I used to like cigarettes. A lot. It's probably why I returned to smoking twice after having quit. I really didn't want to quit. The third time, I wanted to quit, and I quit for good.
The first thing you have to do, is want to quit.
The second thing is that you have to ignore all those messages that say that smoking is addictive. I don't actually know if tobacco is addictive or not, but I refused to believe that it was. After all, I went to bed every night and went smoke-free for many hours until I awoke. Then how about a few more hours?
So, if you want to quit smoking, here's what you do:
- Disabuse yourself of the notion that smoking is addictive, or that you can't quit. It just is not true.
- You have several packs of cigarettes on hand. Fine. Continue smoking as is normal for you.
- Buy one carton of your favorite brand. This will be your Last Carton of Cigarettes.
- You can write that on the box with a sharpie, if you want, but it is your Last Carton of Cigarettes. Keep that clearly in your mind for however many days it lasts. Your Last Carton of Cigarettes.
- Continue smoking as normal, but buy no more cigarettes.
- When you get to your Last Carton of Cigarettes, open it and take out one pack. Set it aside as your Last Pack of Cigarettes.
- Continue as is normal, but buy no more cigarettes.
- As you get down toward your Last Pack of Cigarettes, you have to do a little planning. You have to modify your smoking pattern so that your Last Cigarette comes at bedtime.
- It's bedtime, you have only your Last Cigarette in your hand, and you smoke it, remembering the whole time that it is you Last Cigarette. Enjoy it. Sit on your patio in the cool night air and really enjoy your Last Cigarette.
- Go to bed and sleep well.
- When you wake up, you will have already quit smoking for about eight hours, depending 'pon how long you let yourself sleep.
- Go about your day's routine in the knowledge that you are no longer a smoker. Whenever you think about buying or "borrowing" a cigarette, remind yourself firmly that you no longer smoke and haven't for X hours (include the number of hours you slept). Put smoking out of your mind.
- For a few days, it might help to stay away from places where people smoke, and avoid smoke, smokers and places in which cigarettes are sold--to the degree that you can.
I followed this path three times. The third time just over twenty years ago.
Also, it worked best for me not to tell anyone about it while you're doing it. you don't want to hear how difficult it is. It's not difficult. You don't want to hear someone tell you you can't quit. You can, and it's the confident knowledge that you can that gets it done. You don't want your friends telling you how addictive tobacco is. It isn't. It takes a physical act of will to light a cigarette, and you simply have to refuse to do it.
I didn't mention to anyone that I was going to quit. Not before, not during and not for some time after. A few of my friends realized, after a time, that they hadn't seen me smoking in a while, and only then did I admit it.
I'm not a nut-case anti-smoking nazi, as are most of the denizens of Stalag California, and I don't mind others smoking around me as long as the smoke doesn't get uncomfortably thick. Seeing someone smoking doesn't tempt me.
I'm cured, and you can be, too. All that's necessary is that you have to want it.
What if they raised cigarette taxes and nobody smoked?