Me smoking a cigarette. I’ve smoked for about three years and in the height of my smoking I was going through a pack a day.
I decided two start this endeavor we call “quitting smoking” about two months ago in my family doctor’s office. I mentioned my smoking was bothering me and she immediately suggested a program through her office that helps people quit smoking. When she mentioned I would get free NRT products, I was immediately sold and enrolled myself that day and even met with a counselor for a one hour introductory session on the spot.
The great thing about this program is that it holds you accountable and you get out of it as much as you put into it. The counselor is there to monitor your progress, provide you with NRT products to help with cravings, but most importantly they re there to counsel you and provide aids to quitting smoking. My counselor, for example, told me about a man who put a photograph of his grandchildren on his bathroom mirror so he would be reminded why he was quitting everyday – for them. This really resonated with me and I decided to put a photograph of my father on my mirror to remind myself where I was heading at the rate I was going (smoking a pack a day) which was to a hospital bed, dying from cancer.
My counselor also provides several tips to quit smoking like to delay a cigarette for as long as possible. When I was first decreasing the amount I was smoking I would try to delay a cigarette by a half hour to hour. This rewires your brain and programs it to respond less often to cravings. My counselor also suggested I avoid people who smoke often, A.K.A all my closest friends, for the first week I am trying to become smoke free. I could not, however, do this and it delayed my quitting smoking for quite awhile. Eventually I was able to even say no to my friends who consistently offered me cigarettes by sheer willpower alone.
I asked my counselor if he had any literature on quitting smoking and his response was to hand me a booklet titled “Journey 2 Quit.” It is a workbook you fill out about quitting smoking and one section stood out for me the most which was the section on the costs of smoking. Smoking affects not only your health but your bank account. This booklet points out that the money you soend goes to the Tobacco industry and that if you smoke a pack a day, you can spend upwards of $4000 a year on cigarettes. That is ridiculous! I knew after reading that and the health costs that I had to quit sooner than later.
Two months into this program, and I can say I have not had a cigarette in three days. Prior to those three days I was smoking one cigarette a day for two weeks which is a significant change from me smoking a pack a day. One NRT product that I am going to mention helped me get to this point immensely – the nicorette QuickMist spray. This spray stops cravings within 60 seconds of spraying it on your tongue. I decided to make a conscious effort to use the spray in place of a cigarette throughout my day and it worked! The spray costs around $45 but in this program all NRT products such as patches and nicotine gum are free.
In a previous post I mention my quit date being January 4, 2019 and that on that date I would like to be smoke free for two weeks. At the rate I am going I should be smoke free for two weeks by the beginning of December (if I keep it up). I am extremely proud of myself for the progress I have made so far. I do not doubt that I will reach my goal of quitting smoking by January 4. I encourage those who want to quit to talk to their family doctor about options. Your family doctor may have a similar quit smoking program in place. And most importantly I want to impress upon my readers that you can do it and you can do whatever you set your mind to – because I have.
I have included this image as an end note of how I am now mentally ripping cigarettes apart in my process to quit smoking.