14 ways to quit smoking

one of my favourite magazines is visions, BC’s mental health and addictions journal. it always has a great cross-section of mental health “consumers” (isn’t that a strange term?) and professionals writing about issues that directly impact people with mental health concerns: from those who are living with schizophrenia, to parents of youth battling with bipolar disorders, to social workers in the trenches of vancouver’s downtown eastside.

this quarter’s focus is on tobacco. i thought i’d give you a run-down of some ideas about quitting smoking found in the articles:

  • surround yourself with people who do not smoke (susan katz in “smoking: habit or addiction?”)
  • make a plan: “i started to tell myself this was it. even though i was still smoking, i started saying to myself: i am a non-smoker. i repeated that phrase over and over … i then went to a health food store and asked for something that would prevent me from ripping people’s arms off and slapping them with the soggy end when i finally decided to stop smoking.” he ended up with something that is used for PMS, and it worked (ronald p. macintyre, “the joys of smoking – yeah, right”)
  • don’t want to “end up with ugly yellow teeth” (dawn-marie tytherleigh, “puffing it up”)
  • brainstorm to come up with something that you enjoy more than smoking: “the $60 a week i save i treat myself to live hockey games.” (lyle richardson, “break’s over!”)
  • a good friend had a mild heart attack: “this happened in part because of his smoking” (rene ray, “quitting: a journey to compassion and song”)
  • understand the synergistic health effect between cigarette smoking and other carcinogenic substances. “research shows that when trades workers understand this effect they are more likely to quit smoking.” (kate dahlstrom and tara ney, “blue collar taste: researching strategies to shift the smoking norms in trades workers”)
  • reduce or stop smoking as a couple
  • remember that each quit attempt makes it easier the next time (both from joan bottord and joanne carey: “learning about TRIPs: men, women and tobacco in intimate relationships”)
  • switch the language, to reflect the seriousness of tobacco addiction: “we started to talk about recovery from tobacco dependence rather than about smoking cessation, and about tobacco-caused illnesses rather than tobacco-related illnesses” (gail malmo, “treating tobacco dependence in the addictions setting: the aurora centre’s experience”)
  • mindfulness and relaxation techniques as well as group support (tom heah: “vancouver’s butt out stop smoking program”
  • and here are some web sites that may help:

by the way, i quit smoking 18 years ago, after 20 years of puffing away, sometimes two packs a day. being around people who don’t smoke and having had the experience of quitting a number of times (that is, knowing that quitting won’t kill me), were probably the most influential for me.

and here’s a video, just to drive home the point a bit more:
Quit SmokingSmoking video

28 thoughts on “14 ways to quit smoking

  1. OCD On A Stick


    You have a great blog here. I’m glad that I was pointed in this direction by another blog.

    Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. This is great insight.

    I do think that OCD and addictions are closely related. I think that compulsions are addictions (or become addictions) because the ritual or action calms me and makes me feel better for awhile. There is definitely a temptation component here. In order to keep myself from thinking an obsessive thought or performing a ritual action I have to either try to distract myself or remind myself what “normal” or moderate behavior might be. Sometimes, I’m still a little confused about moderate behavior.

  2. Gledwood

    Hi I saw you at OCD on a Stick’s blog! You said hurrah! you’d found something interesting … if you’re interested in addictions come to my blog it’s all about my hard drug habit … but please don’t make assumptions b4hand just read it and it will speak for itself!

    One of my best friends is currently in the process of giving up the “fags” as we call them here. Nasty business.
    Still I think the cliched heroin comparison is something to make nicotine addicts feel better. Very little basis in reality.
    (Ever seen a smoker with their head down the toilet bc they need a ciggie? Well then!)

    O! BTW: I noticed you’ve changed blogging company to this one … as lots of people recently seem to have done. Do you mind me asking why?

    I’m at http://gledwood2.blogspot.com you’re welcome to drop by any time! Hope to see you there soon. All the best


    “vol 2” ….

  3. isabella mori

    thanks for your comments, OCD and gledwood! and of course i immediately went over to your blogs; they’re both really interesting!

    about the comparison between heroin/hard drug use and cigarette smoking. i guess it’s all a very individual thing. i’ve had the somewhat dubious pleasure of meeting quite a few current and ex heroin users, and have definitely met people who said it was more difficult to quit smoking than to quit heroin.

    maybe one of the reasons why it may be more difficult to quit smoking is precisely BECAUSE for most people, the smoking experience itself is not as hard as the experience of using heroin?

