need a plan. A plan can be nicotine patches, or nicotine gums. Sometimes the plan won't work and instead of giving up you just need to come up with a different plan.

Let me tell you about the many plans I needed to quit:

Plan A: I first tried the patch. I would put it on and be ok for a few hours, then I would start getting cravings, and so I would take the patch off and smoke a cigarette. And so I was back at step one. Not to mention the fact that it is very dangerous to use the patch and smoke at the same time. It didn't take long for me to realize that the patch wouldn't work for me.

Plan B: So I tried the nicotine gum. I would get cravings, and on top of the cravings, heartburn. And sore gums. Plan B went out the window, too.

Plan C: Acupuncture. Eww! Eww! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!!!... Enough said!

Plan D: Online support + Cold Turkey. I started looking online for forums and message boards about quitting smoking, and I found a nice community on AOL Health Message Boards. I started going every day and learned about what had worked for successful quitters on the board. I also learned about not giving up, and ODAT, taking one day at a time. With the help of the board I tried cold turkey, and lasted only one day. :(

Plan E: Online Support + Knowledge + Zyban + Mini Vacation
I kept reading the quitting boards, and as much "anti-smoking" resources as possible. I felt invigorated after learning about the timeline of cigarette detox (it only takes 72 hours to detox your body of nicotine), and that the worst is over after only one week (hell week!) which made me feel better and ready to try again. For this next try I tried Zyban (the quit smoking pill), and I only took it for one week before quitting smoking. What the pill did was make me naseous every time I smoked a cigarette, so after five days of using it, I was pretty much disgusted with cigarettes. At this point I set my quit date for two days later, and I booked a 3 days mini vacation in a remote hotel with a pool. I planned to spend most of the 72 hours of detox in the pool (where it would have been harder, if not prohibited, to smoke)... Well, to make a very long story short, it finally stuck, and 6 years later here I am, still quit, with not one puff since (because I know that that one puff would defeat me)!

- side note: if you want to try the pill, most insurance companies don't cover Zyban, but they cover the same exact pill under a different name: Wellbutrin (prescribed for depression). Zyban and Wellbutrin are the same thing, but insurance companies like to play games, so you play with them right back: ask your doctor for Wellbutrin. :)

3) Be well informed.
Read books, online resources, anything and everything about the dangers of smoking.

4) Reward Yourself!
Set milestones, and every time you reach one, reward yourself. You will have a lot more money once you quit, so rewarding yourself won't be difficult! :)

Good Luck!!! :)


Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to you!!! I love hearing successful stories and always pass them on to my friends who I know want to quit but have a hard time with it!!!

Anonymous said...

I find your blog is very interesting. I think quit smoking harder for every one. I am addicted to smoking. I always try to get out form such addiction but always I fail to do!!!!! Thanks for giving some valuable tips!!!