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The How-To Lounge: Quitting Smoking

Smoking is a nasty habit. We all know smoking is bad for your health and wreaks havoc on your skin, your teeth, and the people around you. Even though some people make smoking look glamorous, it is a dangerous habit to pick up. Quitting is easier for some and can feel close to impossible for others, so here are tips to help you on the road to recovery if you are up for the challenge.

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  • The first and most important step is commitment. Ask yourself the tough questions as to why you are quitting; even write down your answers so you can be reminded of your reasons in case you feel the urge to smoke
  • Get a support system -- ask your friends and family members for their support and request that they don't smoke in front of you
  • Break your routine so you don't miss your old behavior so much
  • Be ready to change your environment -- immediately throw away all of your smoking paraphernalia: cigarettes, even your emergency stash, ashtrays, lighters, etc. from your home, place of work, girlfriends' or boyfriend's home, your car, or any other place you spend your time
  • Plan activities or develop new behaviors to replace the smoking with. Carry gum with you if you need the oral stimulation, or rely on a Nicotine replacement method to help wean you off the drug
  • Go for a walk around the block if you need a break from work instead of taking a "smoke break"
  • Be prepared to feel the effects of Nicotine withdrawal. Symptoms of dizziness, irritability, headache, tiredness, coughing, cold, etc. They last a few days and that will undoubtedly be the hardest part about quitting smoking
  • If you relapse, don't be too discouraged and do not use that as an excuse to start smoking again. It is totally normal for people to have slip ups so don't give up

While it takes a lot of dedication and bravery to quit a habit like smoking, the benefits far out weigh the negatives. Your teeth, your breath, your hair, your house, even your pets will thank you for quitting! Good luck.


Join The Conversation
Schaianne Schaianne 10 years
It is a very tough thing to do ... and to STAY quit! I drink a lot of water when I get the urge!! I just quit Feb 21, 2007 for my 2nd, and last, time!!
memejs memejs 10 years
I've been quit for 49 hours now. My husband and I are doing it together. I've quit many times before but it's really different this time. We are both very ready. It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and I've had a rough life but Iam doing it this time. I've been smoking for a long time but Iam so done.
Marci Marci 10 years
Quitting smoking is an incredibly hard thing to do for most people. And it's true that most people don't quit on the first try. All the tips on here are great, and I wish everyone who is trying to quit all the luck and determination in the world. I'm cheering you on!
nicachica nicachica 10 years
wow, this is really great to see since one of my bff's just decided to quit today. i'll send her the link. :)
backfat backfat 10 years
Wellbutrin. Totally worked for me. I just stopped buying them after that, simple really. I do smoke occasionally over the last couple years, but only socially as I enjoyed smoking a lot. When I'm back at home I don't have any trouble with not smoking.
LuckyGrl-83 LuckyGrl-83 10 years
my fiance's dad smoked for 15 yrs... he quit only once... He woke up one day and said: "I've had it with cigarrettes, I'm quitting today". He walked around with the same half-pack of cigs in his shirt pocket for over a year... never touched them... It was great because whenever someone offered he said "no thanks I have mine", and also because it stoped him from running to the store and buying a pack at a low point... It kept his decision to quit in perspective...
fab4 fab4 10 years
The best piece of advice & what helped me quit after 6 years of smoking: don't get around other people while they smoke.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Wow, Sweet Tea, that's incredible, good for you! I think it does have to be a cold turkey thing, none of this weaning yourself off business.
Sweet-Tea Sweet-Tea 10 years
Great tips! I've "quit" more times than I can count--this last time going on 2 years (this one seems to have stuck, yippee!). One thing that has also helped is accepting that I can never have one again...not even a puff. All the times that I relapsed before was that I thought that I could have "just one" while out with my friends. I had to accept that I am just not that person who can "socially smoke." For the first year, I put $5 (what I spent on my pack a day habit) in a jar every day that I didn't smoke -- at the anniversary of my quit date I had nearly $2000 to spend on a new laptop. It's not just the health costs -- it's the financial costs of smoking that is unreal.
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