  4. Adam

    Great article…I liked the first tip the best…”surround yourself with people who don’t smoke”

    Unfortunately, that can be the most difficult part sometimes.

  5. Seb

    Me and girlfriend quit smoking around the same time which made it lot easier to give up. Well it made it easier for me anyway (I quit a little after her)!

  6. Quit smoking. it's bad

    I’ve been successfully quit smoking, because my frined is died at heart disease. I’ve learned many information about it. And i just quit smoking. It’s difficult, but it’s need.
    And this video i give to all my friends. Half of them listen me.

    Quit smoking. it’s bad’s last blog post..How to quit smoking

  7. Anthony Marquis

    I’ve been trying to quit for years.

    ‘Trying’ seems to be such a weak approach though.

    I DECIDED to quit. Stopped going in pubs or places where there’s cigarettes. Kept away from my smoker mates.

    Watched what it does to people on youtube videos, started exercising and eating healthy.

    I feel so much better already after a week.

    I tell myself that “I DON’T SMOKE!” as often as possible.

    Just DECIDE and do it.

    Good luck!

  8. isabella mori

    and “quit smokin, it’s bad” – you sound pretty passionate about it. it’s awful to see people die of this. my best friend’s mother wasted away from it. even on her death bed, she was still smoking. and my father died of a type of cancer that is also often associated with smoking.

  9. Drug treatment

    I know for sure that, the brainstorming thing works… I almost quit sometime ago…because I was with my boyfriend and I was enjoying his presence more than a cigarette. But, after I had to go back home (miles away far from him) and I found there my old friends who are heavy smokers…. yeah… you know what’s next…

  10. Sheila Joyce Gibbs

    Dear Sir/Madam: I would like to share mine & my late husbands story, of a alcohol caused illness destroyed our lives.
    Kindly advise accordingly.

  11. Neale

    Thanks for a great post this helped me a lot
    ““we started to talk about recovery from tobacco dependence rather than about smoking cessation,” Once i did this i was able to quit much easier.

  12. Alexandra

    I am a big smoker. I tried to quit lots of times, but never succeeded. The biggest problem is that I am not even smoking soft easily cigarettes, but I am always smoking cigars. I tried to get rid of this addiction – but I simply can’t! Every time I am looking for an article about how to quit cigars I only find this type of articles about cigars and… I feel like I want to just smoke one.

  13. Brad

    I will have to say that what helped me to quit smoking was to go to Narconon Vista Bay. They have an amazing sauna program that helped me to not only quit smoking but to rid my body out of most of the toxins that I have put in my body.

  14. Stop Smoking

    There are a lot of similar comments – I tried everything and quitting was difficult. Quitting is very difficult because smoking is both a physical and mental addiction. Successful smoking cessation programs must address both types of addiction or there is a high relapse rate. Simply addressing the physical cravings is not enough to insure lasting success. This is where most people fail to permanently quit.

  15. patricknelson77

    I haven’t been smoking very long but I cant imagine the physical effects are the hard part. I feel its the mental angle that is hard to kick. I have kicked Heroin but for some reason I cant stop smoking. Best of luck to all of you. These are some good tips for smoking. Basically I feel you really have to do it.

    Narconon Vista Bay

  16. Lavender

    I agree that it is critical to take yourself out the situations where you are around other smokers, or where you really feel the urge to smoke – like when drinking with friends. That social aspect is one of the hardest…

  17. Narconon Vista Bay

    smoking like all other addiction cant be stopped until the person make up his/her mind to quit this dangerous path.also we do have to remember like all other thing if we want to quit smoking we have to start by taking small step one at a time if we want to quit our life long smoking in overnight then this will never gonna work no matter how hard we try.so we have to make sure to reduce the number of cigarette we consume everyday,keep our self reminding how dangerous is this for our self & also for the people we care about.if we do this then one day we will find our self as a non smoker.
    .-= Narconon Vista Bay´s last blog ..vistabayrehab: I just updated my Squidoo page: The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention / http://tinyurl.com/ygeoabe =-.

  18. help my friend quit smoking

    I seldom hear smokers mention online support places to give up smoking. Places like stop smoking message boards could aid you to stop with no other methods at all. Got a desire to smoke, just make a post and get support. It honestly helps! Just give it a try, you will be surprised how many people will attempt to aid you stop smoking. Hope this helps.

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