Smoking is a bad habit that after you get into it for some time it becomes an addiction difficult to control or overcome. Most smokers start off smoking socially with friends. Friends will not tolerate giving away cigarettes all the time so the beginning smoker goes out and buys his first pack. From personal experience this was the time I was officially hooked on always having a pack with me.
As with every potentially addictive substance, tobacco becomes a problem when the person is craving or thinking about smoking more frequently than before. Theoretically if a person can manage and restrict his smoking to 1 or 2 cigarettes a day any short and long term health risks are drastically reduced. The problem is keeping it that way. Being a smoker for 6 years and a non-smoker for the last 2 I remember trying to smoke 2 cigarettes a day without success a lot of times. This was a faulty method, at least for me because NOT wanting to smoke more ultimately becomes craving it even more. I have met people that smoke only sporadically and have no problem keeping it that way, but in the end what works for one individual does not necessarily work for someone else.
What did work is kind oppressive and rough to go through but if maintained helps a lot in terms of determination. What I did first is imagine myself in the future and realized that smoking cigarettes was not (or more literally will not be) a part of me. This made me distinguish the addictive behavior behind smoking versus my true desire to quit. Next thing I did is make a promise to myself that I will never buy cigarettes again and announce to my friends and family that I decided to quit. Doing this helped because my thought of quitting had become a reality through the people I am surrounded with. It is easier to give up on something that is just a thought in my head than something I SAID I would do.
Some more pointers that help in quitting smoking are:
- Avoid activities that you have connected with smoking
- Clean and air out your home and working area
- Store or better throw away all smoking paraphernalia
- Working out or any other activity to keep busy
- Have something to keep your mouth busy, chewing gum will help in the first months
Nowadays there are many alternatives and many solutions to quit smoking, from the electronic cigarette to nicotine patches. Although they might help someone in quitting they will not provide you with the willpower to make the decision. In the end willpower is what really helps in quitting smoking.