How I Easily Quit
I quit smoking on January 27, 2006. At
that point, I had been smoking for 17 years, since I was 14 years old. I
am now 32 years old. By the age of 28, I had developed a chronic cough.
I'm a feminine woman (despite the smoking), so for me to have such a
nasty cough was really awful.
At first, I blamed the cough on the
house I had moved into after marrying my husband, Ron, thinking there
was mold or something in the house that was causing me to be allergic
and have this cough.
thought that it could be related to the old mattress we were sleeping on.
We bought a new mattress and the cough continued.
A year later, we moved
to an apartment and the cough continued still. I started thinking that it
was caused by psychological issues - that I had pushed my bad feelings
down all my life and did not communicate to others how I felt, so my bad
feelings were coming out of my body in the form of this nasty cough. I
thought it was telling me that I needed to deal with my emotional issues
instead of pushing them further down.
You are obviously thinking "How stupid can you
be to not see that smoking was causing your cough?" Well, the reason I'm
telling you all of this is because so many people are in denial the same
way I was. They don't want to admit that smoking is affecting them
negatively in any way. Smokers make as many excuses as necessary to be
able to hang on to their habit and feel okay about it.
After having this nasty cough for 3 years, and it was
getting worse, not better, I decided in January that I would buy some
Nicotine patches and try to cut down on smoking so that I could allow my
lungs to clear out and hopefully the cough would get better. I wasn't
planning on quitting because, quite frankly, I didn't think I was
capable of quitting.
All my life I had heard people say how addictive smoking
cigarettes was. The studies even said that cigarettes were "more addictive
than heroin." That's stupid! What kind of person thinks up things like
that? I can see how they might think that by saying that, they are
preventing kids from starting to smoke, but they don't realize or care
about the negative impact it's going to have on the people who are
trying to quit.
As smokers, it is drilled into your brain for years and years
that quitting is next to impossible. They say you have to try an average
of seven times before you will actually quit and other dumb statistics.
They've brainwashed us into believing that we can't quit. I wouldn't doubt
it if the cigarette companies themselves came up with these ridiculous
statistics to make us all feel hopeless about quitting.
So, getting to the point... How did I quit? Well, after
wearing the patch for a couple of hours, I noticed that my cough was gone.
GONE. It didn't take days or weeks or months for my body to "clean itself
out" and get all the gunk out of my lungs. Nope. My cough was
Of course, I had not quit yet, I was just "cutting down" at this
point. So I would still smoke a few cigarettes a day. Twenty minutes after each cigarette
I smoked I would feel congested again. It was like
clockwork, I could predict it so well. There was no doubt then that the
cigarettes had caused this nasty cough all along. I had been deceiving
myself to believe that it was anything else.
I still didn't think I could
quit though. It didn't really cross my mind that I would seriously try to
quit. I enjoyed smoking, I thought. It was a comfort that was there for me
when I needed it. Yeah, right... I might as well have a razor blade
sitting around the house to comfort me.
I had read about positive affirmations for years but never
really used them much. I decided I would try it to stop smoking. No
problem if it didn't work because I really wasn't planning on quitting
Everyday in the shower I started having mock conversations
out loud, as though I were talking to someone else. In an excited,
emotional way (think Tony Robbins), I would tell my imaginary mom, friend,
or neighbor how EASY it was for me to quit smoking and how I wished I had
done this long ago because it was SO much EASIER than I ever dreamed
possible. I just rambled on and on about it like this - easy, easy, easy.
I can't believe how easy it was. It was so freaking easy. Should've done
it long ago, etc. etc.
I did this for a few days and the
desire to smoke went away completely.
Now I was on nicotine patches at the
time, and I highly recommend that you use a nicotine substitute so you
don't have to struggle with the physical withdrawals while you are
trying to quit. People don't seem to understand how much the patches (or
other nicotine) can help. The only other person that I know who
succeeded in quitting at
the same time I did (my neighbor that I had the imaginary, and then
real-life conversations with) used my leftover nicotine patches and then
bought her own. I had the same conversation with her that I had practiced
in my shower and it convinced her to quit as well.
The patches irritated my skin something awful, leaving a very itchy red
square where the patch had been for many days afterward. I scratched them
so badly that they'd bleed. But that's just me. My skin is very sensitive. (I need to use affirmations or subliminal messages to make it
normal.) I've not known anyone else to respond to the patches the same
I ended up "stepping down" from 21 mg patches to 17 mg
patches in less than a week because my skin was so irritated. After
another week or two I stepped down to 7 mg. I used those for a couple of
weeks and then stopped completely with NO withdrawal symptoms or
cravings AT ALL.
My husband refused to use the patches. He also didn't use
the affirmations as I suggested. He thought he was man enough to quit
smoking by sheer willpower. He had actually done it in the past, but
unfortunately he is still smoking. I don't know why he doesn't use the
methods that worked for me.
Here's the breakdown:
1. Buy the strongest patches for your level of nicotine
and start wearing them. Follow the instructions on the box for "stepping
down" to the lower levels after a certain number of weeks. I didn't, but
they probably have them there for a reason. You may or may not feel like
you need to use them for that long (it's around 8 weeks or more total.)
2. Start doing the positive affirmations as mentioned
above. Fake, out loud conversations with someone who isn't really there was
the most helpful way for me to do that. If you have any of these
subliminal programs, definitely use those too!
3. You'll find yourself smoking less and less (they say
not to smoke while on the patch, but I did occasionally at first.) Don't
wear the patch to sleep since your body is not used to having nicotine
while you sleep, unless you are one of these people that get up in the
middle of the night to smoke. I have known people like that. You'll find
the desire to smoke is going away completely if you are really doing the
4. When you realize the desire has left, set a "quit date"
for a week or two ahead. By the time your quit date arrives, you'll be so
over smoking that it won't be a big deal. I had a cigarette the night
before my quit date and I thought, "Now why did I just do that? It only
made me feel gross and I could have easily done without it." I put it out
less than halfway and never smoked again.
5. Join the support groups offered online if you'd like
to. I did not use them much myself because the people there mostly have a
negative attitude. They think it's so hard to quit because they don't know
the secret to quitting.
6. Quitting is EASY. Remember that. Convince yourself of
that. Do it!
I wish you the best!
P.S. My 3 year anniversary of quitting smoking is coming
this January. Ron finally quit about four months ago and I am so happy
about that. Previous to his quitting, he was smoking around me pretty
much every time we were together. I just want to point out that, even
though he was smoking around me, my new beliefs were so strong that I
never felt the desire to smoke. People, you really CAN do this. Stop
telling yourself that you can't because that's what's making you fail.
You've gotta start a new dialogue in your mind. Change your thoughts to
reflect the person you want to be, not the person that you are now.
(Yeah, like this is church. "Would
you like to step up here, Brother Rod, and give us your testimony of how
the LORD delivered you from Satan's addictive hold upon you?" "Yeah,
I corresponded with a retired rock
musician named Rod who said that he needed to quit smoking
or he would die. I showed him this page and gave him some encouragement
towards quitting. He wrote me this letter recently:
My name is Rod and I wrote you a few months ago. Hope all is well
with you and that you had a Happy Thanksgiving.
For what it's worth, I just wanted to thank you for your
encouragement and advice concerning quitting smoking. You were
right, Starwitch. The patch DOES work and believing that quitting
smoking was easy helped a lot. I'm still on the patch and haven't
had a cigarette in over two months.
Thank you, Starwitch, and I wish you and yours the happiest of
Thanks, Rod, for sharing your story.
I'm sure it will help other people and give them the inspiration and
motivation they need to quit smoking.