Hello All!! I realize it’s been a minute since posting. Life on the farm and owning this 100 year old farmhouse takes up much more time than I ever imagined. However, one thing that I have had great feedback on is the support I had from my followers when I shared my journey of quitting smoking for good. Some of you had asked for advice and tips on how to quit smoking so I wanted to share those with you here.
Tips to Quit Smoking
First, you have to be ready to quit. I don’t mean kind of ready, I mean willing to put in the work and suffer through the withdraw. You have to find your “why” and remember that when the cravings come knocking. It needs to be a good why. For me, it was my daughter as well as wanting to live a more chemical free lifestyle.
I won’t lie to you or sugar coat it. It sucks. It sucks big. But, it’s totally doable and I promise you CAN do it. I smoked for 20 years. It was a part of who I was. It’s been almost 2 months and I still think about smoking at least 5 times a day. Mainly when I have those triggers. First thing in the morning, when driving, after eating, at night before bed. You get the idea.
Change Your Habits
I find that changing your routine helps when you’re trying to break a habit. Any habit. Some people have said using Vapes have helped them quit and I am glad for them! However, I think you’re just trading one form of tobacco for another and new studies have proved that Vaping is just as bad for you, if not worse, than cigarettes.
They have started to up the tax on tobacco so keeping a log of how much money you are saving is also very helpful. At the end of each week for the first month, I rewarded myself. I bought a pair of shoes, or pants. You get the idea.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel and how much better my skin looks. I have, however, gained the weight that so many people talk about. It’s not my favorite but I will take a little weight gain over risking cancer any day of the week.
I am also a freak when it comes to dental health. You are risking your gum health big time with smoking. Your teeth also yellow. Not flattering. You smell worse than you think. Since quitting, I can smell it a mile away. And not in a way that makes me want to smoke. In a way that further reminds me of why I gave it up.
Some people recommend chewing gum, but I found that mints and pretzel sticks (not eaten together because..ewww) helped me the most. When I had a craving I would eat one of those to help me through.
The first day wasn’t so bad and the second day was hard but doable for me. The third and fourth day? Torture. Awful. Wouldn’t wish it on my enemy. Addiction runs in my family and I have an addictive personality. I warned those around me that I might be a jerk for a few days and they understood.
I announced it on social media and told as many people as I could to help hold myself accountable. It felt good to be able to tell those that asked how far I had made it without smoking. It’s no easy thing and it’s amazing what you can accomplish with willpower.
The best advice I can give is don’t give up. When I had cravings I would close my eyes, get very still and very quiet and breathe. Just in and out, in and out until the hardest part of the craving had passed. For those that don’t know, you’re brain is literally screaming at you to smoke. Just one more, just smoke half. If you’re anything like me you can’t do anything “just a little bit”. I know without a doubt that if I even take a puff, I’ll be smoking a pack by the very next day!
I know some people have had success by cutting up straws and using those to mimic smoking but again, I feel like if you don’t change your habit/routine, you can’t change your mindset. Nicotine gum and it was horrid. Nasty. Awful. Wasn’t for me.
What DID work for me was the patch. I tried a few brands previously when attempting to quit and most failed. I think part of that is because I allowed myself to smoke “just a few” while on the patch to try and wean myself off. First, this can cause a heart attack. Second, as I mentioned before, I wasn’t changing my routine. Just adding more nicotine to the mix. Once you start on the patch, that’s it. You can’t and shouldn’t smoke.
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I will link the patches here that I had the best success with. I used the step 1 for about a week and then step 2 for about 4 days and then I quit using the patch and allowed myself to withdraw. There is also a step 3 if needed. Nicotine leaves your body in around 3 days. That means that by day 4 without a patch or smoking, the physical addiction is almost gone. At that point, it becomes a mental game.
Step 1 Nicotine Patch
I learned the hard way not to sleep with a patch on. Vivid dreams and they seemed so real. The hardest part about not sleeping in one is having to wait for the patch to kick in after application the next morning which usually took around 30-45 minutes. And my morning smoke was the hardest to break for me.
Step 2 Nicotine Patch
My husband is a smoker as well and I would love for him to quit because I felt like every time he smoked, I’d want one as well. This time it was a bit different as I had make up my mind to quit. So I know that no amount of begging, bribing, scolding will work. As with any drug, if that person isn’t willing to quit, they won’t. They will just hide it better.
Step 3 Nicotine Patch
However, he has been very supportive. He tells me how proud he is and when he does smoke, he goes to his shop or the back of the house where I can’t see him. I know he has smoked as soon as he walks in the door but like I said, this time I knew I wanted to be stronger than the addiction. He’s not sure on how to quit smoking in a way that works for him.
There is no “one thing” that will necessarily work best for you. It’s mostly a mental game. I felt like all the times I had tried before I wasn’t truthfully ready. I knew I wanted to quit but wasn’t really ready to suffer through. Knowing that I was paying money to willingly slowly kill myself was what I kept telling myself. I know that sounds harsh but it really is the truth, isn’t it?
Addiction Is Hard
I’ve dealt with addiction in one aspect or another my entire life. I know the patterns and I know the triggers and the cost. My best friend had a heart attack at 40 last month. 40 years old. She isn’t a smoker or drinker, ate well and was a member of crossfit. It ended up being a genetic issue for her but it really was a wake up call for me. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. And I was helping kill my heart.
I quit when I found out I was pregnant. And didn’t smoke he entire pregnancy! And months later, after my daughter was born, I drank too much one night and lit up. The very next day I was smoking a pack a day so I know in order to be successful I can’t have any. Ever. If you do ever fall off the wagon, give yourself grace and start again. I will always have to remind myself of my “why” and remember how badly it sucked to quit. Learning how to quit smoking isn’t the easiest thing I have ever done.
The only person that can do this for you is you. I didn’t use acupuncture or hypnosis but I have heard of others having success with those. I am listing as many things I can as many things work differently for people. Sharing what worked for me is all I can do.
My last tip is to drink lots of water. Help flush the nicotine out of your body. Go for a walk in the evenings. Change up that routine and replace that bad habit with a healthy one.
If you have any additional questions, I am happy to answer them for you and if you need some support I am here for that as well. Just remember it won’t be easy, but I promise it absolutely will be worth it.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for reading and sticking around. I sincerely hope that this helps someone. Even if I convince one person how to quit smoking and help them accomplish that goal, then this post was worth it.
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!