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5 Tips to Stop Smoking (and keep it that way)

I haven’t had a single puff of a cigarette since January 20th. This Earth Day/Easter I’ll also be celebrating 90 days tobacco free! How exciting is that?!

90 days tobacco free

I made it, guys. I’m officially comfortable calling myself a non-smoker. [Cue confetti.]

I just want you guys to know that it feels really strange to be advocating for quitting tobacco. I told myself (and my friends) that I enjoyed smoking. I said I needed it in order to hold onto those moments to myself. I had no interest in quitting. Smoking was mine and no one was going to take it away from me.

But it had to be done. It wasn’t even my health I was worried about, folks. It was my influence on my own children, on my soon-to-be classroom of impressionable minds. It was the danger of second hand smoke to everyone around me. It was the taste in my mouth when I woke up in the morning. It was the smell of my hair if I decided to wear it down (and the strange increase in hugs when I didn’t smoke all day). Little things just added up over time, and my quest to quit because all the more important.

Here are some tips to help you out in case you’re struggling with a tobacco addiction.

  1. Admit that you have an addiction. Stop trying to fool yourself in thinking that you have control over your cravings. I hear all too many times (including from my former smoker self) that I can “quit when I want” and that “it’s not a big deal.” That is a lie. I bet you know it’s a lie and you feel bad every time you say it, too. You don’t have to go all rehab on yourself, but realize that it’s going to take time and it’s going to be hard. But you can recover! You are strong. You can do this!
     
    You know you have a nicotine addiction if quitting smoking means you have physical and mood-related symptoms like real-life cravings, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, depressed mood, frustration, anger, increased hunger, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea. Nicotine produces physical and mood-altering effects in your brain that are temporarily pleasing. Read more about nicotine addiction here.
     
  2. Cold turkey isn’t for everyone. Don’t be ashamed to need help to wean yourself off of nicotine. If you’ve already made peace with the first part (above), seeking medical assistance is the next step. I don’t know how many times I heard people say “Oh well I just quit cold turkey,” in response to my journey. It almost sounds like you should feel bad because you can’t. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s okay if cold turkey doesn’t work for you.
     
    Patches are expensive, but if you consider the cost of continuing with your tobacco addiction it’s totally worth it. I started with the patches when I first tried to quit and they were very helpful. My cousin’s husband also recently quit using the patches, so they do work! There’s also nicotine gum and my favorite, the aid of an e-cigarette.
     
    vapourlites e-liquid
  3. Replace the habit. For me the biggest challenge was breaking my daily routines. I smoked as a way to reward myself for accomplishing any single thing. I washed a sink load of dishes? I deserved a smoke. I got my power point project turned in on time? Heck yes! Time for a smoke. It’s really hard to break yourself of those routines. Early in my journey I’d find myself walking outside before realizing I didn’t belong there anymore.
     
    Ways to conquer this include replacing the act of smoking with something else (like knitting, or cleaning, or painting your nails) that uses your hands and keeps them busy. Cravings generally last only about 5 minutes. If you can do something else for a few minutes you’ll be able to fight the craving and it will pass.
     
  4. Feed your cravings. Many people will report that instead of smoking they will snack more. This concerns a lot of people (particularly women) because they don’t want to gain weight. However, you can arm yourself with healthy alternatives for when you need that little something to help with cravings. Some good alternatives are dried fruit or fruit leathers, trail mixes, even sugar free gum.
     
    I don’t require my e-cig much anymore, but I am grateful for my Vapourlites e-cig to battle my occasional cravings. It really helped to feed my need for nicotine while also treating the habit of smoking (the hand-to-mouth oral fixation). I was able to slowly wean myself down from a stronger dose of nicotine to none at all. Now when a strong craving happens (and I’m told I’ll get cravings for a long time despite my confidence as a non-smoker) I can puff on nicotine free eliquid instead.
     
  5. Be held accountable. I told a lot of people about my plans to quit. I told them when I failed and I kept my loved ones in the loop when it came to progress and what worked and what didn’t.  When I picked up a cigarette my daughter would say “Mommy, I thought you didn’t smoke anymore?” coming up with an explanation for her was really hard. When my fiance realized my one cigarette a day turned into four, I avoided his inquiries which often caused fights about honesty. It eventually became easier to just do what I said I would than try to hide it from my family every day.
     
