How to quit smoking?

My mom tried cold turkey before she had me. It allegedly worked. I hope it did, anyhow…

Mea culpa, ruadh! You’re right to point out the discrepancy. In my first post I should have placed more emphasis on the ‘in my opinion’ bit, and made it clear I meant ‘only’ as in the only thing likely to be completely successful. This is what I meant, but I should have been clearer. Blame too many xmas drinks before logging on! Apologies to you and all concerned.

In my second post I said it was hard to find surveys which are definitive and impartial. Reports from the Surgeon General and Cancer Society may have the benefit of being impartial, but of course even they cannot be definitive. In other words, for every report you can find suggesting method X is the more effective, you can find another saying something else. I can’t provide chapter and verse citations on this. It’s just a subject I’ve been reading a lot about over the past 18 years or so, ever since I first got hooked. Also, as a Brit, I can’t claim much knowledge at all of the situation in the US.

One final point. Regarding the impartiality of reports from the Surgeon General or American Cancer Society, I repeat that I know nothing at all about the situation in the US, but over here I would indeed be very suspicious of any statements coming from equivalent bodies or organisations of apparently impartial standing.

It is hardly uncommon to discover that apparently impartial sources are in fact anything but. Our own government is hopelessly corrupted by industrial concerns, no less in areas of health and medical advice than anywhere else. They told us for years that BSE (mad cow disease) either did not exist or, if it did, was not a problem. Why? Commercial pressure from a strong farming lobby was one factor. Similarly with smoking, the pharmaceutical companies (selling patches etc.) are a very strong lobby, and in any case the government doesn’t want to lose the tax revenue from smoking i.e. it has no real interest in people quitting.

I smoked heavily for many years. I have not had a cigarette in almost eleven years. I will tell you my ‘plan for quitting’! Take heed.

  1. Realize going in that the first week or so is going to be hell on earth.
  2. Tell your friends, family and co-workers of your intention to quit. On day one, tell them you have quit.
  3. Do it one day at a time. Sounds phony, but it works. Tell yourself ‘I’m not going to smoke today, no matter what’.Try not to think about tommorrow.
  4. Get physical. Keep your hands busy. Go for long walks, bike rides, swims, whatever. It will make it easier to sleep.
  5. Eat whatever you feel you need to. You are going to put on 10-15 pounds because your metabolism will change. The weight will come off in about 9 months, so don’t sweat it.
  6. Talk about what it feels like. Pick a ex-smoking friend, or there are support groups like Smokers Anonymous. The more you talk about it the better.
  7. Journaling. Get a notebook, keep it by your nightstand. Write in it every night before bed. Write down whatever pops into your head, whether it makes sense or not. Write for about 15 minutes a night, or at least till you fill up a page. It will help you sleep. (sleeping will be more difficult for a while)
    Good luck. It can be done!

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I have planned to quit next week, and I am sure I will posting my experiences on the board for all to read, hopefully respond to and perhaps help others as well.