22 Things I've Learned About Quitting Smoking

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After 40 years of smoking, About.com Smoking Cessation forum member Nenejune wasn't sure she'd ever be able to quit. On completion of her first smoke-free year however, she knew she was done for good.

Her perspectives about recovery from nicotine addiction reflected in this article show a fundamental change in the relationship she had with cigarettes, and that is the beginning of true freedom.

Congratulations, Nenejune, and thanks for sharing.

From Nenejune:

Everything I know about quitting smoking I learned at About.com. This list could go on forever, but here is a partial list of the most important things I have learned:

Education -- An educated quit is a successful quit and knowledge is power. Read everything in the Quit Smoking Library and click on the links at the top and bottom of the front page. Keep reading. If you think you have read everything here, go back and read everything again.

Commitment -- Stick with your decision to quit smoking no matter what.

Reasons to quit never change -- Write them down and read them over and over.

Change your relationship with smoking -- Retrain your brain by reading the articles here.

Support -- Family and friends may not always understand, but the forum is here for you 24/7.

Discomfort is temporary -- You are in recovery. Any discomfort is because we smoked, not because we quit.

Motivation -- Read the happy, successful quit stories and milestone posts.

Post with others -- We are all going through the same thing and you are never alone here.

Stay busy and focused -- Reading and typing will keep your mind and fingers occupied.

Breathe – Deep breathing exercises really helped me, as well as drinking water, sucking on lollipops, and walking.

Visualization -- It helped me to visualize my heart and lungs as something precious that I would never hurt, like a tiny baby, puppy, or kitten.

Make no excuses -- If you give yourself a reason or excuse to smoke, you will use it.

Smoking is not an option -- When you take away the option, you have taken away the struggle of “should I or shouldn’t I.”

Time and patience -- It’s not over in a few days, weeks, or even months, but it does get better and easier with time. Time will heal you.

NOPE(Not One Puff Ever) pledge -- Renew your commitment every day.

Help others -- Every positive word you say to someone else is like saying it to yourself at the same time.

Forget the romance – Smoking is not fun or enjoyable; it is a deadly addiction. Any time you think you miss it, read about someone’s real-life battle with a smoking-related illness.

Be positive -- If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t. Attitude is everything.

Be proud -- Every day not smoking is an accomplishment to be proud of.

Be thankful – You have chosen health and life over addiction.

Own it -- No one can give you the title of nonsmoker and no one can take it away.

You must work for it, earn it, own it, and protect it.

Believe – Others are quitting smoking and you can too.

Nenejune speaks the honest truth.  Smoking cessation doesn't happen overnight and it does take work. That said, we all have what it takes to quit smoking successfully. Dig your heels in and do the work it takes to get the monkey that nicotine addiction is off of your back. The rewards are outstanding and you'll love the person you have the potential to become without the chains of this killer habit weighing you down.

Believe in yourself and you can free yourself.

More from Nenejune:  Freedom After 40 Years of Smoking

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