How to Quit Smoking

There are many ways to quit smoking. This method is simple, does not use drugs, nicotine replacement, patches, gum, or pills. It is also free. I have had a great deal of success with this method. No method to quit smoking will help unless the person is motivated to quit smoking.  I like to ask my patients, “If I had a magic wand that I could wave that would make you quit smoking would you want me to use it”? Many smokers do  not like that they smoke cigarettes and really want to quit. Other people enjoy smoking and the benefits of the enjoyment of smoking are worth the cost and health risks to them.  I am not here to judge peoples choices. If you are ready to quit smoking, this method works well.

The first thing is to honestly figure out how many cigarettes do you smoke every day. It may be a pack, half a pack, 18 cigarettes, what whatever your number is that we will call your habit. Most people find that only about half of the cigarettes they smoke they really need. The other half are what I call “junk” cigarettes. The junk cigarettes are the ones you smoke just because they are there. You don’t really need a cigarette, you may not even want one, but you smoke it out of habit because you see the pack, you are bored, etc. So peoples real habit is only about half of the cigarettes they currently smoke.

The first step is to take the number of cigarettes you usually smoke and cut that in half. So lets say you smoke a pack a day, that is 20 cigarettes. Take 10 cigarettes and put them in an empty pack. Smoke those 10 cigarettes during the day, enjoy them, don’t feel guilty, just don’t smoke an 11th. This makes you stop and ask yourself do I really need this cigarette before each time you reach for them. Sometimes the answer will be, “yes I do”, then smoke it. Sometimes the answer will be, “not really”, then don’t waste one of your cigarettes at this time.  For most people this is very easy, painless, and instantly you have cut your habit in half.

It takes about 3 weeks to establish a new habit. By after 3 weeks of doing this your new habit is now 1/2 of your original habit and about half of these cigarettes have become ‘junk’ cigarettes. So cut the number in half again.  If you continue doing this, cutting the number in half every7 3-4 weeks, you will quit smoking in about 2 months.

This method is gentle, people do not go through nicotine withdrawals or get grouchy using this method. It does not work for everyone but I have many patients that have painlessly quit smoking with this method. It is free, safe, and painless. If you are ready to quit, you might consider this method.

I quick word for pregnant patients. Pregnancy is a great mo0tivator for people to quit smoking. Unfortunately, many people go right back to smoking cigarettes after they deliver. I always encourage my patients to continue to be smoke free after delivery. The hardest part of quitting smoking is actually quitting. Since the hard work was done during pregnancy, keep the easier  work up of staying smoke free after the baby comes, it will be better for you and your new baby.