Updated: Jun 23, 2019
When you try to give up smoking one of the first things you realize is that instructions on techniques to give up are generalizations that mostly aren’t very “instructive.” so here is people often ask what are some successful ways to quit smoking.
Advice from my ex-smoking friends was condescending and professional advice usually includes scenarios to try and convince you are lucky you haven’t died a painful death already. This, of course, makes you anxious, and the first thing you do in that situation is having a cigarette.
Even your cigarette packet might try and scare you to death. Meet Bryan Curtis. He died in 1999 of lung cancer.
He also smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day and was a mechanic so probably inhaled exhaust fumes for 15 years. Hmmm.
One problem with cigarettes is: they are a complement to almost everything in the world.
Waking up…feeling fresh…let’s have a cigarette.
Passing the dump…let’s have a cigarette.
Post breakfast…let’s have a cigarette.
Post lunch (when it is something very delicious in lunch, especially chicken, many more join in…)…let’s have a cigarette.
Post evening tea…let’s have a cigarette.
Post dinner…let’s have a cigarette.
Good news…let’s have a cigarette.
Sad news. …let’s have a cigarette.
She said yes…let’s have a cigarette.
She said no…let’s have a cigarette.
Anything else…let’s have a cigarette.
I found none of that particularly helpful. Vaping isn’t legal in my country, and as I am already insane, I didn’t like the idea of taking pills that might make me suicidal. As most of the other answers are relatively generalized, I wrote the below as a set of instructions.
My method of tapering off cigarettes.
The mere thought of giving up sent my anxiety levels through the roof, and you would have to have a smoke. If that sounds like you, you shouldn’t contemplate giving up at all, to begin with, especially not cold turkey. Picking a quiet day is a bad idea for people like us too. You need to apply a bit of psychology to yourself:
You’re just going to cut down a bit.
Buy some Nicotine replacement lozenges. Today. Now.
Tomorrow, instead of having one of the cigarettes you have (not the first or last one or your after dinner “mint”), put a lozenge in the back corner of your mouth between your teeth and gums and let it dissolve. Only suck it when the cravings become too hard to handle (the tablet will take the edge off but not get rid of the desire entirely). Don’t use nicotine gum as the temptation to chew it will be too, and the dose is harder to control. Do this for a few days.
Know your enemy.
As you stretch out the lozenges study your cravings. Note how they wax and wane, building up to a peak and then tapering off. Get yourself used to the feeling; it’s not so bad. Experiment by seeing how long you can make the tablet last and how long you can last before your next cigarette after the medicine has gone. You are aiming at making it past your first craving peak without a lozenge or cigarette.
Push it a bit further
After a few days at most, you should be able to make it past the peak. Now start replacing the cigarette after the first one after your lozenge with another lozenge. You are aiming to eventually have one smoke then return the next with a lozenge, then smoke, then a tablet, etc. Don’t replace the first of the day, last or after food ones. Don’t have a smoke with a tablet. Keep trying to stretch the lozenges and gaps out as long as you can.
Give up the habit
Replace the remaining smokes with lozenges at a pace you feel comfortable with. When you got to the last few, You have to contemplate giving up the morning smoke first, after dinner “mint” next and finally that last one, before going to bed. You have to end up ditching them together to get it over and done with. You will know if that day comes. Keep up the lozenges but try not to suck them. Make them last as long as you possibly can. Eventually, you will only need a few a day(takes a couple of hours for them to dissolve without sucking).
Now give up the nicotine.
Repeat the process above replacing the lozenges with sugar-free gum to become nicotine free.
Keep some tablets so if you fall off the wagon you have, not a smoke.
Learn everything you can about the decision you are making. Not just the same talking points every generic anti-smoking campaign tries to spew at you. Dig into how your body works, how smoking affects it, and try to educate yourself on some of the more subtle ways that quitting smoking can benefit you. Knowledge is power!
Cold turkey is the most effective way to cure yourself of nicotine addiction, and the most satisfying, though it is one of the more difficult ways to cure yourself of cigarette addiction. (not counting prescription drugs, which I don't consider an option)
Herbal cigarettes (that contain no tobacco or nicotine) are a much better fail-safe than bumming a cigarette on the street. If all else fails, get a pack of these as a last resort. They are not addictive and, to most people, are pretty gross, so there is little chance of forming a new habit.
Psyche yourself out! Spend some time, months even, thinking about quitting smoking. Read up on all possible methods. Read people's stories of success and failure. Talk to people you know about it. And, perhaps most importantly, think about every single cigarette you smoke when you smoke it. Quitting smoking should be your number one hobby, area of study, and day-dreaming topic.
The first few days are the most difficult. Carefully plan how to spend those days. Also keep in mind that tobacco is a potent diuretic, and you have effectively been self-medicating with it 15-30 times per day for years. Expect your gastrointestinal system to react to this change (i.e., you may be in the bathroom a lot for a couple of days).
RUN. First, run a few times while still a full-time smoker. Then, run a couple of weeks or months again after quitting. The difference will teach you a tremendous amount about what smoking has been doing to your body, and it can be very motivational.
Look for minor changes in your body and lifestyle after quitting. You may feel indigestion disappeared, You may get headaches less frequently, circulation improved and you may had less flatulence. It's also helpful to not have to carry a pack of cigarettes and a lighter everywhere you go. Ex-smokers never have to take smoke breaks, never have to run to the store for cigarettes, never smell like smoke, and never have to bum a cigarette from strangers.
The emotional build-up to the day made us more inclined to smoke, not less.
If you have smoked for a long time, be aware that the world probably won’t be all flowers and lollies for some time after you stop. More likely coughing, diarrhea, constipation, halitosis, and gas. Cloudiness and anger too. It can last months but will eventually get better.
Try to avoid situations where you would smoke. Drinking makes cigarettes appear in your hand like magic, so be especially careful with that.