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How I Quit Smoking Unless It’s on Vacation, During a Party, or When I’m Feeling Stressed

It took me years to finally quit smoking. I’m really proud of myself. I’ve pretty much lost the desire to smoke altogether. Unless of course there’s a special circumstance—like maybe I’m on vacation, at a party, or I’m feeling really stressed. I might sneak one then. But other than that I don’t touch ‘em. I’ve made it my mission to help others do the same. So sit back, relax, and learn from a pro. Here’s how I quit smoking.

Start Small

Baby steps are key here. I started off designating certain days of the week as cig-free days. That is unless it was mojito Monday, Tequila Tuesday, wine Wednesday, thirsty Thursday, or Fernet Friday. Sometimes sake Saturday was hard to avoid, but Sunday was easy because it’s the lord’s day. The only reason I needed to smoke on Sunday is if I had work the next day.

Limit Time With Other Smokers

The best way to avoid a pesky craving? Just stop hanging out with other people that smoke. Kinda crazy that I hadn’t thought of it before. It was hard since my partner and all of my friends smoked, so I began a lone wolf lifestyle. Of course, I still let myself have a cheeky cig here and there, like after a meal or when I was feeling anxious. And I literally didn’t smoke other than that. Unless I saw a stranger smoking in public, or on the television.

Don’t Let Anyone Discourage You

When I told my friends I was trying to quit, they just laughed and said, “Okay, buddy.” Pretty discouraging. But not as discouraging as my doctor. She’d go on and on about “lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, bronchitis, hole in your throat, you’re going to need an oxygen tank to push air into the hole in your throat because you won’t be able to breathe normally,” blah blah blah. Always bringing the vibe down. Like damn, do you even want me to come back? That attitude was not what I needed when I was trying to quit smoking. Frankly, that made me nervous, so I smoked right after that.

Only Carry The Essentials

I used to buy a pack every couple of days. Then I decided to quit cold turkey. All I’d ever keep on me was an emergency pack for an unexpected moment of despair. You know, when I was struggling to meet a deadline at work, I needed some air, or I had a beer in my other hand. This technique works wonders when you’re sitting around after a meal or when you’re sipping on a hot coffee, which is still the best way to clear the pipes in the morning. A hot cup of coffee and a cigarette is truly the fastest way to get your guts gurgling, and should be considered a little freebie when you’re backed up.

Practice Saying “No”

The hardest part about quitting is being surrounded by other smokers. It almost feels as though they’re taunting you. It made me feel like my friends were waving their cigarettes in my face and blowing the smoke directly at me. It’s hard to resist. Especially when someone offers you a cig. This will be difficult, but you have to practice saying “no,” to those polite gestures. Walk on down to the nearest liquor store to buy a second emergency pack. After all, what the hell else are you supposed to do with your hands while you’re standing outside the bar anyway? You probably look like a sociopath just raw dogging the vibes like that. Don’t worry, it’s just a single cigarette, it’s not like you’re “smoking” again or anything.

By now, you’ve probably quit altogether. I’m so proud of you. I hope these tips have helped in some small way. Now let’s celebrate with a smoke break!