The start of a new year often means it’s time to set new personal goals. It’s the time of year when we all vow to make changes in our lives to make ourselves better. One popular New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking. That’s a great goal to set, and is something I have experience in, as I am a former smoker myself. For me, all it took was a little willpower and a plan, as well as a little bit of time, and I was able to overcome one of my demons.
How Did You Do It?
The first thing I did was decide that I wanted to quit smoking. I didn’t decide to do it for somebody else, I needed to want it for myself. That’s the first step. It has to be something that YOU want. Next you have to ask yourself why you want to quit. Is it to save money? Is it to stay healthy so you can live long enough to watch your children grow up? For me, smoking was getting in the way of my relationship. See my girlfriend at the time was not a smoker. In fact, she hated the smell of my smoke. Rather than risk losing her over something I wanted to quit anyway, I decided it was time to put a plan into place.
I had found a Groupon offer for a vapor cigarette (V2.com) and I wanted to give it a try. For some reason I thought that it could be a way for me to continue smoking, but without the smell. So I purchased the e-cigarette starter pack. It came with three flavored cartridges, chocolate, vanilla, and red (like Marb reds) I started using the e-cigarette, but it just wasn’t the same as a regular cigarette, not to mention it made the back of my throat scratchy and tingly. I was getting the nicotine from the device, but it was slightly unpleasant to use so I almost gave up on it. That’s when I decided to use it to help me QUIT altogether.
So first off I’d like to mention that this is a plan that I came up with all on my own. V2’s website states that this product is not designed or approved as a smoking cessation device. Your results may vary, and there is no promises or guarantees that it will work for you. That being said, it worked for me and I wanted to share the idea with you.
Prior to beggining my plan, I was roughly about a half to 3/4 of a pack per day smoker. My idea was to slowly integrate from the cigarettes to the e-cig that I didn’t like, to the point where I was completely off the cigarettes and depended solely on the c-cigarette at which point it would be easier to quit.
I started my day with my normal morning drive to work cigarette. Smoking in the car was something that just came natural, and overcoming that craving would be the biggest hurdle. My second cigarette of the day was usually about an hour or so later, or the next time I was in my car. For my third cigarette of the day, I decided to substitute in an e-cigarette. I started with the vanilla flavor, one that I could bare more than the others. It helped me get the nicotine that a normal cigarette would, but made it less enjoyable, yet bareable. The next craving I got I would smoke like a half of a cigarette or maybe two puffs from the e-cig.
For the fifth and sixth cigarette of the day, usually around break time or lunch time, I continued to smoke regular cigarettes. Something about that after meal smoke was very satisfying. The seventh and eighth cigarettes were usually just me trying to cope after a crabby customer at work or after an annoying experience. I tried to substitute those with the e-cigarettes as often as possible.
The drive home from work was usually a normal cigarette, but the first puff once I got home was back to the e-cigarette. By the end of my work day, instead of smoking 10-12 cigarettes, I had only really smoked about 5 or 6. I stayed on the schedule every day for about two weeks.
The following weeks I tried to substitute almost every craving I had with an e-cig, with the exception of my after meal smokes, and finally when I was down to my last cigarette in my current pack, I consciously decided NOT to buy another pack of cigarettes.
This left me in a situation where I was at work and I didn’t even have any cigarettes to smoke if I wanted to. I was left with only the e-cigarette that I didn’t really like in the first place. Eventually I started having craving where I had to decide if it was even worth it for me to smoke the e-cig. Eventually 10 cravings turned to 5, and 5 cravings turned to 2.
I was only smoking my e cigarette two times a day. Once in the morning and once at night. There were a few times when I was stressed out or having major cravings, but the biggest thing I did to help myself at that point is to NOT BUY MORE CIGARETTES, no matter how bad I wanted one. There were times when I had cravings where I had to stop myself and ask, “do you really need one now, or are you just trying to get out of this situation?”
The primary factor to quitting smoking, is actually wanting to quit. You are the only one who has control of the situation. If you make it difficult to gain access to the nicotine, and constantly remind yourself why you are quitting, I tend to think that it will be easier.
I was never a “reward yourself for doing the right thing” kind of person. You should always do what is right, regardless of rewards, but some people respond better to rewards. Give yourself a little treat for each time you fight off a craving and chose NOT to smoke one more cigarette.
I hope this helps! Good luck!