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Mar 16, 2017 12:27PM
From my book, "How to Win at Quitting Smoking". For a free PDF copy, just send me a PM with your email address:
Break your automatic "habit" cigarettes before you quit. The conditioning of your brain to expect nicotine has become linked to almost anything in your environment and will now trigger a craving: sitting down in your favorite chair or at the computer, smelling coffee or getting into your car. Give yourself the opportunity to break your knee-jerk behavior while your brain is still getting nicotine.
Activity: Make a Smoking Corner and Smoke by the Clock.
Set up a place to smoke which is away from all household activities — someplace you don't normally go, and only smoke there. It could be the side of the house, by the garbage cans, in a corner of the garage or down the street at the neighbors' garbage can. Don't make it someplace you enjoy going to, rather someplace you don't like and don't normally spend much time there.
If you already smoke outside, for example on your patio or porch, find someplace new. After you quit smoking, you want to be able to go to your patio without it triggering a craving to smoke. Change the place where you used to smoke to a new relaxation corner where no smoking is allowed. Practice your relaxation techniques there and/or use this area to work on your Action Plan.
Smoke by the Clock. Schedule your smoking. Don't smoke whenever you want to, instead let the clock dictate when you smoke. Choose a time schedule so you smoke often enough to avoid having strong cravings or withdrawals:
- 10 cigarettes a day equals 1 every two hours.
- 20 cigarettes a day equals 1 cigarette every hour.
- 40 cigarettes a day equals 1 every half hour.
Once you decide on how often you will smoke, only smoke at those times. For example: If you choose to smoke one cigarette an hour and you wake up at 6 am, smoke your first cigarette at that time, then again at 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, etc. and every hour for the rest of the day. Don't smoke at any other time. If you have physical withdrawals, decrease the time interval between cigarettes or use a short acting nicotine medication, but don't smoke when you want to, only when the clock dictates.
If you don't feel the need to smoke when it is your time to smoke, you don't have to, but acknowledge you cannot have another cigarette until it is your next "time to smoke". Don't try to cut down—the purpose is to learn new behaviors while breaking your old associations and not go through nicotine withdrawals at the same time.
When it is your "time to smoke", go to your Smoking Corner, stand (unless you have a physical challenge) and smoke. In your Smoking Corner, don't do anything else except smoke. Don't take your coffee with you. Don't take your cell phone. Don't listen to your iPod. Don't leave a window open and watch TV. Don't talk to others. The purpose is not to multi-task when you smoke but to give yourself time to be conscious of what you are doing. By separating your smoking behavior from your other behaviors, you are "breaking your habit".
After you have smoked a cigarette, go back into the house and go about your normal activities. Have your cup of coffee, watch television, or sit at the computer. See how it feels to be doing this activity without smoking. It might feel weird, but this is normal. Remind yourself that this strange feeling is just a thought about smoking and not a physical craving. This is the time to practice the alternative behaviors you have been thinking of trying which will become the basis for your Action Plan.
Stop smoking in your car. If you are driving when it is your "time to smoke", pull over to a safe area and get out of your car to smoke. Leave your cigarettes in the trunk so you don't automatically smoke without thinking.
Don't smoke with other people. If your work place has a designated smoking area, stand off to a corner by yourself. Don't socialize with your fellow smokers while you smoke. It's OK to talk with them but not while you have a cigarette in your hand.
If you are at a social event, don't smoke with others but go off to a secluded area to attempt to stay with the spirit of having a Smoking Corner. When at a friends house, don't join them in smoking but let them smoke and you go outside by yourself when you want to smoke.
VJ Sleight, 1st diagnosis: 1987, stage 2, ER+, 0/18 nodes, lympectomy, radiation and chemo. cancer free for 22 years, 10 months and 27 days. www.StopSmokingStayQuit.blogspot.com
8/2/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-