Learn not to smoke
You can learn to be a non-smoker. You learned how to smoke, so you can learn how not to smoke.
Stopping smoking and staying stopped is not simply about will power. It's more like learning to swim. Some people just jump in the deep end and swim. If that works for you, great! But what if you start to sink, and panic?
Take it easy, learn a bit, practise a bit and when you have a feel for it, try it out. You learn something new from each time you try. Most people try two or more times before they get the hang of it.
And when you're finding it hard to resist the craving, remind yourself that you'll have more money when you quit.
Knowing what to expect and what you are going to do will give you the confidence to stop, and stay stopped.
- notice those times when you automatically smoke from habit
- plan for all occasions, particularly high-risk times and emergencies.
If you are worried about your weight, stock up on healthy food at home so you'll be less tempted by junk food.
Set a date
It helps to set a particular date as your quitting day. Give yourself a few days or weeks to prepare, and tell your friends and family.
What about slip-ups?
If you do have a cigarette, don't waste your energy on self-blame. Lots of people have a slip or two, and go on to become successful ex-smokers.
A slip often happens in a situation you haven't prepared for. Work out why you smoked and how you can prevent it next time. Remember how well you've coped with all the other situations. You can learn how not to smoke again in this situation too.
Alcohol is connected to lapses in one-quarter of cases. If you have too much to drink, it can be hard to remember your reasons for not smoking, and to use your coping strategies.
It's a good idea to either avoid alcohol in the first few weeks of quitting, or at least drink less. Once you are an established ex-smoker, it will be easier to drink and not smoke.