Home > Uncategorized > Kevin Marshall Quits Smoking, Day 10 (with tips to quit)

Kevin Marshall Quits Smoking, Day 10 (with tips to quit)

10 days and still not smoking!

My apologies for not updating; things have been sort of crazy on my end. That’s not to say things have been bad or terrible, just that they’re busy enough to keep me from doing daily updates about how I haven’t smoked. On Thursday, for the first time since I quit, I went a few hours where I completely forgot I had quit smoking, and was only reminded when I stretched my arms outwards and felt the adhesive on my patch loosening.

It was odd and a little jarring to have that sudden reminder. Of course, as I’ve written before, I also have this perpetual fear that I’m just going to light up a cigarette without even thinking and undo all the good I’ve done over the past week plus. But that’s just me; I’m a worrier.

An acquaintance contacted me and asked for some tips, which I shared with him privately but I’ll also share with you:
1. Quit. Don’t “try to quit.” There’s a difference between quitting smoking and cutting down on your smoking. The latter I’ve done many, many times. It seems like common sense to non-smokers, but any of us who have struggled with an addiction and/or reliance on any substance know how easy it is to say it and difficult to execute. All that “trying to quit” does is exacerbate the belief that it’s an impossible task and permanently postpones you pulling the trigger on eliminating the habit. If you want to quit, you have to have a plan…and that plan has to include not smoking cigarettes. That being said…
2. Quit when you’re ready to quit. Don’t try to quit smoking when you know you’re entering a particularly stressful period of time, whether it be personally or professionally. Doing so only sets yourself up to fail. Also, with the first tip comes the addendum that there’s nothing wrong with cutting down in preparation of quitting.
3. Realize that smoking is addictive on four tiers: chemically, physically, emotionally, and habitually.
* The chemical end is simple enough: nicotine. Get on the patch.
* Physically, the act of having a cigarette in your fingers, having it in your mouth, and all the physical motions can be very awkward to get accustomed to. This is lampooned in various commercials that show people trying to drive and drink coffee without a cigarette and failing miserably, but as ridiculous as most anti-smoking organizations get (I’m looking at Truth.com and their woefully ineffective snarkfest ads), this one has a lot of merit.
* Stress triggers smoking, since cigarettes have a calming effect on a person. When preparing to quit, try to confront a stressful situation and not have a cigarette afterwards. It’s harder than it sounds, but just doing it once is a real confidence booster.
* Break the habitual triggers! For me they were driving, waking up, in-between tasks at works, and after meals. Doing this in the two plus weeks before I went on the patch has been a great help.
4. Chew gum. I recommend sugar-free Orbit. Mint or Peppermint are your best bets; the other flavors (eg. “Sangria”) lose flavor quickly but more importantly get real soft and not as enjoyable to chew.
5. Drink lots of water. Get a water bottle. Walmart sells portable water containers in their camping section for two bucks and change. Bring it with you everywhere, particularly at work.
6. Make it priority number one. Don’t just go about it as if everything’s normal with the only difference being that you’re not smoking. Let people know you’ve quit, share your feelings and/or struggles with quitting. Do what you have to in order to remind yourself that you’ve quit smoking and that it’s for all the right reasons.

More later…

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  1. September 1, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking really, really helped me. I can send you the e-book if ya want.

    Also, congrats! 10 days is nothing to scoff at, podner!

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