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Getting-Personal Series: How Did You Quit Smoking?

MyFinalSmoke has conducted interviews with current and ex-smokers to compile this series of stories and personal experiences, true accounts of how people like you have encountered the cigarette, how it affected their lives, and how they live with the habit, and how they gave it up. In the following, we will share with you the insights of real people and how they answered our questions.

How Did You Quit Smoking? *

We have previously discussed that figuring out why you want to quit smoking is the most fundamental step to successfully doing it. Finding the motivation and the honest desire is the hardest part, because like any addiction, smoking can be the worst of tyrants. It can rule over your world and make even common sense a thing of the past.

Once you are well aware of your genuine need to quit the habit, finding the means to achieve that is what naturally comes next. It’s not an easy battle. And it’s not one you are required to win on the first try. But many have accomplishes it before you and many will after you. The “how,” though, is usually different for everyone. In the following are the answers of a few ex-smokers to the ultimate question: “How did you quit smoking?”

Disclaimer: All stories are submitted anonymously to encourage complete honesty and are paraphrased when needed to enhance readability. MyFinalSmoke doesn’t personally endorse or embrace or advocate for any of the viewpoints shared below.

You Just Stop *

“Cold turkey is a lot easier said than done. It’s like a diet; you tell him yourself you’ll start next Monday because it’s still Tuesday and it feels like you have enough time to prepare. And then come Monday and you subconsciously make the switch to the beginning of next month. And so it goes. I think the struggle is all too familiar for anyone whoever battled with any sort of addiction. For me, after several failed trials, I realized where I was going wrong. Such a decision requires commitment, and putting it off, waiting for the perfect time, was nothing but an excuse to keep slacking. I had to do it right now. I had to just stop.

There was no build up to my decision. One day I was fed up with how bad it made me feel and just decided to do it no more. I threw the still half-full pack in the trash and informed my wife that this would be it. To motivate myself and to not let the excitement fade, I decided to keep aside the money I would have paid for each new pack I’d have needed to buy (one every two days on good days). By the end of the first month I had enough money for a nice dinner with the missus. It all felt pleasantly rewarding.

I’d like to say that, for 6 years, I’ve officially considered myself an ex-smoker. It was not easy, and there were days where I sneaked one cigarette and smoked it in the shade and  hoped to God that no one would smell the crime on me. But it’s the way I chose to identify myself since day one that made all the difference: ex-smoker. Smoking was in the past, even when it managed to slip into the present, I didn’t allow it to stay. I’m a lot healthier and a lot happier today.”

Find an Alternative *

“The problem with quitting for me was in how deeply fundamental smoking was to my day. The habit was instilled in tens of normal daily practices that I couldn’t make the separation in my head. Smoking first thing in the morning, smoking after a good meal, with coffee, long car rides, driving, work breaks, while drinking, while listening to music, etc. Finding the right method to quit required that I first understand my psychological reliance on the cigarette, not just the nicotine addiction.

Knowing that cold turkey won’t work for me (tried and failed numerous times) meant I had to find an alternative to fill the vacuum quitting would cause. I considered my options and found that e-cigarettes would work best. Psychologically, they offered something to hold in your hands, satisfied the oral fixation, and the whole process mimicked that of smoking to a good degree. The next step was really to find the perfect fit. There are so many options out there and many of them are frustrating. If you need this to work, you’ll have to do your homework, and the rest is almost easy. You make the switch, you gradually lessen your nicotine intake, and you end up a lot more in control of what accesses your body on daily basis.

Self-Help Books and Meditation *

“Quitting smoking can change your life, and I don’t mean that in the inspirational sense. It’s a drastic major change to your entire lifestyle. Sometimes you even have to change where you hang out, the people you spend most of your time with, when to take your lunch break. But most importantly, you change your mindset.

I knew quitting smoking came with unpleasant side effects: weight gain, irritation, sleeping difficulties, and of course the cravings. And the only way I could get through that many negative changes in my life was to counter them with positive changes. I started to meditate every day, go hiking whenever possible, eat healthier. I did a lot of reading to understand what my body and my soul needed to survive the first 3 months, the hardest usually, where most people relapse. I had to adopt an entirely different approach to life. It had to be so big of a commitment that it would feel like such a waste if you give it all up. I used my desire for instant gravitation and cultivated it with positive habits, and I took it one day at a time. One achievement at a time. Today, the reward is honestly too huge to fall off the wagon. And I’m very proud of myself.”

Short Conclusion *

This article did not specifically address methods of quitting smoking, for there are hundreds of sources to help you with these, but rather the state of mind that allowed a certain method or another to succeed. So if you found the stories above helpful, tune in for more insight or email us/comment below with your own story. We hope that, in the shared experiences, we may come to find a moral, and reach an understanding of why a habit so harmful can have such a strong hold on the best of us.

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