- Change your brand of cigarettes – if you smoke roll ups buy packet cigarettes or visa versa
- Hold the cigarette in the opposite hand between your middle finger and your ring finger, it feels odd but it will allow you to become ‘conscious’ of when you are smoking
- If you have a cigarette as soon as you wake up wait for half an hour before you have one
- Change your routine
- Rearrange your surroundings e.g. move the kettle
- Smoke outside of the house
- Remove ashtrays from your house
- Keep one ash tray outside
- Have a jar with some water in it. When you finish smoking put the butt in the jar and close the lid
- Do something different – read a book, exercise, meditate, listen to relaxing or energizing music
- Notice what’s going on when you want a cigarette. What are you feeling? Is there something that you are needing e.g a break, sleep, water, consideration
- Keep a record of the cigarettes you have
Lots of people imagine that it’s the ‘physical addiction’ to smoking that’s the problem. The truth is that it’s the ‘psychological addiction’ that is more challenging.
So if we know smoking is ‘antisocial’ and ‘bad for our health’ why on earth do we do it?
Some of the reasons why people smoke
- Cope with stress of work/relationship/life
- To rebel
- Have a break
- Have some time for themselves
- To fit in with others
- To avoid uncomfortable feelings e.g. anxiety, anger, lack of confidence, sadness
- To feel comforted
- As a distraction
- An excuse not to do something
What are your reasons?
Ask yourself these questions
- What does smoking give me?
e.g. time for me/a reward/an identity (part of the ‘smoking’ group)
- What does smoking stop me from doing/having/being?
- What would I do if you didn’t smoke?
e.g. go on an airplane/take up exercise/feel ‘vital’
Before you reach for a cigarette ask yourself 2 questions
- How am I feeling?
- What do I need?
When you can identify your feelings and your ‘needs’ you are less likely to have a cigarette. That’s because smoking is only a ‘short term fix’, it allows you to cope with something for now but never addresses the core problem. When you are able to identify your needs you have some choices. When you have choice you have freedom.
Feeling – Irritated (low level anger)
Need – to have some rest
Choices – Have some quiet time/sleep/break from what you’re doing/ask your boss to delegate some of your workload
Feeling – Sad
Need – to be heard
Choices – Tell someone how you are feeling/hug/sit with the feeling
Feeling – Hurt
Need – Consideration
Choices – State how you are feeling/request someone does things in a different way in future
How much have you invested in cigarettes?
Work out how much you have spent on your smoking habit in the past.
e.g. based on 20 a day smoker (packet of cigarettes costing £5.80)
Total per year £2,111.20
If you multiply that by the number of years you’ve smoked you can see how it adds up!
Begin to think about what else you might do with the money if you gave up smoking. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but been unable to do it because of money? Or you’ve been stopped because of your habit? E.g. flying
“Now’s not a good time to give up?”
Consider the fact that ‘now’ is the perfect time to stop smoking
You’re body is literally ‘dying’ for you to stop!
Don’t give up smoking because you think you ‘should’! No one wants to ‘give up’ anything, it smacks of being denied and deprived.
Stopping smoking for others can be a mistake too, as it can bring up feelings of resentment towards those people.
Choose to be a ‘non smoker’ or even more powerful, choose to be a healthy person, full of energy and life!
If right now you can’t imagine that long term, imagine it day by day, or in the moment.
After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen once you’ve stopped? You have a cigarette. The mistake a lot of people make is that if they do have a cigarette, they identify themselves with being a ‘smoker’ again. The feelings of failure and disappointment can be so intense that they decide in that moment that it’s hopeless and ‘what’s the point anyway’ and tobacco can become a ‘punishment’ for being ‘bad’.
So if that happens what could you do instead?
It’s really simple …
Own up to having smoked and take responsibility for your actions.
- Forgive yourself
- Look at why you smoked. What were you needing? Think about what you might do next time instead.
If you take these steps it really doesn’t have to be such a ‘big deal’
So what if you smoked? Congratulate yourself for all the cigarettes you didn’t have!!!! Look on the positive
If your friends and family say, “see I knew you couldn’t give up”
Say “did you?”
If they say, “You’re a failure”
Say, “no I’m not, I just had a cigarette and now I choose to stop smoking”.