My 'cold turkey' tips / diary / mind dump

Hi all,

Not trying to structure this thread really, just dump all of my ideas / experiences as I think of them for how I stopped cold turkey around a month ago. I've stuck it in here because I think most of what i'm trying to get across are tips in some way!

I stopped cold turkey because I wanted (rightly or wrongly) to have a completely clean cut from nicotine. Knowing myself, I knew that if I have nicotine lingering around in my system with various other methods, it would only make the stopping process longer and harder. Obviously that's not the same for everybody, but I knew for me personally that would be the case.

Most of these tips you are probably aware of, but even if one person reads one tip and it helps, then I guess it's worth it.

Before Stopping

Firstly, you have to want to. It might seem obvious, but a lot of people I know that have tried to stop haven't really wanted to themselves. I include myself in that for my previous 3 cold turkey attempts. They've done it for their partner, or because they've felt the financial strain or whatever. At the end of the day, if you don't really want to stop, the chances are you won't and each day will be a fighting battle.

If you do want to, then I suggest having your last cigarette as you would before you go to bed. Plan the 'stop' by removing your ashtrays, lighters and obviously get rid of any cigarettes you have left. Try and plan the stop to begin at a time when you're NOT going to be around difficult smoking situations (like on the morning of a social drink with friends... I planned mine to be when I didn't have much money and was a week away from a planned long weekend in Munich)

I also let little tasks and interests build up so I had plenty to do on day one. I had lots of films and TV shows ready to watch; let the dishes pile up; make sure I have washing to do - anything that would give me that 5 minute break if and when I needed it (it probably helps in that respect that I work from home but there's nothing to stop this being on a saturday morning of a bank holiday or something).

I also only told my housemate I was stopping. I didn't tell any other family or friends because last time I tried, it just felt like added pressure and that feeling of appearing weak if you don't manage to do it. It also gives you the option of ringing friends or family in addition to the tasks above to break up the day.


For me, it genuinely has been the hardest on day one and gradually easier after that until around day 4 where I didn't feel like it was actually a struggle to get through it. Now I'm having very small cravings and only 2 or 3 a day on average. Add that to the mountain of benefits and good feelings and I'm pretty convinced I won't cave in. The cravings are so small now that I can literally just laugh them off - they disappear without having to make them.

I'm not going to lie - day one was an absolute nightmare. A few hours pass and you think it's great, but then you start doubting yourself, doubt how much longer you can carry on and start clock watching. My advice is just literally fight through the day. No matter how bad it gets, just get through it by any means necessary and however negatively you're feeling.

When you have bad cravings, do one of the tasks you've left yourself, or stick one of the TV shows on you've been meaning to watch. Call a family member and have a catch up; read this forum (there's some great positive energy here most of the time and people that either are going through or have been through exactly what you are) and post something yourself if getting your feelings down helps - anything just to break up the worst of that particular craving.

If you're like me, you'll wake up on the second day and your first thought will again be cigarettes... This time though, my second thought was "well, I got through yesterday so it can't be any worse than that". It might not seem like a massively positive thought, but you compare it to how you felt the day before, and you've got the added mental benefits and pride of having got through that first day. That instantly makes the second day and any after it that little bit easier.

I carried on watching various TV shows but the time went that little bit faster and it just felt that little bit easier. Every day since has been easier than the last.

Sorry for the disgraceful structure of this thread :p just felt the need to get it down somewhere on this forum.


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