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The Day You Quit Smoking

Okay, the alarm goes off. It’s your first morning as an ex-smoker...

You’ve prepared for this. You know when your triggers will be popping up. And you know how to beat them when they do. So, don’t linger in bed.

Get up! Do things! Attack the day!

Just focus on getting through this ONE day without smoking.

Put on your nicotine patch or use your other nicotine replacement medication right away. Dress, eat, grab a bottle of water and some candy or toothpicks and just GO.

You’re going to think a lot about cigarettes today. Just be aware of this ahead of time. Let the thoughts come into your mind. Big deal. Don’t deny their existence. Let them come in, sit down and complain for a minute and then show them the door. They’ll show up a lot at first, and then their visits will become fewer and farther between.

If the thoughts don’t leave right away, get up and do something. Just stay active. Drink tons of water and keep it up all day long. Take a walk. Stay on the move.

As you head into the day, remember that life’s not going to be different just because you quit smoking. Your first day of not smoking will bring with it the same surprises and unexpected events like any other day. The bus might not come. Or the boss might be mad. But what you’ll discover is that smoking never got rid of any of these stresses anyway. Not once. Not ever. Smoking never made the next bus come sooner.

Once you get some quit time under your belt, you’ll begin to realize that, yeah, you missed the bus, and your boss is a jerk and…life goes on. And you’ll do it all without a cigarette.

As the day goes on, remember your smoking triggers and be ready for them.

Remember all the things we've talked about to resist your craving:

Use your nicotine replacement medication.

Breathe deeply.

Drink water.

Stay busy.

Chew gum.

Ride out the urge.

Read your list of reasons to quit smoking.

And lean on your support team.

You’ll be surprised at how fast the day flies by, and you’ll start to see that quitting smoking really IS possible. You’ve done what you set out to do. You’re getting through one day without smoking. For many of us at EX, the first day turned out to be easier than we thought.

Days two and three will throw some curveballs at you, so maybe it’s time to arm yourself with even more tactics. In the slip-ups section we spell out some of the common things that cause people to start smoking again, including triggers and “slippery places.”



Re-Learn Habit

Identify Triggers and Track Cigarettes

Re-learning Habit starts with listing out your personal smoking triggers. Triggers are the things that make you want to smoke, like having a cup of coffee, driving or dealing with stress. When you re-learn life without cigarettes, you’ll re-learn how to deal with all of these things without lighting up.

Common Triggers

Here are some of the most common things that make people want to smoke. Coffee? Driving? Stress? Yep, they’re all here. Take a look and see which ones make you reach for a cigarette. And if one of your triggers isn’t included here, be sure to enter it in below.

Stop Smoking with your Coffee


Add Trigger

Quit Drinking and Smoking


Add Trigger

Stop Smoking After a Meal

After a Meal

Add Trigger

Stop Smoking and Driving


Add Trigger

Remove Cigarettes from Morning Routine to Quit Smoking

Morning Routine

Add Trigger

Don't Smoke When Kids Argue

When Kids Argue

Add Trigger

Stop Smoking After Sex


Add Trigger

Stress without cigarettes


Add Trigger

Friends Who Smoke when you are Quitting Smoking

Friends Who Smoke

Add Trigger

Avoid Certain Old Smoking Locations

Certain Locations

Add Trigger

Celebrating Without a Cigarette


Add Trigger

Relaxing without Smoking


Add Trigger

Mornings without a Cigarette


Add Trigger

Quit Smoking when Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue

Add Trigger

Deal with Jerk-face Boss Without Smoking

Your Jerk-face Boss

Add Trigger

Quit Smoking without Fighting with a Friend

Fighting with a Friend

Add Trigger

Stop Smoking Feeling Bored

Feeling Bored

Add Trigger

Quit Smoking when Paying Bills

Paying Bills

Add Trigger


Cigarette Tracker

Tracking your cigarettes is an important step. It gives you a better idea of when and why you smoke. Why is this a big deal? Well, if you better understand the times of day or the things that trigger your cravings, the EX Plan can help you re-learn how to deal with them without a cigarette. All of which means you’ll be better prepared for your quit day.

Once you've tracked your cigarettes, check out your stats. The more cigarettes you track, the more you'll learn to help you prepare for your quit day.

Use the Cigarette Tracker below to list out every cigarette you smoke in a day. Note what triggered you to smoke and how strong the urge was. If you can't remember all of your cigarettes right now, use a piece of paper to keep track of the cigarettes you smoke tomorrow. Then enter them into the tracker. Or use our EX mobile app to keep track of your cigarettes on the go - you can download it here.


Beat Your Smoking Triggers

What Does It Mean to Separate from Your Triggers?

Reminder: all that means is putting a little time between the smoking trigger and the cigarette.

Now that you’ve got some ideas on how to separate your smoking triggers from cigarettes, it’s time to actually practice doing it before you quit for good.

For each trigger, write down how you think you can separate from it. Remember, you don’t have to give up the cigarette that goes with it entirely. Just don’t automatically smoke it the second the trigger hits. Wait a few minutes and then light up. The next time, wait a few more minutes and so on.

It might seem hard at first, because the two have gone together for so long. But the more separation you can put between your triggers and your cigarettes, the more you'll be breaking the "glue" that holds them together. And if you can re-learn one of your triggers without cigarettes, then you can re-learn anything without cigarettes.



3 Replies

  • Hi Jillygirl, excellent advice there for someone starting out on their quit. So much success comes from good planning.


  • YES, I agree with Eye, this is soooooooooper Jillygirl :) loads and loads of advice, just Ace gal :) :)

  • Great post JillyGirl! Really helpful to all our newbies :-)

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