    I also joined a program that helped me stay on track. Tobacco Free Florida provided me with a ton of resources to help me stay on track including tips to stay healthy, a quit coach who called to check on me a few times, a 24-hour hotline with previous smokers who could really relate, and they sent 2 weeks of cessation aids to assist me in my quest to quit. They also have some rad charts to track your progress and motivate you.
     
  6. tobacco free progress

The struggle is real, and if you face yourself with dealing with these struggles you can be more prepared to succeed in your journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to seek out support.

If you want to discuss your options in detail, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction so you can become a healthier, happier version of you!

 

Disclaimer: I received items from Vapourlites free of charge in exchange for a review. At this time, I do endorse the use of an e-cigarette and accompanying e-liquids as a replacement to tobacco products. All stories and opinions are my own. I shall not tell lies!

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Comments

  1. Good for you! I’ve been smoke free since the end of July and I have to admit.. over the past week I’ve been wanting to smoke bad– as in, seriously contemplating buying a pack. The other day I even smoked a cig. I’d say half of one but a cig is a cig. I don’t want to get the vapor cigs because they just don’t feel right. I think that stress has a lot to go with it and also summer– it’s crazy to think that summer has anything to do with smoking but being at the beach on boats or the river.. being around people that smoke. I guess I just have to keep fighting the urge. Keep on the right track!

    • The e-cigs take some getting used to. And if you’re a non-smoker already I would advise against it. However, e-cigs are great for those cravings and I’m planning on taking full advantage of them this summer when I might potentially find myself craving cigarettes. Summer is definitely a time for socializing and more times than not you might find yourself surrounded by smokers!

      There’s a strange stigma attached to vaporizers, but it’s not that crazy once you research it. The worst part is the dry mouth from the Propylene Glycol. I prefer the Vapourlites brand because it’s a 80/20 split with the PG and Vegetable Glycerin (respectfully). Both propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are non-toxic organic compounds and generally considered safe for consumption. In fact, they are widely used as food additives in a variety of commercially available products.

  2. Congratulations! My dad quit early 10 years ago an he says he’s never regretted it. Any suggestions for convincing a family member to quick? MIL is a pretty bad (though in denial..) chain smoker, and with her grandson on the way, I’d appreciate any advice on how to suggest her quitting.. I know it’s her own life and own decision, but considering we all live together, it does concern me..

    • I would openly voice your concerns with her. Provide her with resources and share some stories with her. I know the first time I really considered it I was at a red light in traffic without my kids, but I had my daughter’s car seat in the car. A lady pulled up next to me and (very quickly because we were in traffic) told me a story about how her mother just died of cancer and had never smoked a day in her life. She frantically told me to think of my kids and that although I wasn’t smoking with them in the car that second-hand smoke was still a true danger. I’ve been trying to quit ever since. It’s been bothering me ever since… I wish I could find that lady and thank her!

  3. Congratulations on being tobacco free!! That is such an amazing decision!! <3

  4. shared this link and to my husband too wishing all of them can stop smoking too soon! congratulations to you! its a milestone! x0~

  5. LOVE this, congratulations!!! I just lost my dad way too early in life to lung cancer. When he was diagnosed, I quit smoking, and it was 3 years for me this last November! I did go cold turkey, and the first 6 months were hardest. I signed a contract saying I wouldn’t smoke as of Nov 11, 2011 and signed it and put it on the fridge, so there was no turning back! My husband is setting his quit date this month and I’ll tell him about what you used! Thanks for this post, you are AWESOME!!!

  6. These are great tips for those that do smoke. I know it can be a really difficult habit to get out of.

  7. katherine says:

    My husband quit cold turkey like 6 years ago!

  8. Smoking is very dangerous for our health and we all know about it very well. Still some people are smoking cigarettes too many. Using Electronic Cigarettes might be a very good approach for quit smoking because, it’s a less harmful. And, you can live your life tobacco free.

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