How to stop smoking: Tip #1: This is YOUR quit

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.

Comments welcome!


2 Replies

  • Hi Alex

    I must make this comment on your very good well thought out thread, if quitting smoking is such a personal choice how come so many people on the forum and off the forum think they can tell others how to do it, also you say not to try quitting with a friend partner etc as they might fail, couldn’t that make each prospective quitter more adamant that they will continue to quit, like saying hey I can do this even if you can’t, it might even be just to prove a point, and if you do fail then maybe you would have failed even on your own.

    I had a partner quitter on here, we both blackmailed each other in a way by making the other responsible for our quits i.e. if you smoke so will I, we are both still quit 2 + years down the very precarious no smoking road.

    Only my take on this so please don’t shoot me, we all have our own opinions and yours is a valid one and I see mine as also just that, an opinion.

    I know that there will be lots more opinions and they also will be just as good I am sure, I would not and could not have quit without this forum and all the superb members I have had the great pleasure to quit with, in fact I can honestly say without a couple of these members I would not have made it past month 3 no matter which method I chose.

    So no matter the choices you make and the options you choose it’s not really going to make any difference who says what and advice is worth exactly what you pay for it £0, but I can tell you what is great and what can truly help you to stay smoke free, that’s this fantastic site and all the great people on it, and the huge support they give to each other.

  • Hi Jamangie,

    Good to see you back on the site again!

    To answer your questions, when I speak about personal choice I am referring to the fact that the individual has to decide for themselves how they go about quitting, on their own terms, and at their own pace. The fact that many people on and off the forum tell others how to do it is great, because it provides the individual with a wide range of choices in managing their quit. Hopefully nobody on or off the forum is dictating that there is only one valid way to quit and worse, forcing people to follow their methodology!

    It sounds like you found a creative way to overcome the issue of quitting together! That could be a solution that works for other people too :D

    I was merely pointing out that IF you attempt to quit together, you need to recognize that if your quit partner fails, it is still up to you as an individual to attempt to succeed. But you are right, it might make each person more adamant to succeed, although being adamant is not a guarantee of success, in which case the other partner still needs to manage their own quit.

    I can't really agree that advice is worth exactly what you pay for it £0, because I think a lot of people on and off the site put in a lot of personal time and effort to help others, and that is in fact worth plenty if it helps people to succeed in quitting. I do, however, agree that this is a fantastic site with a lot of great people providing huge support to each other.


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