For the next several weeks I'm going to give tips about stopping smoking, mostly aimed at those who have not yet started their quit.
That might seem a little bit of a strange concept for an internet forum where most people have already embarked on their quit, but I believe (I hope) there are also people reading the forum who are treading the waters by reading about other people's experiences prior to quitting themselves.
Hence, I would like to help prepare those people watching from the side lines, waiting for the right moment to start stopping. Naturally, there will also be tips that are applicable to those who have already quit - or which hopefully may help you in some way or other - no matter how far along the path of quitting you may be.
Tip #1: This is YOUR quit.
- a) Stopping smoking is a personal choice. You wouldn't want anybody telling you what you can or cannot do with your life in general (within moral / legal limits), and smoking or not is your choice. This is important, because you can stop or start whenever you want, and whether you manage to stop or not within your given boundaries is only of your concern. You decide your quit date, you decide what constitutes success or failure in your quit, and ultimately you decide whether quitting smoking is for you, or not. Maybe tomorrow is the perfect day to quit, maybe you need a bit more time, or maybe you need some encouragement... Whatever the case, you shouldn't feel pressured. If you quit today, tomorrow, next month, in six months, a year or later, your quit needs to be YOUR quit, at YOUR pace, and according to YOUR conditions.
- b) Do not "buddy-up" on your quit, unless you can deal with failure. Your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, wife, husband, best friend etc. decides to quit at the same time as you, or you decide they will quit with you. Bad idea! This is YOUR quit. Go back to point a), do not pass go, and do not collect anything. It's ok to choose a quit buddy, but chances are one of you will fail and when one buddy fails the other buddy follows... That is not to say you should not try to quit together, but accept that one might succeed where the other fails and vice versa. Stay strong, and whichever the side of the equation you fall on, take things for what they are, and strive for success in the future. In miraculous circumstances you may both succeed.
- c) The method you use to quit is irrelevant. The end goal is what matters. Cold turkey, patches, Champix, Chantix, Acupuncture, Voodoo magic... The only thing that matters is that you end up being comfortable with not smoking. By comfortable, I mean that you feel strong in your conviction that you are leading a healthier life without tobacco, and especially that you don't feel the desire to smoke, considering the alternatives.
- d) Failure is an option, so long as you are convinced that quitting is what you want. If you're not convinced about quitting then it's going to be very difficult to stop, simply because there will always be an excuse to start again, whenever you need one.
Most people who quit successfully tried several times. That is not to give an out to anybody trying to quit, but rather to tell you that if you don't manage to quit the first time around, then try again. This is YOUR quit. Mary, Sally, Harry and Bob are irrelevant quite honestly, whether they smoke or not, have tried to quit or not. You don't owe them anything. You only owe something to yourself.