My Guide to Quitting Smoking: Increase Success and Decrease the Odds of Killing Someone

skeleton smoking a cigaretteWarning:  this post may not actually contain any humour, but it will contain some tips and links if you are serious about quitting smoking.

It has been 14 hours and 6 minutes since my last cigarette.  Not that I am counting.  I have been a smoker for over 25 years.  I have tried to quit several times but always went back.  A big reason why I kept going back is because I always start to believe that I can control smoking.  I’ll just have this one smoke, I tell myself.  Uh-huh.  Hello my name is Cleopatra and I am the Queen of Denial.  The first thing I did was admit to myself that I am an addict.  Nope, I didn’t sign up for any 12-step program, and I don’t ever plan to, but I do think it is important to realize that I will NEVER have control of a cigarette.  I will never be able to “just have one”.

I’ve done the research on different methods, even read about a guy who uses his Facebook account as a kind of support group, and here are some of the best tips for quitting smoking that I found:



Set a quit date

      (most quitting guides, but not all, suggest the date be within a 2-week period)



Let people know

      (friends, family, coworkers, etc.)



Get rid of everything smoking-related

      (ashtrays, lighters, etc.)



Have “replacements” handy

      (gum, carrot sticks, sunflower seeds etc)



Learn relaxing breathing techniques





If you are interested in doing your own research, or if you are looking for more detailed information, here are some links to good, credible sites.  Some even have online support groups available.

American Lung Association ,   Smoke Free ,  Canadian Lung Association ,  WebMD

There are plenty of others to chose from as well.  Be warned though, many sites charge membership fees to join their online support group, others sell “miracle” cures that will make you never want to smoke again and others promise to help you quit smoking without gaining any weight.   Uh-huh.  You’ll start smoking again when you get your next credit card bill.

Two weeks ago, I set my quit date as September 1, 2009.  I told my family, my friends, my Facebook friends and my co-workers.  I bought a week’s supply of patches, and a 10lb bag of carrots.  I apologized in advance for my probable bitchiness (although, in fairness, most people who know me are used to bitchiness).    I counted down the days.  I chain-smoked my last 4 cigarettes.  And this morning, September 1, 2009, I stuck a patch on my left arm and went off to work.  As of this moment, I haven’t killed anyone.

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