Involving Someone Else
- Bet a friend
you can quit on your target date. Put your cigarette money aside for
every day, and forfeit it if you smoke. (But if you do smoke, don't
give up. Simply strengthen your resolve and try again.)
- Ask your
friend or spouse to quit with you.
- Tell your
family and friends that you're quitting and when. They can be an important
source of support both before and after you quit.
- Stop buying
cigarettes by the carton. Wait until one pack is empty before you
- Stop carrying
cigarettes with you at home or at work. Make them difficult to get
- Switch to
a brand you find distasteful.
- Change to
a brand that is low in tar and nicotine a couple of weeks before your
target date. This will help change your smoking behavior. However,
do not smoke more cigarettes, inhale them more often or more
deeply, or place your fingertips over the holes in the filters. All
of these will increase your nicotine intake, and the idea is to get
your body use to functioning without nicotine.
Down the Number of Cigarettes You Smoke
- Smoke only
half of each cigarette.
- Each day,
postpone the lighting of your first cigarette 1 hour.
- Decide you'll
only smoke during odd or even hours of the day.
- Decide beforehand
how many cigarettes you'll smoke during the day. For each additional
cigarette, give a dollar to your favorite charity.
- Change your
eating habits to help you cut down. For example, drink milk, which
many people consider incompatible with smoking. End meals or snacks
with something that won't lead to a cigarette.
- Reach for
a glass of juice instead of a cigarette for a "pick-me-up."
Cutting down can help you quit, but it's not a substitute for quitting.
If you're down to about 7 cigarettes a day, it's time to set your
target quit date and get ready to stick to it.
- Smoke only
those cigarettes you really want. Catch yourself before you
light up a cigarette out of pure habit.
- Don't empty
your ashtrays. This will remind you of how many cigarettes you've
smoked each day, and the sight and the smell of stale cigarettes butts
will be very unpleasant.
- Make yourself
aware of each cigarette by using the opposite hand or putting cigarettes
in an unfamiliar location or a different pocket to break the automatic
- If you light
up many times during the day without even thinking about it, try to
look in a mirror each time you put a match to your cigarette
you may decide you don't need it.
- Smoke only
under circumstances that aren't especially pleasurable for you. If
you like to smoke with others, smoke alone. Turn your chair to an
empty corner and focus only on the cigarette you are smoking and all
its many negative effects.
- Collect all
your cigarette butts in one large glass container as a visual reminder
of the filth made by smoking.
Just Before Quitting
going without cigarettes.
- Don't think
of never smoking again. Think of quitting in terms of 1
day at a time.
- Tell yourself
you won't smoke today, and then don't.
- Clean your
clothes to rid them of the cigarette smell, which can linger a long
the Day You Quit
- Throw away
all your cigarettes and matches. Hide your lighters and ash trays.
- Visit the
dentist and have your teeth cleaned to get rid of tobacco stains.
Notice how nice they look and resolve to keep them that way.
- Make a list
of things you'd like to buy for yourself or someone else. Estimate
the cost in terms of packs of cigarettes, and put the money aside
to buy these presents.
- Keep very
busy on the big day. Go to the movies, exercise, take long walks,
go bike riding.
- Remind your
family and friends that this is your quit date, and ask them to help
you over the rough spots of the first couple of days and weeks.
- Buy yourself
a treat or do something special to celebrate.