Scissors cutting a cigarette

4 Dos And 4 Don’ts Of Quitting Smoking

So, you want to quit smoking. Here are 4 dos and 4 don’ts to consider as you embark on your journey to becoming a non-smoker.

DO

Know quitting is in your best interest

There may have been a time a doctor would offer you a cigarette. Doctor’s may even have prescribed them for some patients. Those are times long past. Today, most doctors know quitting can make you healthier. It can slow the progression of COPD. It can help you live better and live longer despite a diagnosis of COPD. It also offers lots of other benefits.

DON’T

Think you have to do it on your own

Some people do it solo. Some people just decide to do it and it’s done. And that’s great. But, others benefit from help. This help can come in the form of a doctor’s support. It can come from support from family or friends. It can also come to the support of communities like ours. Plus, there are lots of helplines. Many people benefit from talking with others. Talk to people who quit already. How did they do it? How long did the uncomfortable feeling last? Other people can offer advice. They can also offer motivational support that can benefit you on your new journey.

DO

Know that as time passes, you will feel the utmost euphoria about quitting

You will start feeling joy just thinking that you were able to quit what many experts consider the hardest addiction to quit. This is a feeling of accomplishment. It is a reason to celebrate.

DON’T

Be afraid to burn bridges

Cortez may have been the best motivator ever. His ships landed in Mexico in 1517. He didn’t want his people to have any motivation to go back. He wanted them to move forward. So, he had his crew burn all the ships. This gave them the motivation to move forward not backward. Many motivational experts have used the Cortez example to their benefit. So, you have some unsmoked cigarettes. Shred them. Destroy them. You won’t have anything to smoke even if you want one. It also creates an image in your head of what you don’t want to go back to. You think about smoking a cigarette. An image of you shredding your cigarettes comes into your mind. You’re reminded of what you don’t want to go back to. You create your own motivation to move forward on your new journey as a non-smoker.

DO

Know that the uncomfortable feelings will pass

Withdrawal symptoms may last a few days. They may last a few weeks. But, they will pass. Even after they pass, you may still have the urge to light up. This causes uncomfortable feelings. Just know that these will pass. And, over time, these bad feelings will go away. After a while, you won’t even think about smoking. You will see others lighting up and you’ll think, “I can’t believe I did that for so long.”

DON’T

Quit quitting

Just know that most people try to quit and fail many times before they finally succeed. If you quit and fail, don’t let it stop you from trying again. Don’t consider failure a bad thing, necessarily. You can consider it a good thing. Most of us learn more from our failures than our successes. How long did you go without smoking? How did you do it? How did it make you feel? When did you decide to light up again? What caused you to do it? See, the answers to these questions can help you with your next effort. So, the last time you tried quitting, maybe it lasted a week. Perhaps you started again because you didn’t know what else to do at the end of the day when you normally lit up. So, next time you can develop a plan. Maybe you can go for a walk. Maybe you can call a friend.

What to make of this?

Quitting smoking may be the hardest of all habits to quit. So far, in my life, I’ve had only one person tell me otherwise. One friend said he had a harder time quitting drinking. Still, most people note the difficulting of quitting. But many have succeeded. And it certainly helps when you have tips of what to do and what not to do.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (8)
  • mindovermatter
    6 months ago

    Well it will be 11years for me. 2packs a day…ok21/2 packs. At the time I was 58yrs & retired living in new area. Did I plan on quitting? Nope. Hey I didn’t want to die but I had a good life with work, family, home etc and not only that I knew I could quit smoking and the next day get run over by a car so you see I had all the answers.Now back to my story. In this new area I went everywhere with my huband driving (Miss Daisy)so there was no need to pay attention to roads or signs. That’ s how I became dependent and afraid almost to drive. This one night at the local community center down the street mind you was having a class on smoking, weight, and stress. It was a group hypnosis. It was free and/or a $5.00 donation. Now I don’t believe in that, but it was a chance to get my independence and confidence back by going alone and at night and by myself! Now my girlfriend tried this with my other girlfriend and they both failed. Gee, what a surprise. The one girlfriend died shortly after of lung cancer. The one that lived told me that she lit up in the parking lot after and thats why she failed. Ok then. She tried a second time, did not light up after and has been smoke free since that day. Well now to spare you my opinion of this I will tell you I went and talked to people enjoying myself with this night out and did the hypnosis thing (you really don’t go under so if fire breaks out you can run) all along knowing not to light up when I get to the parking lot. Ha Ha on me. Smoke free and God does do miracles To this day I don’t feel like I quit more like I “cheated” with the help of God. I know alcoholic people who have quit can’t have just one drink or they will go right back to being alcoholics again. I look at it the same way. Get strong & quit so we can thank the industries encouraging it back in the day.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi mindovermatter and thanks for sharing your extensive story with our online community. Congratulations on being smoke-free for 11 years. I’m sure that has gone a long way towards helping you to manage your condition and move forward as you have. Keep up the good work! Leon (site moderator)

  • GHarvey
    6 months ago

    I quit smoking over 10 years ago after several attempts. Finally was able to give it up for good when a lung collapsed due to the Emphysema from smoking. Eight days in hospital with the chest tube got me over the hump. Now the associated weight gain from the metabolism change has me with Diabetes, Hypertension, and all of the associated issues. My next step is weight loss and reducing the blood sugar.
    I conquered the nicotine, now on to learning new eating habits, losing weight and reducing the blood sugar. First week down from an average of 185mg/dL to an average of 130mg/dL.

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi GHarvey ,
    It is a total transformation from morning to night and from head to toe.
    Although tough at first, you will feel so much better once you get on a routine and get everything under control.
    Good Luck,
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi GHarvey and congratulations on being ‘smoke free’ for over 10 years. That is a genuine accomplishment and one you can be proud of! It does go a long way towards managing your condition. And now I see you’re planning to work on your weight by developing new, more beneficial eating habits. Keep up the good work! Leon (site moderator)

  • WillDoe
    6 months ago

    Like John Bottrell, RRT said about quitting smoking, don’t have them on hand! I would have smoked when I have trouble getting to sleep. Not quite awake, but not having slept: it’s a ‘weak’ spot, for me.
    I’ve only been off tobacco since 3-20-18, and not having them around is a ‘biggie’ to staying off, for me!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi WillDoe and thanks for this post. Congratulations to you having quit smoking back in March. You’ve already passed the 6-month mark! Keep up the good work! Leon (site moderator)

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi WillDoe,
    I know how you feel. I would have never given up smoking. I loved smoking but my lungs said NO!
    So, very reluctantly I gave them up and I am so happy I did.
    Now, I am no longer dependant on a lighter and a pack of smokes. Its funny too, because now no one around me smokes. IT seems they all quit too and it is nice to have a party or a visit without having to run outside all the time.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

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